Plume Poppy

Plume Poppy Overview

Description Plume poppy combines bold garden presence with delicate beauty. Feathery, creamy white flower clusters top this long-lived perennial for weeks beginning in midsummer. As they age, the flowers turn tawny brown with hints of pink. Count on the airy flower clusters to decorate the plant until the first frost. Flowers are complemented by large, scalloped leaves that resemble massive geranium foliage. Spreading by underground rhizomes, plume poppy expands slowly to make a large planting drift.
Genus Name Macleaya cordata
Common Name Plume Poppy
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 3 to 8 feet
Width 2 to 4 feet
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Colorful Fall Foliage, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Low Maintenance
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Propagation Division, Seed

Planting Plume Poppy

Call on plume poppy anywhere you need height and interest in the garden. It will stand tall near the back of a perennial border or form a texture-rich living screen to shield views of a garage or compost pile. Excellent planting companions include low-growing shrubs that decorate the base of plume poppy and, like this low-care perennial, demand little maintenance. Plant shrub roses, weigela, and chartreuse spirea cultivars with plume poppy. It also pairs well with plants that have similar bold foliage. Colocasia, also called elephant ear, is an eye-catching companion.

Plume Poppy Care

Plume poppy is prized for being low-maintenance. Plant it in full sun or part shade. It easily grows 7 or 8 feet tall in full sun and usually stands 5 to 6 feet tall in part shade. Choose a planting site that has moist, well-drained soil. Plume poppy will tolerate a range of soil types but grows best in soil that drains freely.

Easy to start by container-grown nursery transplants, plume poppy can also be started from seed or division. Divide plants in spring shortly after the foliage emerges. Plume poppy is slow to emerge in spring and is often one of the last perennials to send up foliage. After dividing plants, replant them right away and water the divisions well to encourage strong root growth.

Plume poppy may self-seed in the garden. Remove spent flowers after bloom to prevent unwanted reseeding. A plume poppy planting expands by underground runners called rhizomes. In optimal growing conditions, plume poppy can expand somewhat quickly but it is generally not considered invasive or unruly in the garden. Young expanding rhizomes are easy to dig and remove. Plume poppy rarely needs to be staked.

Plant Plume Poppy With:

yellow Sunflower Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

A big, bodacious, beautiful plant, perennial sunflower is imposingly tall and floppy with large (up to 4-inch), bright yellow flowers that form in loose clusters. Most of these natives thrive in full sun and are not fussy about soil. The taller ones may need support. Excellent for cut flowers.

red 'Arabian Night 'dahlia

Nothing beats a dahlia for summer color. Growing these varied, spiky flowers is like having a box of garden crayons at your disposal. The flowers form on branching, fleshy stems or open in solitary splendor on the bedding-plant types in mid- to late summer. Several different flower categories, from the petite mignonettes to the gigantic dinner-plate dahlias, offer possibilities for any space.Expert dahlia growers recommend pinching off the first crop of side flower buds to encourage vigorous plant branching and larger flowers in peak season. All dahlias are fodder for brilliant seasonal cut bouquets and are always one of the most popular cut flowers at local farmer's markets. Their blooming season extends into fall and is only halted by the first frost.Gardeners in climates colder than Zone 8 should cut back the withered foliage after the first frost and dig up tubers to store over winter. For a fast start with dahlia plants before it's safe to plant outdoors, pot the tubers up, water sparingly and grow in a sunny location until sprouts appear, and then transplant outdoors after the last frost.

Hibiscus moscheutos

Hibiscus flowers might be the most dramatic in the garden and can bloom as large as a child's head in gorgeous colors. The hibiscus plant itself is large and dramatic, and it needs plenty of space to show off. Although the huge funnel-shape flowers seldom last more than a day, they are abundant and the plant blooms over several weeks. The large leaves tend to draw Japanese beetles. Hibiscus needs plenty of water, so grow it in rich, loose, well-drained soil where you can water it easily and regularly during dry spells.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles