How to Care for Icelandic Poppies

Icelandic Poppies (Papaver) are known for their tissue paper like petals in a variety of different colours. Despite their uniqueness and beauty, they can be quite tricky to care for and hold some challenges on taking time to open or wilting too quickly once cut. The most popular way to condition the stems is by cauterizing the ends of the stems. This method is quick and effective and creates a seal that locks in the moisture and extends the shelf life of the flower. Reasons for cauterizing the stems include:


  • Seals in Sap: Poppies, when cut, exude a milky sap from their stems. This sap can cause stems to lose moisutre rapidly, leading to wilting quickly. Cauterizing the stems creates a seal to retain the moisture and prolong the shelf life
  • Prevents Bacterial Growth: The sap can serve as a breeding group for bacteria in the water. Sealing the stems keeps the water cleaner and reduces bacterial growth. 
  • Enhances the water uptake: By sealing the stem and preventing loss of sap, the flower is able to take more water up. Improves hydration and keeps your poppies looking healthy for longer!


Refer to our Instagram video for visual reference on how to care for your poppies. 

Caring steps:

  1. Cut the end of each poppy (always at a 45-degree angle for optimal water-uptake) with sharp scissors or a florist knife
  2. Burn the end of the stem, at least 1 inch of the cut stem for around 30 seconds to a minute with a candle
  3. Place the stem immediately in a water filled vase or bucket