Thompson & Morgan

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Meconopsis baileyi 'Alba'

Himalayan Poppy, Tibetan Poppy, Meconopsis betonicifolia

Hardy Perennial

  • Rare white Himalayan poppy
Rarely seen, this stunning white form of the Himalayan blue poppy is a real eye-catcher in late spring and early summer. Pure white, silky petals surround golden yellow stamens to form clear, single blooms up to 10cm (4") across. Forming a basal rosette of hairy leaves, Meconopsis baileyi 'Alba' thrives in cool, moist, shady borders and woodland gardens, making a stunning feature when planted en masse. This captivating short-lived perennial is 99% true to type; very occasionally the odd blue flower may appear. Height: 90cm (35"). Spread: 50cm (20").

Ideal For:
cottage gardens, wildlife gardens, woodland garden
Flowering Period:
May, June, July
Sowing Months:
February, March, April, May, June, September, October
sun or semi shade, dappled shade
    • 1 packet (30 meconopsis seeds)

    • Despatch: Despatch within 24 hours
    • £3.29

Sow Meconopsis seeds from February to June on the surface of free-draining, loam-based compost such as John Innes No.1, and cover with a fine sprinkling of vermiculite. Place pots or trays outdoors in a cold frame or seal the container inside a polythene bag and place in the refrigerator (not freezer) for five weeks. Keep the compost moist and protect outdoor sowings from heavy rain but not frost, which is often beneficial to germination. After five weeks or when seedlings start to germinate, move containers to a warm position under cover, at 10-15C (50-59F). Germination can be erratic and may take 1-3 months.

When seedlings have two true leaves, transplant them into 7.5cm (3") pots or module trays. Grow on in cool, well lit conditions and keep Meconopsis plants shaded from strong sunlight. When plants are well grown, gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions for 7-10 days before planting outdoors. Plant Himalayan poppies at a distance of 45cm (18") apart in a sheltered spot in semi or dappled shade – a cool, moist woodland situation is ideal, but the Himalayan poppy will also thrive in a moist, shaded border. Meconopsis baileyi prefers a rich, moist, neutral to acid, well drained soil that remains moist throughout summer, but does not sit wet in winter.

Meconopsis poppies particularly dislike dry soils and excessive heat. Water regularly during hot, dry periods to prevent the soil from drying out. In spring, apply a mulch of chipped bark, leaf mould or other organic matter around the crown of the plant. Deadhead faded white Meconopsis flowers to encourage more blooms to be produced.
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