How to Dry Oriental Poppy Seeds

Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are not only for their vibrant blossoms but also for the seeds they produce. Harvesting and drying these seeds is a rewarding process that allows you to enjoy the beauty of poppies beyond their flowering season. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of drying Oriental poppy seeds, ensuring you preserve their quality for future use. For more information click on this link

How to store poppy seeds for planting

To store poppy seeds for planting, ensure they are completely dry before placing them in airtight containers like glass jars or sealed plastic bags. Store the containers in a cool, dark, and dry location to maintain seed viability. Labeling with the poppy variety and harvest date helps track freshness. Proper storage preserves the seeds’ dormancy until the next planting season, ensuring successful germination and the vibrant growth of poppies in your garden.We will also provide you information about the high demand for unwashed poppy seeds

Harvesting poppy seeds for baking

When harvesting poppy seeds for baking, wait until the poppy pods have turned brown and the small openings at the top reveal mature seeds. Using scissors or pruning shears, cut the pods, leaving a short stem attached. Place the harvested pods in a paper bag or envelope, allowing them to naturally dry for about two weeks. Shake or tap the pods to release the seeds, then collect and clean them using a fine mesh sieve. Store the cleaned poppy seeds in airtight containers, ready to add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to your favorite baked goo

Materials Needed:

  1. Mature Oriental poppy pods
  2. Pruning shears or scissors
  3. Paper bags or envelopes
  4. Fine mesh sieve
  5. Small bowls or containers
  6. A well-ventilated, dry, and dark space

Step 1: Choose the Right Time to Harvest Wait until the Oriental poppy pods have fully ripened. The best time to harvest is when the pods have turned brown and the small holes at the top of the pod have opened, revealing the seeds inside. This usually occurs in late summer or early fall.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials Collect the necessary materials listed above. Ensure that your chosen containers are clean and dry to prevent any contamination.

Step 3: Harvesting the Pods Use pruning shears or scissors to cut the poppy pods from the plant, leaving a short stem attached. Harvest the pods in the morning when the weather is dry to reduce the risk of mold formation.

Step 4: Allow the Pods to Dry Naturally Place the harvested poppy pods in a paper bag or envelope, making sure not to overcrowd them. This allows the pods to continue drying naturally and prevents the seeds from scattering. Leave the bags in a well-ventilated, dry, and dark space for about two weeks.

Step 5: Extracting the Seeds After two weeks, gently shake the pods to release the dried seeds. You can also tap the pods on a hard surface to encourage the seeds to fall out. Open the pods and collect the seeds in small bowls or containers.

Step 6: Cleaning the Seeds To remove any remaining plant material, debris, or dust, use a fine mesh sieve to sift through the collected seeds. This step helps ensure that you have clean and pure Oriental poppy seeds.

Step 7: Final Drying Spread the cleaned seeds in a thin layer on a flat surface or tray. Allow them to air-dry for an additional week, ensuring there is good air circulation. Stir the seeds occasionally to promote even drying.

Step 8: Storage Once the Oriental poppy seeds are thoroughly dry, transfer them to airtight containers, such as glass jars or sealed plastic bags. Store the containers in a cool, dark place to maintain the seeds’ freshness.


Drying Oriental poppy seeds is a straightforward process that allows you to enjoy the beauty of these flowers long after their blooming season. By following these steps, you can successfully harvest, dry, and store Oriental poppy seeds, ensuring a supply for various purposes, including culinary and gardening endeavors.

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