Himalayan blue poppy - Meconopsis betonicifolia

Himalayan blue poppy - Meconopsis betonicifolia



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Generality

Meconopsis betonicifolia is a precious and particular herbaceous perennial garden plant, native to Alaska, Scotland and the Himalayas. Because of its origin it is also known as the Himalayan blue poppy.

It looks like a small rosette of long light green leaves, covered with a light down, which can reach 100-120 cm in height; in spring it produces spectacular flowers with 4-5 petals, silky, of a beautiful sky blue color, more rarely yellow or red, with a yellow or white center and long and brightly colored pistils. To prolong the flowering of this perennial plant it is advisable to remove the withered flowers; some varieties are monocarpic, therefore they die after the first flowering, to make sure that these too resist as perennials, it is advisable to cut the stems in the first year of life of the plant, to prevent it from flowering.


Meconopsis ">Exposure

The plants of Meconopsis betonicifolia prefer cool climates, given their origin, so they should be kept in a bright place but which favors proper shading, away from direct sunlight, especially in summer, when the high temperatures of hot days can cause serious damage and even cause the plant's death blue poppy of the Himalayas. These specimens do not fear the cold, as they come from places characterized by very cold winters. The successful cultivation of this type of plant in our latitudes is rather difficult, especially due to the rather high summer temperatures.

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Meconopsis betonicifolia">Watering

The plants of Meconopsis betonicifolia need to be watered with abundant quantities of water during the growing season, which lasts from March to October; it is therefore advisable to water them often, checking that the soil maintains a correct degree of humidity without allowing the formation of water stagnations which are harmful to the health of the specimens of blue poppy of the Himalayas. In autumn it is advisable to gradually reduce watering, until it is almost completely suspended in winter.

It is good to supply fertilizer for flowering plants dissolved in watering 2-3 times in the vegetative period to ensure the correct supply of nutrients to this particular variety.


Ground

The specimens of this type love loose and fresh soils, possibly with an acid pH; it is important that the cultivation soil of meconopsis is very well drained so that it cannot allow the formation of water stagnations which are dangerous for the health of these plants.

They are usually planted in a compost rich in humus and peat placed among the stones of rock gardens.


Multiplication

The multiplication of these plants occurs by seed in autumn; for better germination, the seedbed should be kept in a cool, humid and sheltered place until spring. The new seedlings are planted as soon as the risk of frost has passed and the outside temperatures are more pleasant.

They can also be sown in spring, making sure that the seedbed is kept at low temperatures, as high temperatures drastically reduce the germination of the seeds.


Himalayan blue poppy - Meconopsis betonicifolia: Pests and diseases

pay close attention to thrips, snails and the oziorrinco who are greedy for the leaves and roots of meconopsis. Before the vegetative restart it is good to intervene with a broad-spectrum insecticide treatment that allows the plants to have the right protection from the attack of parasites and diseases that seriously undermine their health.


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