Delphinium: cultivation, care, and propagation

delphinium cultivation care and propagation Blog

Delphinium is also called larkspur or spur (the flower has a process that looks like a spur). It got its name due to its resemblance to the head of a dolphin. This flower is popular with gardeners, is a real decoration of summer cottages

Most often, these are perennial delphiniums, since it is not so easy to grow an annual crop from seeds: the plant is too capricious. The rules for growing, planting delphinium seeds at different times, including autumn, will be discussed below.


There are two types of delphiniums – annuals and perennials. They are distinguished by the height and size of the inflorescences. So annual delphiniums grow no higher than a meter, and their candles are shorter.


Perennial plants are called larkspur. They can safely develop in one place for no more than five years. Then you have to think about reproduction.

Delphiniums feel good on neutral soil, not lovers of dampness. But when the soil dries out, flowering stops. Penumbra is not an obstacle to choosing a place.

Mature plants are less whimsical, because they have a well-developed root system. But when growing seedlings, there are many difficulties. The plant portrait looks great:

  • the height of delphiniums reaches two meters;
  • inflorescences look like candles;
  • the color palette is diverse, it is almost impossible to list them, because today there are about 800 different shades.

Delphinium, grown from seeds through seedlings, forms inflorescences after a few months. When creating favorable conditions, a fastidious handsome man will bloom violently and for a long time.

plant varieties

There are several varieties of perennial delphinium, photos of these amazing plants in the garden are presented in the article. The names of the species directly depend on the place of creation:

  • Scottish;
  • Марфинский;
  • New Zealand;
  • Elatum;
  • Belladonna;
  • Pacific.

And now about each type in more detail:

  • New Zealand. Russian gardeners prefer New Zealand varieties, but the cost of seeds is very high. Although, with successful cultivation, delphiniums are obtained with beautiful large flowers. Terry inflorescences of the most diverse coloring. New Zealanders are real giants, their height is more than two meters.Delphinium: cultivation, care, reproduction
  • Marfin hybrids. They have semi-double inflorescences. The stems are strong, up to 2 meters. These delphiniums, bred by Russian breeders, also delight with their multicolor.Delphinium marfin hybrids
  • Elatum. A distinctive feature of this species is the inflorescences of all shades of blue and purple.delphinium elatum
  • Belladonna. The hybrid is easily distinguished by the hanging tips of the inflorescences, which gives the delphiniums a special effect.Delphinium belladonna
  • Scottish. The flowers are densely doubled, each of them has about a hundred petals. Candles are dense, the color palette is diverse.Delphinium scottish
  • Pacific. Hybrid delphiniums growing up to two meters. Inflorescences-candles consist of semi-double flowers.Delphinium Pacific

Each of the species is represented by varieties with different colors.

Sowing delphinium seeds

delphinium seeds

Growing a perennial or annual delphinium from seeds at home is possible, but you have to work hard. Not always store-bought or self-collected seed germinates. The reason is improper collection and storage.

Rules for the selection and storage of seeds

If you decide to grow delphiniums on your site, you need to choose the right seeds. In no case should you purchase seed from random sellers, although they have a lower cost. It is better to buy delphinium seeds in specialized stores. There are rules for storing seed.

The fact is that delphinium seeds are finicky, like the plantings themselves. Shelf life in a warm room is not more than 11 months. According to the rules, the seeds of the plant must be collected in the year of ripening and removed (if autumn sowing is not provided) in the freezer. Scientists have found that seeds stored in harsh conditions do not lose their germination capacity up to 15 years.

If you yourself have collected the seeds, then they are dried, folded into a paper bag and put in the freezer.

Sowing dates

Both perennial and annual delphiniums can be propagated by sowing seeds. But only perennials are often grown through seedlings, and annuals only by sowing in the ground in spring or autumn. As a rule, plants grown from seedlings bloom in the first year of life. Seeds are sown at different times, depending on the region of residence:

  • in the southern regions – in February;
  • in the middle lane – in the second half of March;
  • in the Urals and Siberia – in the last days of March.

Of course, early sowing of seeds is possible not only in the south. If the gardener has phyto lamps in his arsenal, then you can start growing seedlings early.

Cooking seeds

In order for the delphinium seeds to give friendly shoots, they are processed before sowing to protect against possible diseases:

  1. A pink solution of potassium permanganate is diluted and the seeds are dipped into it in a gauze bag for a third of an hour. You can use special fungicides for dressing, such as Maxim, Fitosporin M. Add 1.5 grams of the drug to a liter jar of water. Seeds should lie for an hour or two.
  2. At the end of the dressing, the seeds in the bag are washed in clean water.
  3. At the last stage of disinfection and awakening, the seed is soaked in Epin’s solution for 10 hours. According to the instructions, 4 drops of the drug are dissolved in 100 ml of water.
  4. Pour the seeds on a dry napkin and dry to flow.

Choice of containers and soil

Experienced gardeners do not recommend sowing seeds immediately in separate containers. The fact is that small roots are not able to master the entire space of the pot, as a result, the soil turns sour. And this is a comfortable environment for the development of fungal diseases, including the black leg dangerous for the delphinium.

Container selection

The best option is shallow plastic containers in which you can place several seeds of different varieties. Drainage holes must be punched in the bottoms.

If previously used containers are used, they are washed with hot water and laundry soap or a solution of boric acid.

Soil preparation

When growing a delphinium through seedlings, you need to select a nutrient substrate. You can use ready-made soils for flowers or make a soil mixture with your own hands.

The soil in this case should consist of the following components:

  • peat – 1 part;
  • garden soil – 2 parts;
  • humus or compost – 1 part;
  • washed river sand – ½ part.

After mixing the components, the soil is sieved. If possible, add perlite to the composition to improve the structure of the soil. No matter what soil composition you use, it must be disinfected.

There are different ways:

  1. Steam in a water bath or in a double boiler for at least an hour.
  2. In the microwave for 5 minutes.
  3. Spill with boiling water, adding a few crystals of potassium permanganate to it.
  4. At the end of the procedure, you can water the soil with Fitosporin or Fitolavin in accordance with the instructions.

Features of growing seedlings

And now about growing delphinium and detailed instructions for sowing seeds:

  1. Wet soil is poured into the container , leveled and slightly compacted. Seeds are laid out on the surface without deepening.
  2. Sprinkle with a thin layer of earth or vermiculite, cover with film or glass
  3. You need to germinate the seeds in a dark room. You can even put it in the refrigerator on a shelf for vegetables.

Placing containers in the refrigerator is the stratification of seeds. You can awaken the seed by scarification by rolling the seeds over fine sandpaper.

  1. Seedlings appear in two weeks. In order not to miss this moment, the containers begin to be checked after a week. When the first green dots appear, the containers are removed from the refrigerator and placed on the brightest window.

After sowing seeds for seedlings after germination, you need to take care of further care:

  1. If the lighting is insufficient, you will have to connect the lamps. Seedlings need 12 hours of daylight.
  2. In addition to lighting, the delphinium needs a temperature of at least 18-20 degrees for successful development. Lower or higher temperatures will adversely affect development.
  3. It is necessary to water moderately, with warm water, preventing the soil from drying out.

Picking and seedling care

Seedlings need to be transplanted in the phase of 2 leaves. Plants are watered to make it safer to extract sprouts from the ground. The soil is taken of the same composition as when sowing seeds. You can add a complex mineral fertilizer: one tablespoon is enough for 5 liters of soil.

Seedlings must be taken out carefully so that a clod of earth remains on the roots. Dive seedlings into well-watered soil. Deepen the delphinium to the root neck and compress the earth around it.

Further care is to create comfortable conditions:

  • lighting up to 14 hours;
  • temperature regime – 18-20 degrees;
  • watering, and after transplantation, the plants sing only after a week;
  • top dressing.

Video: how to dive delphinium

Let’s take a closer look at feeding. As a rule, seedlings before planting in a permanent place, you need to feed twice. You can use Agricol, Mortar, Gumastar and Fertika Lux. Water with solutions under the root, trying not to wet the leaves. If the solution gets on them, be sure to wash it off with clean water.

Autumn sowing of seeds

It is not necessary to grow seedlings. Sowing seeds in the garden in the fall is a great option. Firstly, the collected seeds do not have to be stored and messed with seedlings. Secondly, fresh seeds have 100% germination. Thirdly, the seed goes through natural stratification , which also increases the percentage of germination.

Seeds are scattered on the surface of the prepared area, sprinkled with earth and tamped down. In order not to lose the place of sowing, it is necessary to mark it, for example, with pegs. Seedlings will appear in early spring. Such plantings of perennial delphinium, as a rule, bloom only in the second year.

Outdoor cultivation

Choice of landing site

Before planting seedlings in a permanent place, you need to think about where to plant the delphinium:

  1. It is best to stay on a site where the sun is rampant only until lunchtime.
  2. The bed should be protected from the wind, so it is preferable to make a flower bed along the fence or wall of the building.
  3. The place is chosen on a hill so that there is no stagnation of water. This can lead to decay of the root system.
  4. Before planting, organic matter is added to the ridge. You can use humus, peat. Sand is required.
  5. Water the planting site with boiling water with the addition of potassium permanganate to prevent plant disease with a black leg.

Landing features

Delphinium seedlings can be planted in holes or trenches in increments of up to 30 cm into moist soil. Plants are buried to the root neck and lightly press the soil. Plantings are watered abundantly and mulched to retain moisture.

If we talk about the timing of planting seedlings, then this is the end of May or the beginning of June. In any case, you need to focus on the characteristics of the climate of the region. The main thing is that the threat of a return of frost has passed.

Further care

After planting the delphinium with seedlings or seeds, further care of the plants in the garden consists in performing traditional work:

  • weeding and loosening ;
  • watering and feeding.

If there are no problems with some types of care, then how to fertilize delphiniums should be said separately.

With this type of work you need to be careful. If the plants were planted in fertile soil, then they will not need top dressing in the first year. After all, overfed plants will grow green mass, and flower stalks will either not be thrown away at all, or they will be small.

The spurr himself will signal the need for top dressing. This moment is noticeable by yellowing leaves or slow plant growth. You can fertilize delphiniums no more than three times per season.

Useful tips for growing and caring for delphiniums in the garden:

  • The first top dressing is carried out with a complete mineral fertilizer at a shoot height of 12-15 cm.
  • The second time during budding. It is advisable not to use nitrogen-containing top dressing. The best friend of a plant is a fertilizer with potassium and phosphorus.
  • The third feeding after flowering with phosphorus-potassium fertilizer to enable the renewal buds to begin.
  • Each top dressing is accompanied by abundant watering with clean water.
  • To get large flower stalks, it is necessary to cut out weak shoots when they rise to a height of 30 cm. No more than 5-6 stems are left in the bush.
  • Since the shoots of delphiniums are very high, a garter is indispensable. The first time they are tied to a support at a height of 45 cm, then again, when the shoots grow to 110 cm. The correct fixation is a figure eight, that is, each stem is fixed for two supports.
  • When flowering stops, perennial delphiniums are cut almost to the ground level. This will give them the opportunity to prepare for the winter. Since perennial delphiniums are frost-resistant, they do not require special shelter. Just sprinkle the roots with a layer of soil, and throw something on top so that the earth is not blown away by the wind.

After wintering

After wintering, plants of the second year of life and older ones are fed with mullein or fertilizer without nitrogen. Fertilize the plants twice more during the growing season. Immediately delphiniums are watered abundantly. It is necessary to moisten the earth in 6-7 days.

The next procedure is thinning. Young bushes should contain no more than 2-3 stems, and old bushes from 5 to 6 shoots. This procedure works not only for abundant flowering, but also saves plants from powdery mildew due to good air circulation.

If there are roots on the broken shoots, then they are used as cuttings for propagation. You can also increase the number of delphiniums by dividing the root.

The most interesting thing is that after cutting the peduncles and top dressing, perennial delphiniums will please with repeated flowering. Of course, the inflorescences will be smaller and not so bright, but they also look impressive.

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