Dried poppy pods are the bulb like container that holds the poppy seeds. The opium poppy flowers about 8-12 weeks after it germinates. After flowering the petals fall off the opium poppy. The petals fall off 2-14 days after flowering. This is when the poppy pod forms. Plants can have 3-5 flower heads which makes 3-5 poppy pods per plant. Each pod contains hundreds of seeds. These seeds can be used to make poppy seed tea or they can be used to plant next years crop. The poppy pod or seed capsule is ready to harvest 2-3 weeks after the petals fall off. The total elapsed time from germination to harvest is 120-140 days.
It is relatively easy to grow opium poppies. They are a hardy plant that is fairly resistant to insects and mold. They can be grown in almost any climate. The opium poppy itself is a beautiful plant which the reason the poppy pods are often used in flower arrangements. The poppy pods you get in a hobby store are likely coated with a lacquer and are of course not suitable for any purpose other than flower arranging.