How to Grow Eschscholzia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing California Poppy, Tufted Poppy, and Frying Pans

Although members of the Eschscholzia genus are perennials they are usually grown as annuals in the garden.

These poppies can reach 30 to 60 cm in height and bear cup like flowers of yellow, orange or white from the middle of spring to the middle of summer.

They make good plants for growing in borders.

Common names for Eschscholzia include California poppy and Tufted Poppy.

California Poppy
California Poppy - Eschscholzia californica by MShade.

Eschscholzia californica
California poppy by Mikebaird

Eschscholzia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: California Poppy, Tufted Poppy, Frying Pans, San Benito Poppy.
Family: Papaveraceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 4 to 24 inches (10 to 60 cm).
Native: North and Central America.

Growing Region: Zones 1 to 10. As a perennial in 8 to 10.
Flowers: Mid-spring, summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, orange. Four Petals. Fragrant.
Foliage: Deeply cut. Hairless or Blueish-grey and waxy. Lanceolate.

Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6mm). Annuals: following last frost. Perennials: before last frost or late autumn. Spacing 6 to 10 inches (15 to 26 cm).
Sow Inside: Use Peat pots. Germination time: two to three weeks. Temperature 60°F (16°C). Three weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Average soils. Regular watering. Deadhead.

How to Grow California poppy (Eschscholzia)

It is best to grow Eschscholzia members outdoors. When growing California poppies the seeds should be sown at about 6 mm in the autumn or after the last frost of spring.

The seeds usually take about three weeks to germinate.

They should be sown into an area that is sunny and has good drainage. California poppies like to grow in a soil that is average, so nothing special is required.

Caring for Eschscholzia Plants in the Garden

Once growing, Eschscholzia plants require watering in prolonged dry spells.

Extended blooming of the poppies can be had by removing the flowering heads once they have finished flowering.

Common Questions

How many members does the Eschscholzia genus have?

The Eschscholzia genus consists 12 species.

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

Yes, Eschscholzia, also known as California Poppies, provide vibrant color in sunny, dry areas, making them great for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Which Eschscholzia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy) is most frequently grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Eschscholzia plant genus fragrant?

No, Eschscholzia flowers are not typically fragrant.

What is the perfect location to grow Eschscholzia?

Eschscholzia prefers full sun and well-drained soil, making them ideal for sunny borders or rock gardens.

Is Eschscholzia invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Eschscholzia is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Eschscholzia plants from my garden?

To remove Eschscholzia, pull out the entire plant, including roots, before it gets a chance to seed.


The Eschscholzia genus, commonly known as California Poppy, includes about 12 species of flowering plants native to the western United States. These annuals or perennials produce bright, cup-shaped flowers from spring to fall, typically in shades of orange or yellow.

Eschscholzia plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds, which should be sown in the fall or early spring. With their drought tolerance and vibrant colors, they are excellent for meadow gardens, rock gardens, or borders, and can also self-seed to create colorful drifts.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Eschscholzia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Papaveraceae growing guides: How to grow Poppies and Glaucium plants.