Delphinium Elatum (Larkspur) – Showstopping Color For the Spring Garden

delphinium

Delphinium elatum – so beautiful you’ll want every variety available

Delphiniums are not only the most magnificent of the summer blooming perennials but one of the hardiest. Delphiniums also thrive in the cooler temperature of western mountain gardens. When we think of Delphinium we often visualize the paintings of Thomas Kinkade for Delphiniums appear as focal points in every painting of his cottage gardens.

Delphiniums stand tall and elegant on spikes. Their main problem is the stems are hollow and when the stunning huge blooms open a wind can easily snap them. Single stakes of bamboo wrapped against their stem with stretchy hospital tape will help to keep them upright. I’ve found that the Delephiniums that get snapped off in a wind are prone to not returning the next year.

Delephiniums are heavy feeders, preferring a rich, organic soil. A ranger told me that when an outhouse is moved in Yellowstone, the first wildflowers to repopulate are the delphiniums or Larkspurs. To keep them beautiful, fertilize Delphiniums with an all-purpose feeder every month while they are blooming and water them deeply and infrequently.

After blooming, cut the spent Delephinium flower stems right below the lowest flower. Leave the palm-shaped foliage as plant food for smaller Delphinium spikes later in the summer or fall.

Delphiniums are poison to deer but the pollinators adore the open blossom that invites them in. In fact the center of each Delphinium flower is called a bee.
The blue glorious spikes of Delphiniums are the most spectacular flowers in the summer garden. More colors like, pink, whites and purples are available but the coloring of blue Delphiniums cannot be beat.

 

delphinium or larkspur flowers - blue
Tall spikes of blue flowers make this a showstopping addition to any spring garden

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