The last of the bunch – Meconopsis Grandis.

Having waited 2 yrs for this plant to flower, we were waiting with great anticipation when the flower bud was formed and started growing. Having seen the amazing blue of M. betonicifolia and “Lingholm” in other parts of the garden, we knew what to expect – or thought we did –

M grandis

it turned out purple !!!  Out came the books again and yes, it should be turquoise blue, but some are in shades of purple – not so great !


When I looked at it the next day it was still very purple.

M. grandis

However, the day after, there were definitely shades of blue coming from the centre.

M. with raindrops

One day later and looking more blue. You can see the raindrops on the downwards facing petals, this is why the flowers last much longer than other poppies which face upwards, the rain just runs off instead of shattering the flowers.

More blue

More blue coming, and you can even see the raindrops through the petals.


By now, a week later, it is the colour I hoped it would be.


There is now just a hint of purple left round the edge of the petals. It is just as lovely as the other varieties, I had no idea that the flowers would change colour like this – amazing.

Blue and purple

Do I have to wait another week for the new flowers to turn blue? I obviously planted it in the wrong place, I thought that the border by the front door was always in the shade, but have found that now the sun is higher in the sky, the poor plant is sitting in the mid day sun where it is  too hot for it, will move it in the autumn to a cooler spot and then hopefully it will be the correct colour next year. I think they look better anyway with trees and shrubs around them, not next to the house.

Sunlight through M.

When we bought this plant 2 yrs ago  in the Lake District – ( we always seem to come back from holiday with the back of the car full of plants )  we were advised to remove the flower stalk which was about 1 ft tall, to prevent it flowering in its 1st year. The thinking behind this is that the plant would then realise that it is a perennial and not an annual, and therefore not die in its 1st winter as meconopsis sometimes do.

Going blue

When my husband had finished looking at the book of maps, he then threw it onto the back seat and accidentally decapitated the meconopsis which was behind my seat!! Without realising it, he had done the right thing – would I have cut all the flower buds off – I don’t honestly know. This is why we have had to wait so long for it to flower, last year there was no flower stalk, but it made 3 smaller plants at the base. I will have to wait and see if this is how it increases or if it will set seed – gardening certainly teaches us patience doesn’t it ?!

This entry was posted in News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The last of the bunch – Meconopsis Grandis.

  1. Beautiful. I have to admit, I really like that purple colour, but I also love the blue, so in my view, you get two for one 🙂
    BTW, thank you for your advice on how to grow Meconopsis from seed. I have, therefore, let one of my two plants flower in its first year, and am enjoying it tremendously, but shall be tough and decapitate the other one. I think!!

    • Pauline says:

      Helen, so glad to have been some help, re seeds etc. Enjoy your flower while you have it, just think of all the seedlings to come ! Seems cruel to decapitate the other but it should come through the winter and make new ones at the base next year, so yes, off with its head !! Hope all this works for you.

  2. Jean Hooper says:

    What a wonderful success story. Congratulations Pauline. The Meconopsis are just amazing, the variations of blues a joy to the eye, and a real thrill to behold.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Jean, it’s been really interesting watching all the various stages of development, and the colour blue is just electrifying. Hope this years seeds will be just as successful !

  3. Liz says:


    I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who when I go away, often come back with plants… Every year when we go to Norfolk I always come home with some, the plants in Lincolnshire are so much cheaper than around here that I just *have* to fill my car up with them and actually it’s almost worth the petrol money to drive down there instead of paying higher prices around here.

    Thanks for the tip on the mecanopsis, I recently bought some and didn’t know to remove the stem… So once it gets that far I’ll do just that and hope it survives to bloom next year 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Nice to know there is someone else out there driving around with a car full of plants!
      About the meconopsis, I am still learning, but so far seem successful. My first plants of “Lingholm” and betonicifolia were allowed to flower, and of these only half survived through to the following year. The ones that survived had made smaller plants at the base, the ones that died hadn’t. I can’t bring myself to cut off the flowering stem, but when you grow plenty from seed you can afford to sacrifice a few! Hope this helps Liz.

  4. catmint says:

    that flower is divine, and I so enjoyed the way you photographed it and tracked its colour shifts.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Catmint, although I planted it in the wrong place, it has been beautiful and now the baby plants round the base are flowering I will be able to enjoy them for a while yet.

  5. Julian says:

    Fabtastic Grandis pics and great story. This year me and my lunchtime buddies all tried to grow M Grandis and Betonicifolia from seed in a ‘competition’ to see who could grow the best plants. I now have 14 little beauties in 3 1/2 inch pots but am striggling to know what to do next with them. If I plant under my Japanese Cherry will they survive a UK winter like last year or is it bet to pot them on and keep them in pots?
    Any advice appreciated – cant wait for next years flowers!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for your comments, Julian, I usually plant my small plants out in a nursery bed, to grow on over the winter. The following spring they get planted in their final place ready for flowering. Hope this helps, I think the roots might get frosted if they are in a pot, but can’t say for sure, never having kept any in pots over the winter.

Comments are closed.