The Meconopsis betonicifolia is a valuable and particular perennial herbaceous garden plant, originating in Alaska, Scotland and the Himalayas. Because of its origin it is also known as the Himalayan blue poppy.
It looks like a small rosette of long light green leaves, covered with a light down, which can reach 100-120 cm in height; in spring it produces spectacular flowers with 4-5 petals, silky, of a beautiful sky blue color, more rarely yellow or red, with a yellow or white center and long and brightly colored pistils. To prolong the flowering of this perennial plant it is advisable to remove the withered flowers; some varieties are monocarpic, so they die after the first flowering, to ensure that these also resist as perennials, it is convenient to cut the stems in the first year of life of the plant, to prevent it from blooming.
The plants of Meconopsis betonicifolia need to be watered with abundant amounts of water during the growing season, which lasts from March to October; It is therefore advisable to water them often, checking that the soil maintains a correct degree of humidity without permitting, however, the formation of water stagnations which are harmful to the health of the specimens of blue poppy Himalayas. In autumn it is advisable to reduce the watering progressively, until it is almost completely suspended in winter.It is good to supply fertilizer for flowering plants dissolved in the water of the watering 2-3 times in the vegetative period to ensure the correct supply of nutrients to this particular variety.Ground
Specimens of this type love loose and fresh soils, possibly with an acid pH; It is important that the cultivation land of the meconopsis is very well drained so that it cannot allow the formation of water stagnations that are dangerous for the health of these plants.
They are usually planted in a compost rich in humus and peat placed among the rocks of the rock gardens.
The multiplication of these plants occurs by seed in autumn; for better germination, the seedbed must be kept in a cool, damp and sheltered place, until spring. The new plants are planted as soon as the risk of frost has passed and the external temperatures are more pleasant.
They can also be sown in spring, making sure that the seedbed is kept at low temperatures, since high temperatures drastically reduce the germination capacity of the seeds.
Himalaya blue poppy - Meconopsis betonicifolia: Pests and diseases
pay close attention to thrips, snails and oziorrinco which are greedy of the leaves and roots of meconopsis. Before the vegetative restart it is good to intervene with a broad-spectrum insecticide treatment that allows the plants to have the right protection from the attack of pests and diseases that seriously undermine their health.