How to Grow Chelidonium Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Celandine Poppy and Tetterwort

Plants belonging to the Chelidonium genus are weedy hardy perennials or biennials. They tend to reach an height of between 60 cm and 1.2 m (2 to 4 feet).

They have green leaves, and bloom with yellow flowers from spring to summer.

Some common names for members of this genus include Celandine poppy, Tetterwort, Celandine, and Greater Celandines.

Chelidonium majus
Chelidonium majus by Mick Talbot.

Chelidonium (Greater Celandine) by Franco Folini.

Chelidonium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Celandine, Celandine Poppy, Greater Celandine, Tetterwort.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Hardy biennial.
Height: 12 to 48 inches (30 to 120 cm).
Native: Europe, Western Asia.
Family: Papaveraceae.

Growing Region: Zones 4 to 8.
Flowers: Spring through summer.
Flower Details: Yellow. Four petals.
Foliage: Bright green. Lobed. Wavy edges.

Sow Outside: Seeds: Surface. First month of spring or in autumn. Seeds should first be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Transplant seedlings to final location when they look strong. Germination time: one month to one year. Spacing 12 inches (30 cm).
Sow Inside: No

Requirements: Full sunlight or shade. Moist soil. Chelidonium looks after itself – may grow wild and weedy; self seeds. More plants can be propagated by division in autumn (cool areas) or spring (warmer areas).
Miscellaneous: Invasive plant in many areas. Has many herbal uses, these include removing warts, narcotic use and to relieve toothaches.

How to grow Celandine Poppy - Chelidonium

Chelidonium should be grown outdoors. Seeds should be sown on the surface of flats in either the autumn or early spring. The flats should be set in a shaded location (North facing), and be covered in glass.

Once seedlings appear, they should be transplanted at a spacing of about 30 cm into either a shaded or sunny part of the garden. This should have a moist soil.

Caring for Chelidonium

Chelidonium plant species self seed, thus they may require weeding to control them in the garden.

Common Questions

How many members does the Chelidonium genus have?

The Chelidonium genus consists of only two species.

Do members of Chelidonium make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Chelidonium, especially Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine), can be interesting additions to gardens, but care must be taken due to its potential toxicity.

Which Chelidonium species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine) is often grown for its interesting foliage and yellow flowers.

Are members of the Chelidonium plant genus fragrant?

Chelidonium plants do not have a noticeable fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Chelidonium?

Chelidonium prefers shady to partly sunny locations and moist, rich soil.

Is Chelidonium invasive in the USA?

Currently, Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine) is considered invasive in several states, as it can spread aggressively.

How do I remove Chelidonium plants from my garden?

Chelidonium can be controlled by removing the entire plant, roots included. Also, remove plants before they set seed to prevent spread.


The Chelidonium genus, part of the Papaveraceae family, is native to Europe and western Asia. The most known species, Chelidonium majus, or greater celandine, is a perennial herb recognized for its yellow, poppy-like flowers and lobed, bluish-green leaves.

To cultivate Chelidonium, plant them in partial shade, in well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in spring or fall, or by root division. Regular watering is necessary, but they can tolerate short periods of drought. However, be aware, as all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Chelidonium plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Poppies, Glaucium plant, and Blue Poppy plants.