How To Grow Matilija Poppy?

The Matilija Poppy plant is a highly fast-growing perennial that grows in the wilds of southern California. It is often used for natural landscaping in desert areas. It is a striking addition to any landscape. A hardy, drought-tolerant perennial blooms from May until October and grows in shady stream banks from Northern California to Southern Oregon.   

It is a showy variety taller than most other poppies, with stalks reaching over six feet. Its flowers are large, colorful, and lasts for ten days. The flower buds are an unusual shade of fuchsia before they bloom black. Its mature leaves are green with silver to bluish-purple undersides. The plants are somewhat drought tolerant but benefit from occasional watering during dry spells.

This plant makes a beautiful addition to your home or garden. One of the most attractive features of this plant is its bright orange flowers, each as large as a saucer and stunning against the white, fern-like leaves. Its blue-green foliage is attractive and makes a bold statement in landscape settings.

Matilija Poppy Transplanting

The Matilija poppy plant is a striking flower. Its flowers resemble other poppies found around the country, but its dense foliage gives it a tropical feel. This plant needs a fair amount of care to keep it blooming, but if given the proper nutrients and fertilizers, it will grow over a foot a week and stay in bloom from April through June.

In general, Matilija poppies are moderately easy to grow from seed. They transplant very easily from pots to garden beds. The best time for transplanting is spring after the danger of frost has passed and the soil warms up enough to ensure a sound root system. If you live in a cool or cold area, using black plastic mulch will help the soil stay warm long enough for the plant’s roots to take hold.

The best way to transplant a Matilija poppy plant is to dig the seedlings up and plant them in moist soil. However, if you buy a Matilija poppy plant at a nursery, you will want to transplant the plant before it wilts, as this will help it recover. The easiest way is with a container. Fill the container with moist soil and carefully place the poppy plant inside so that its roots line up with the edges of the container.

How To Grow Matilija Poppy?

The Matilija poppy plant is a tremendous annual, growing 1-2 feet tall with large blooms. It will do well in full sun and dry areas. This plant also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies! Matilija poppies can be quickly grown from seed to flower within a few months. They prefer well-drained soil, but you should still water them a little until they get a root system going.

Matilija poppy plant is a striking addition to any garden. The delicate flowers change color from ivory to bright orange-red and then fade to ivory again. Matilija poppy plant blooms throughout the summer and grows well in sunny or partly shady areas. Matilija poppy plant significantly increases your garden’s visual appeal because of its stunning flowers. Still, it can also serve as an excellent bird habitat because Matilija poppy plant attracts birds to your garden.

Matilija poppy requires a sunny location with total sun exposure and moist, fertile, well-drained soil to grow. Matilija poppy can be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 5 to 10. Being drought-tolerant, it is also an excellent plant for producing in areas that don’t receive an abundance of rainfall.

Can You Grow Matilija Poppies Indoors?

Yes, with patience. Ideally, the Matilija poppy plant should be grown outside in the spring and summer when it is warm. Inside it takes about six months to get your plant into blooming size; then, it will flower for about two weeks. If you want the Matilija poppy to thrive, you need to water it with high nitrogen fertilizers like fish emulsion once a month. It is NOT tropical, and frost will kill it. One of the main reasons you want this is to harvest seeds to share with friends or for an art project.

The Matilija poppy plant is a native of California and can be grown as an indoor houseplant. The plant is drought tolerant and only needs to be watered every 7-10 days. It is low-maintenance and easy to care for, making it a great decorative houseplant.

Matilija Poppy Care

The Matilija poppy is an attractive flower that will add some color to your yard. The plant has long blooming cycles during which it might not need any care at all. Keep in mind: the plant is a wildflower native to the Mediterranean region. It should only be introduced into other areas after proper research into its growing conditions and possible invasiveness.

The plant has a long, tapering leaf and an attractive blossom that is orange when in the bud and turns bright red when fully open. Matilija poppy is drought tolerant, but it will need water when in full bloom. This plant is easy to care for but may have special requirements for maintaining its unique appearance. Learn more about Matilija poppy plant care here.


The soil preparation for your Matilija poppy plant involves digging a hole in the ground and adding amended potting mix to the spot. The hole depth will depend on the plant you buy, but it is about 18″ in depth and 24″ in diameter for most plants.


Matilija poppy can grow in all levels of light. The more light you provide the plant, the more flowers it will produce.  The brighter your light environment, the darker your petals will be.  Sunny windows or full-sun settings are most ideal.  For lower light levels, gradually move your plant further from the window over several days. Under very high light conditions, Matilija poppy plants will grow tall and thin with long internodes and stretched open flowers. They will also extend if exposed to direct sunlight outdoors for too long during hot summer months.


Water when the soil in your pot is dry to the touch. During the growing season, monthly is best. Water when you see new growth in early spring. From here on, water when it’s hot and they are in full bloom. So when they’re drying out between watering, make sure to water them again.


The Matilija poppy plant is relatively cold-tolerant, but it appreciates the warmth of summer. Matilija poppies will tolerate some frostiness but can be damaged by too low temperatures. In addition, Matilija poppies do not like to sit in water or wet soil.


Is Matilija Poppy Poisonous?

The Matilija poppy is highly poisonous. The highly toxic sap causes itching, burning, and blistering on the skin at contact. It also causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe pulmonary irritation can occur even after handling plants; symptoms may appear several days after exposure. The flowers of the Matilija poppies are beautiful, but they are potent toxins. Let your hands do the talking by keeping them away from the petals of these lovely plants.

Can I Grow Matilija Poppy From Seeds?

Yes, you can grow Matilija poppy from seed. Matilija poppy is a self-pollinating plant which means that your Matilija poppy plant will bear both male and female flowers. If you plan to grow Matilijas from seed, sow directly in the ground as soon as you receive your sources. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water before planting for the best germination results.

What Is The Smell Of Matilija Poppy?

When you first smell the Matilija Poppy, it might seem like there is no smell, but it will hit you after a while. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to describe what the scent is like because there isn’t anything else that smells like it. The closest thing that I can think of is the scent of red wine with some spicy food undertones.

What Is Matilija Poppy Used For?

The Matilija Poppy has been used traditionally by Native Americans to make tea. This tea is said to have sedative and pain-relieving properties. It has also been added to baths to relieve sore muscles, and it reportedly strengthens nails and hair.

How Often Should I Water My Matilija Poppy?

The Matilija Poppy plant thrives when watered regularly during the growing season when plants are producing their blooms. During this period, we recommend you water once a week. A great time to water our Matilija Poppy is right before the flowering season in late spring. This flower will thrive in various soil types, but it loves sharply draining soil with plenty of organic matter.


The Matilija poppy plant is native to California and is an attractive addition to any garden. Its bright yellow flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, requiring very little care. Matilija poppies can grow up to 3 feet tall and produce hundreds of seeds.

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