Select an area with full sun or partial shade. Generally, poppies grow best when they receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. However, if you live in a hot climate, select a spot where the poppies will be protected during the intense heat of the afternoon. Soil with excellent water drainage is crucial, as poppies will rot in waterlogged soil. Only water when the soil feels dry to a finger’s depth. Typically, you only need to water the plants once every several days. Increase the amount of water per watering session in hot weather or if the poppies turn brown.