Planting and caring for a perennial delphinium in the garden

Planting and caring for a perennial delphinium in the garden

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Delphinium is a herbaceous plant of the buttercup family. There are more than 400 species, among which there are annuals and perennials. The latter are distinguished by a more powerful root structure, endurance, and unpretentiousness. The plant is also known under other names: larkspur, larkspur, sokiriki, hare ears.

Features of growing a perennial delphinium

Delphinium is a perennial native of the Caucasus and Asia Minor. Depending on the species, it grows in height from 40 cm to 2 m. On garden plots it is a decoration of the landscape, some varieties are grown for the purpose of obtaining medicinal products. The plant is distinguished by a variety of types of flowers, from simple to double. The color palette is also wide.

For cultivation, areas protected from the wind are favorable. In all species of this plant, the weakest point is the lower part of the stem at the root. Flowers can break from strong gusts of wind.

Delphinium is widely used in landscape design

Delphinium grows well on any soil, but prefers breathable ones. If there is clay soil on the site, it will have to be loosened regularly. The plant does not tolerate excess moisture, so it is watered regularly, but in moderation. During the budding period, the amount of water is slightly increased. At the same time, potash or phosphorus fertilizers are applied.

There is one peculiarity in the cultivation of a delphinium: if it is in the same place for more than 4 years, the risk of damage to the plant by various diseases increases. For this reason, it is recommended to replant flowers every 4–5 years. But many gardeners ignore these tips and have successfully grown them in one place for decades.

What climate is this plant suitable for?

Perennial delphinium has good winter hardiness, is able to withstand frosts down to -40 ° C. Recommended for cultivation in the southern and northern regions. Re-flowering is possible for all varieties. To do this, you need to cut the peduncles after completing the first. In central Russia, the first flowering period lasts from mid-June to early August, and the second is possible in the fall.

When grown in regions with a harsh climate, one must most of all be afraid not of frost and freezing of the soil, but of thaws. The fact is that the root system of this plant is located close to the surface of the earth. During the period when puddles and thawed patches appear, it can melt away. For this reason, in the Far Eastern and northern regions, it is better to plant delphinium on higher elevations.

Delphiniums feel good in different regions of the country

Despite the fact that the Ural region is considered a zone of risky farming, delphiniums grow beautifully here and bloom twice a year. But they feel best in the south. In these conditions, it is most important to choose a place for planting the plant. It can wither away from the scorching rays of the sun, so you need an area that is in the shade during the hottest part of the day.

Popular varieties with photos

In Russia, hybrids based on Delphinium elatum and Delphinium grandiflorum are mainly grown. All of them are unpretentious and reproduce well by seeds. The trade network contains numerous varieties of delphiniums of various colors. The most beautiful plants are with large double flowers.

The varieties are distributed according to the height of the peduncles, their color, shape and size of flowers. In this regard, a distinction is made between:

  • tall hybrids - 170–250 cm (more than 200 varieties);
  • medium - 130-170 cm;
  • dwarf - up to 130 cm.

The most beautiful are Pacific hybrids, which include several dozen varieties. These plants are distinguished by their high (from 180 cm) growth, chic pyramidal inflorescences, large flowers. In this group of plants, several are distinguished, named after the knights of Camelot.

Another large group is the Mafin hybrids. They were bred by a breeder living in the village of Mafino near Moscow. Popular delphinium varieties with photos during the flowering period:

  • Black Knight (Black Knight). A plant with large double and semi-double flowers of deep purple color. It blooms for a long time and profusely, prefers places well lit by the sun and fertile soils.

Black Knight blooms for a long time

  • Double Innocence (New Zealand delphinium). A spectacular, beautiful flower with an erect stem reaching a height of 130 cm. During the flowering period it is densely covered with white double flowers up to 4 cm in diameter. Sufficiently winter-hardy: it can withstand frosts down to -35 ° C.

New Zealand delphinium flower has 21 petals

  • Atlantis. One of the most reliable and unpretentious varieties. It impresses with its large, bright blue flowers. Medium-sized, up to 1 m high, inflorescences are long, pyramidal. Leaves of a bright juicy green color.

The unpretentious delphinium Atlantis with a blue inflorescence is one of the reliable varieties

  • King Arthur. A medium-sized plant, reaching a height of 150 cm. The flowers are blue with a white center. Winter-hardy, unpretentious, prefers well-drained, loose soils.

Medium-sized delphinium King Arthur is unpretentious and easily tolerates frosts

  • Belladonna (Delphinium belladonna). The only cultivar with flowers hanging from the peduncle. It is as unpretentious and effective as all other types of this plant.

Belladonna variety stands out among the rest with hanging flowers

Planting and breeding methods

There are three ways how to sow perennial delphinium for seedlings:

  • seeds;
  • cuttings;
  • dividing the bush.

All of them are quite productive and have long been used in horticultural practice.

Growing a perennial delphinium from seeds

The most troublesome of the three breeding methods is by seed. In order to get delphinium seedlings by the beginning of the warm season, cultivation from seeds is carried out from late February to early March. The method is good in that it can be used to grow any variety of delphinium, the seeds of which are commercially available or from breeders.

Seedlings for delphinium seedlings are planted in late February - early March

There are two ways of planting:

  • for seedlings at home;
  • into open ground.

The soil should be light, slightly acidic, loose. It must be disinfected without fail. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Bake for a few minutes in the microwave at maximum power;
  2. Drizzle with a solution of fungicide or potassium permanganate.
  3. The seeds are stored in a cool place until planting. They are placed in the ground with a damp toothpick, at a distance of 15–20 mm from each other.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with soil and spray with water from a garden spray. Seedlings appear 10-12 days after planting.
  5. When the sprouts reach a height of 3-4 cm, a dive is performed. The same is done if seeds are planted in open ground.

Attention! There is a peculiarity in seed reproduction: if they are sown in open ground before winter, hybrids may not repeat the characteristics of the mother plants. This is due to the fact that the alternation of freezing-thawing periods provokes changes in the cells of an artificially bred plant.

Propagation by cuttings

A stalk of a delphinium is obtained in the following way:

  1. at the beginning of the growing season, when the shoots of the plant grow by 10–12 cm, part of the root is exposed;
  2. cut the shoot with a sharp knife so as to capture the root system.
  3. The resulting cutting is planted in a shaded place to a depth of 2-3 cm, watered and covered with a film. After 15–20 days, the flower will take root. Then it can be planted in a permanent place of growth.

Before planting in a permanent place, the stalk of the delphinium must be rooted

Dividing the bush

The simplest and most effective way to reproduce a perennial delphinium is to divide the bush. The process consists of several stages:

  1. dig up the plant;
  2. gently clean the roots from the ground;
  3. cut with a sharp knife into parts, each of which must have a shoot or bud;
  4. planted in the ground.

Care in the garden

Caring for a perennial delphinium is simple and consists in performing several actions.

  • The soil at the roots is periodically loosened.
  • In autumn, after the end of flowering and drying of the leaves, the stem is cut off with a pruner so that a stump 20–30 cm high remains above the surface of the soil. After that, it is sprinkled with earth on all sides, sprinkled.

If a lot of snow falls in the region, the cavity of the stem is covered with clay. This prevents moisture penetration to the root and its further decay.

Tall varieties need a garter. For this purpose, paper tapes are used, since the fishing line or twine can cut into the thin stems of the plant and injure them. To give more stability, two garters are made: the first at a height of 40-50 cm, the second - upon reaching a height of 100-120 cm.

In the spring, the emerging shoots are thinned out. Thus, they provide the plant with room for growth. If the variety is large-flowered, at least three shoots are left, for small-flowered ones it is necessary to leave 7-10.

Delphiniums respond well to feeding. It is held 3 times per season:

  1. organic matter is introduced in the middle of spring;
  2. after 30–40 days - mineral fertilizers (Kemira Universal);
  3. during the formation of buds, spray with a solution of superphosphate at the rate of 50 g per 1 liter.

Advice! In order to stimulate more lush flowering, plants are watered with a solution of boric acid several times.

For the prevention of diseases during the budding period, spraying with any available fungicide is carried out.

Possible growing problems

Perennial delphinium does not require much attention. When the above rules of care are followed, the plant develops well and blooms.

Growing a delphinium is not a hassle

But there is still one problem in growing this plant. It lies in the lack of good seed germination, which most gardeners complain about. In addition, there is often conflicting information in the seed manufacturer's instructions.

If there is no skill in growing a delphinium, you can follow the advice of experienced gardeners.

  1. The soil for germinating seeds is taken lean, ordinary garden. Mix it in equal parts with clean sand. It is important that there is no peat in the soil, which will provoke the development of mold.
  2. After the seeds are spread out on the ground, sprinkle them with a thin layer of sand. They are not buried in the soil.
  3. Prepare snow in the refrigerator and sprinkle it with a container with seeds. When it melts, moisture will carry the seeds to the desired depth. Cover the container with plastic wrap and keep it under such conditions for 2-3 days.
  4. Place the container on the lower shelf of the refrigerator until shoots appear. With the appearance of sprouts, they are transferred to a warm, well-lit place.

Delphinium can be grown without much hassle in any climatic zone of Russia. Subject to the rules of caring for these plants, they will delight with their flowering twice a year.

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Many centuries ago, when the mythical gods of Greece controlled every human act, a talented sculptor lived on earth. His girlfriend died tragically. To find consolation, he made a statue of her from stone, and then revived it. Such an act did not like the evil gods, and they turned the romantic into a dolphin. The girl cried bitterly on the seashore, hoping to see her lover. After a long time, a dolphin sailed to her and laid a pretty blue flower on her lap. It was named delphinium as a reminder of true love.

There is an opinion that the flower got its name due to the fact that, when unopened, it resembled a dolphin. Often he is known as larkspur or spur. An adjacent variant of the plant (annual, perennial) was combined into a group, the name of which is sokirki. Some gardeners believe that the flower is named after the Greek city of Delphi, where it grows in great numbers. Whichever story turns out to be true, it does not detract from the magnificence of the garden beauty.

Today, approximately 450 species of the stately flower are known. The habitat stretches from China to the tropics of the African continent. Unique photos of the delphinium help you to see the flower in all its pristine beauty.

The plant belongs to the Buttercup family. The bud has a fairly large size. Sometimes it can reach 2 meters. The inflorescences are located along the shoot and resemble a standing candle. There are the following shades:

  • sky blue
  • blue
  • purple
  • snow-white
  • lilac
  • red
  • pink.

Perennial and annual variants are grown, mainly from seeds. The most popular annual varieties have long been loved by connoisseurs of flora.

The plant was bred by combining two varieties of delphinium. The result is an original flower up to 100 cm high. Sitting leaf plates have a dense section. Inflorescences in the form of a huge spike grow approximately 30 cm and are found in a variety of shades.

Lovers of miniature plantings grow dwarf varieties that grow only 35 cm from the ground. Delicate double buds are painted in bright colors and bloom until the first frost.


The annual delphinium flower has been cultivated since 1572. It grows up to a height of 2 meters. The buds are simple and luxuriantly double. A shade of traditional character. Blooms in June. The last "lights" at the beginning of autumn.

Delphinium perennial

Scientists began to develop perennial varieties in the 19th century. As a result, a number of original species appeared:

  • "Barlow"
  • "Belladonna"

Today, gardeners grow various types of perennial delphinium. The main feature is the unique shades of the buds. There are about 800 variations of them. Inflorescences are of a simple character, double and semi-double. The diameter of the flowers is from 2 to 9 cm.

To create backyard beds, breeders offer flowers of different heights - undersized options, giants and medium-sized plants.

Depending on the area of ​​origin, the flowers of the perennial hybrid delphinium were divided into three main groups: Marfinsky, New Zealand and Scottish. Each of them has its own characteristics.

Marfinsky group of delphiniums

For example, the plants of the Marfin group are resistant to low temperatures. They are distinguished by their unique decorative effect. Large semi-double inflorescences are decorated with contrasting spots that resemble the human eye. These include the following varieties:

  • original "Pink Sunset"
  • gentle and mysterious "Morpheus" and incomparable "Blue lace"
  • refreshing Snow Lace.

It is almost impossible to grow flowers of the Marfin group from seeds. The main reason is that they do not preserve the varietal characteristics of the plant.

New Zealand delphinium group

Delphiniums, which belong to the New Zealand group, can grow up to two meters in height. They differ in double and semi-double buds. Some species have corrugated petals. Flowers are resistant to disease, not afraid of cold, perfectly preserved in cut. The most common species are valued all over the world:

  • "Sweethearts"
  • "Pagan Purples"
  • "Sunny Skies"
  • "Blue Lace"
  • Green Twist.

Their stately beauty never goes out of style. This is the beauty of flowering plants.

Scottish Delphinium Group

Scottish delphiniums attract with their original super double buds of various shades, which sometimes have about 60 petals. If the plant grows up to one and a half meters, then the inflorescence is 80 cm in total length. Perennial is unpretentious to weather conditions.

If you practice growing from seeds, the delphinium retains varietal parameters. The following popular types are known today:

  • "Sweet Sensation"
  • "Blueberry Pie"
  • "Deepest Pink"
  • Morning Sunrise.

Truly beautiful masterpieces of creation. But are there any secrets of growing a delphinium from seeds at home? Let's try to figure it out.

Delphinium perennial: growing from seeds

Unlike most garden flowers that can be easily propagated at home, growing a delphinium from seeds is not so easy.The main reason is ignorance of the basic rules and all the intricacies of growing this flower. Delphinium is grown mainly by seedlings.

Seed selection

When choosing delphinium seeds, be sure to pay attention to the collection time and shelf life of the seeds. But even if the seeds are fresh, keep in mind that you should not pull with their planting. The fact is that at normal room temperature they are able to maintain germination for no more than one year. Although, when stored at subzero temperatures, the germination period of delphinium seeds increases many times (up to 10-15 years), it is impossible to determine how long and at what temperature they were stored by a retailer. Before planting, place them in the refrigerator, this will somewhat extend their germination period.

Preparing seeds for planting

It is necessary to sow delphinium seeds to obtain seedlings at the end of winter. Preliminarily, it is desirable to stratify them by keeping them in the cold (refrigerator) from two weeks to a month.

First of all, the seeds will need to undergo a decontamination procedure. This will protect them from many possible troubles. To do this, place them in a solution of any fungicide or a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 20-30 minutes. For convenience, delphinium seeds can be placed in a bag of gauze or other cloth and immersed in the solution.

After disinfection, the delphinium seeds are washed under running water and immersed in a stimulant solution. It can be "Epin", "Heteroauxin", "Kornevin" and the like. The soaking time is usually indicated in the instructions for the preparation. For delphinium seeds, it is better to increase it to 24 hours.

After the expiration of the soaking period, the seeds should be dried. This will make the sowing process easier.

Sowing delphinium seeds for seedlings

It is better to prepare the land for sowing yourself. It should be light, loose and nutritious. To do this, mix in equal parts leafy soil, compost and peat. Add half of the coarse, washed sand and some perlite (about one-sixth).

The easiest way is to sow seeds directly on the surface of the ground, spreading them evenly. Then sprinkle with a thin layer of earth (3-5 mm).

Watering the seeds after sowing is best done by spraying from a spray bottle. This will ensure an even distribution of moisture and avoid washing out or burying the seeds.

To create greenhouse conditions, cover the container with a cap or film.

Note! It has been noticed that delphinium seeds germinate best in the dark and at a relatively low temperature, which is optimally + 10-15 degrees. To create such conditions, cover the container with any opaque material and place it on the windowsill close to the window glass.

During germination, periodically check the condition of the soil and, if necessary, moisten it. When shoots appear, remove the cap and move the container with delphinium seedlings to a warmer (up to +20 degrees) and lighted place, but without direct sunlight.

Delphinium seedling care

In the future, it will not differ from growing seedlings of most flowers and vegetables, and will mainly consist in periodic watering. When a couple of real leaves appear on the sprouts, you can start diving. To do this, you can use disposable 100-gram cups or small plastic pots with a diameter of 7-9 mm. The soil can be used the same as for sowing seeds. It is advisable to grow delphinium seedlings at the same 20-degree temperature.

It is important! Beware of over-watering, this often causes negative consequences (for example, the formation of a "black leg").

When it gets warm enough outside, the delphinium seedlings should be hardened, accustomed to open air conditions.

Main types and varieties with photos and names

There are delphiniums annuals and perennials. The most popular annuals are the Ajax delphinium and the field delphinium.

Field delphinium (Delphinium Consolida)

Such a flower is distinguished by the fact that it can reach a height of 2 meters. Inflorescences consist of double or simple flowers that can be colored white, blue, pink, and lilac. It has been grown since 1572. The most beautiful varieties are considered: Frosted sky - in its blue flowers, the central part is painted white, Qis rose - flowers are light pink, as well Qis dark blue - with dark blue flowers. Flowering begins in the first days of summer and continues until the onset of the autumn period.

Delphinium Ajax

Such a hybrid plant was created by crossing the Eastern delphinium and the Doubtful delphinium, and he received their best qualities from them. The height of the shoots varies from 40 to 100 centimeters. Heavily dissected leaf plates are practically sessile. The length of the spike-shaped inflorescences reaches 30 centimeters, the flowers can be painted in various colors: red, pink, white, purple, blue, and also blue. There are varieties with double flowers. There are dwarf varieties, for example, Dwarf Hyacinth-flowered - the bush reaches a height of 30 centimeters and has double flowers of pink, white, purple, and also raspberry color. This variety begins to bloom in July and continues until frost.

Perennials began to cultivate delphiniums in the 19th century. Breeders, crossing the first perennials tall delphinium (Delphinium Elatum) and large-flowered delphinium (Delphinium Grandiflora), received several first hybrid plants, namely: Barlow's delphinium (Delphinium Barlowii), beautiful delphinium (Delphinium Formosum) and Delphinium belladonna (Delphinium belladonna) Later, the French breeder V. Lemoine bred perennial varieties with double flowers of blue, purple, and lavender colors, and they were called "hybrid" (Delphinium hybridum) or beautiful (Delphinium Ornatum), and after a while they began to be called "cultural" (Delphinium cultorum). Today, the flowers of the perennial delphinium can be painted in a variety of color shades, of which there are about 800. There are low-growing, tall and medium-sized varieties, the flowers of which can be super-double, double, simple and semi-double, and their diameter can be 2-9 centimeters ...

Perennial hybrid plants are divided into groups according to their place of origin. The most popular are New Zealand delphiniums (New Millennium Delphiniums, or New Zealand Hybrids), Scottish (F1 hybrids) and Mafin hybrids named after the Mafino state farm. Each of the groups has its own distinctive features and positive aspects. For example, the Marfinsky ones have a very beautiful appearance, and are also distinguished by excellent frost resistance, they also have rather large semi-double flowers with eyes painted in a rich contrasting color (varieties: Morpheus, Pink Sunset, Blue Lace, Spring Snow "). However, seeds are not suitable for growing Marfinsky delphinium, because in this case varietal characteristics are not preserved.

More recently, a New Zealand group has been formed. The plants included in it are quite tall and can reach a height of about 220 centimeters. They are quite large (about 7-9 centimeters in diameter), double or semi-double. There are types with corrugated petals. These hybrid plants are hardy, disease-free, and durable and ideal for cutting. In this regard, these delphiniums at this moment are most popular with gardeners. In the event that you trade in fresh flowers, then New Zealand delphiniums can bring good profits. Most popular varieties: Sunny Skies, Green Twist, Pagan Purples, Blue Lace, Sweethearts.

T. Cockley became the creator of hybrid Scottish perennial delphiniums. These hybrid plants have double and super-double flowers with very dense inflorescences. In some cases, it grows up to 58 petals per flower. The bush has a height of about 110-150 centimeters, while the length of the inflorescence is 80 centimeters. Flowers can be painted in a wide variety of color shades. They are durable, unpretentious in care and, when grown from seeds, retain the characteristics of the parent plant. The most popular varieties are: Morning Sunrise, Blueberry Pie, Moon Light, Sweet Sensation, Crystal Delight and Deepest Pink.

Delphinium species

Delphiniums are annual and perennial. Of annual delphiniums the most famous varieties are the field delphinium and the Ajax delphinium.

Delphinium Field (Delphinium Consolida)

This is a tall plant, almost two meters in height. Flowers in inflorescences are simple or double, pink, white, lilac or blue. In culture, since 1572. The varieties Frosted Sky (blue flowers with a white center), pale pink Qis Rose and dark blue Qis Dark Blue look very impressive. The field delphinium blooms in early summer and blooms until autumn.

In the photo: What do the leaves of a decorative delphinium look like

Delphinium Ajax

A hybrid of the Doubtful delphinium and the Eastern delphinium, which received their best qualities as a result of selection. The stem of this species is from 40 cm to 1 m high, the almost sessile leaves are strongly dissected, the spike-shaped inflorescences, reaching 30 cm in length, come in a variety of colors: purple, red, blue, pink, blue and white. Some varieties have dense double flowers. There are dwarf varieties such as Dwarf Hyacinth-flowered, up to 30 cm high with double flowers of purple, pink, crimson and white. Ajax delphiniums bloom from June until frost.

Delphinium hybrid

Growing a perennial delphinium in culture began in the 19th century: breeders based on the first perennials Delphinium Elatum (Delphinium high) and Delphinium Grandiflora (Delphinium grandiflora) by crossing they got the first hybrids (Delphinium Barlowii - Delphinium Barlow, Delphinium Formosum - Delphinium beautiful and Delphinium belladonna - Delphinium Belladonna), and then Frenchman Victor Lemoine brought out double forms of perennials of purple, blue and lavender color, which were called Ornatum (Delphinium) "Hybrid" (Delphinium hybridum), and then renamed into "cultural" (Delphinium cultorum). Today, perennial delphiniums have up to 800 shades in their color palette! Among them there are tall, medium-sized and low-growing varieties with simple, semi-double, double and super-double flowers ranging in size from 2 cm to 9 cm in diameter.

In the photo: Delphinium Consolida

Hybrid perennials are divided into groups according to their place of origin. Most popular are Scottish (F1 hybrids), New Zealand delphiniums (New Millennium Delphiniums, or New Zealand Hybrids) and Marfin hybrids, named after the state farm Marfino. Each group has its own differences and advantages. Marfinsky, for example, have excellent frost resistance and high decorativeness, they have large semi-double flowers with bright contrasting eyes (Blue lace, Morpheus, Spring snow, Pink sunset). But growing a Marfinsky perennial delphinium from seeds is problematic, since the seeds do not retain varietal characteristics.

New Zealand group, created not so long ago, is distinguished by its high growth (up to 2.2 m), large semi-double or double flowers (7-9 cm in diameter), in some species the petals are corrugated. These hybrids are frost-resistant, disease-resistant, durable, perfectly cut and that is why they are the most popular today. Growing New Zealand delphiniums is rewarding and profitable if you make money by selling flowers. Popular varieties: Sunny Skies, Green Twist, Pagan Purples, Blue Lace, Sweethearts.

Photo: New Zealand delphiniums (New Millennium Delphiniums)

By the author Scottish hybrid perennial delphiniums is Tony Cockley. These hybrids are distinguished by very dense inflorescences of super-double and double flowers, sometimes numbering up to 58 petals. With a plant growth of 1.1-1.5 m, the inflorescence reaches 80 cm in length! "Scots" have a wide color palette, are unpretentious, durable and perfectly retain their varietal properties during seed propagation. The most famous varieties are Morning Sunrise, Blueberry Pie, Moon Light, Sweet Sensation, Crystal Delight and Deepest Pink.

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