I Love This Plant: Water Poppy

I have really grown to appreciate aquatic plants.  While needing the most water of all, aquatic plants require the least water-ing.  The addition of a well-placed aquatic plant in a pond or fountain adds a touch of permanence and serenity to a gardenscape.  Water lilies are the undisputed divas of aquatic plants and I have tried several over the years but since my ponds and fountains tend to be on the smallish side, they do not fare well during the growing season and less so during the winter.  Aside from that, I like the addition of water together with a shady garden.  The sound of water is cooling and serene mixed with the deep green foliage of a woodland garden which is to my taste.  Water lilies are not fond of shade.  Blooming of their gorgeous flowers takes exposure nearer to the surface of Mercury than conditions found in my garden.  So when at my local aquatic garden center about two years ago, I was introduced to the lovely water poppy.  Water poppies are annual plants for me in zone 8 which means I don’t have to try to winter them over.  They are not fussy about the size of the fountain or pond.  They are floating plants so I don’t have to try to adjust an underwater dias for them to sit upon and best of all, their cheerful yellow blooms are gorgeous.  The flowers rise about 3″ above the carpet of oval deep green leaves and for me they bloom on and off throughout the summer.  When the plant gets a little ambitious for the space, I just scoop some out and keep going.   This picture is really from last year when I grew a water poppy successfully all summer in pot full of water in my shade garden.  I added a goldfish for mosquito control and both lived very happily under my canopy of trees.  Definitely a winner for me.

Happy Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

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