With its particular appearance and unusual hues, Meconopsis betonicifolia, better known as the Blue Poppy, is a plant native to the mountainous regions of Asia, Alaska and Scotland, characterized by the unmistakable blue or blue petals reminiscent of common red poppy. This less common plant reaches, on average, the height of 1-1.2 m with a single stem from which the leaves develop in the basal part and the flowers in the apical one. The foliage is contained and grows along the stem, the fabrics have a green color to the touch it is possible to perceive the fine hair that covers them. Being a perennial plant, the Blue Poppy can survive the harsh winter temperatures and live a few years before disappearing. Every spring, from the top of the stem, many flowers bloom, which have about 4-5 petals each of an intense blue color. In some cases they may also have yellow or red tones.
Coming from cold areas, the Blue Poppy has a rather complicated cultivation method as it is a complicated plant in all its phases, from growth to flowering. One problem that must be avoided so that it does not die is exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Since it lives in areas where the climate is not mild as far as temperatures are concerned, it is better to opt for a place in a shady place, otherwise there is a risk that the plant will lose its flowers or even lose vitality until desiccation. The irrigation of the Blue Poppy must be constant from spring until autumn because it is a water-loving plant and water scarcity is poorly tolerated. Keeping the soil always moist but not soaked you can get excellent results in the growth of the plant. If desired, in the same period it is possible to mix with water to water a liquid fertilizer to be administered until October. Finally, this plant can be grown on a light soil, rich in humus, with an acidic and never dry pH.
Diseases and cures
Generally, the Blue Poppy does not suffer from particular adversities or pathologies, however there are some rather dangerous insects that can weaken the plant by eating the leaves and roots until it is brought to its death. In particular, the thrips, the oziorrinco and the snails are greedy of this flower so much that they come to totally clean the plants from the tissues. To avoid this, you must immediately intervene with different insecticides to ensure sufficient protection to keep pests away.
With the blue Poppy plants sown in the spring, it is preferable to prevent them from flowering at least in the first year by severing the stem at the base. This operation is used to prepare the buds of the following year, larger and in greater numbers. It would seem that this species was imported from the state of Nepal at the end of the nineteenth century in Italy where however the warm climate did not favor its diffusion except in the cooler areas, like the alpine ones, where there are more possibilities to grow this poppy. Blue poppies can be found up to almost 1700 m above sea level, a height that prevents the growth of many other plants.