|Papaver orientalis "Manhattan"|
About a month ago, someone commented to me that they regretted that poppies can't be moved. Well....that's just poppycock!
Poppies can be moved, but only in one particular period. Most people have the tendency to want to move them in the spring, or in the fall, both of which is NOT when you want to do it. What you need to do is make a note in your gardening journal about moving them....and wait.
Poppies have a dormant period in the late summer....usually July or August. In September, or when the rains start again, they will throw new growth and gain the strength they need to put out that lovely, but short lived show.
See those "dead" leaves in the picture (right next to the stressed daylily and the iris?). Those "dead" leaves are the leaves and seed heads of the oriental poppy "Manhattan" you saw at the top of the page.
This is when you want to transplant them...and they are actually very forgiving if you do it when they are sleeping.
Poppies have a VERY long tap root, like a foot or so (think like a long, skinny carrot). You want to dig down and pop that tap root, replant so the crown (where the leaves come out) are at or just above soil level and water. In the fall, once again, they will throw leaves. If you break the tap root, not to worry. The piece you leave in the ground will create a new poppy plant, and the other piece you've freed from the ground and replanted will also grow.
Just resist the urge to move them when they are green....I brought these poppies from Connecticut to Ohio...so you see, they really can be moved! One oriental poppy I left behind, and haven't been able to find again is "Turkenlouis." If you like poppies, I also suggest this one...it is a red-orange, but the cool thing is, it has fringed petals. Lovely. I wish I had it again.