Growing Delphiniums or Larkspur Flowers
Annual, Consolida Orientalis
What you need to know about Larkspur flowers:
Larkspur – the July birth flower brightens up your garden with its vibrant colors, feathery foliage, and impressive heights. An absolute in the backyard beds or lovely vases these flowers are a show stealer. This plant is the member of the Delphinium family and is available in more than 60 varieties. Its varieties range in height from one to seven feet.
The best part about these plants is that its flowers bloom in the early spring while various flowers are weeks away.
You need to be cautious while planting Larkspur as they are toxic in nature and can be poisonous to both the humans and the cattle.
Larkspur plants like full sun to partial shade, rich, fertile soil and excellent drainage. They grow easily and rapidly.
Start Larkspur plants from seeds. Wrap the seeds in a moist sheet of paper towel and place it inside an airtight plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator for two weeks maximum before sowing. Remoisten the paper towel with a spray bottle to retain the moisture.
Weed the soil at regular intervals. Break the soil 8 inches deep, prepare a 3-inch-thick layer of compost and a 1/inch layer of wood ash into the bed.
With a rake create series of 1/4-inch-deep furrows across the surface of the bed. Sprinkle the larkspur seeds into the furrows. Lightly rake the bed and cover the seeds.
Water the bed thoroughly immediately after planting the seeds. Use a garden hose to spray the bed lightly. Water until the soil is moist in the top inch.
How to grow Larkspur flowers from seed:
Maintain the moisture till the seeds germinate. Germination takes place in 20 to 30 days. Thin the seedlings about 8 to 10 inches once they produce a mature set of leaves. Remove the weakest seedlings.
Larkspurs germinate around 55 F and cease germination once temperatures reach 65 F. Once Larkspur plants are established, they will thrive until the first frost because they are highly susceptible to frost.
Flowers Bloom in Summer through Fall. Cut blooms before they peak.
Insects and Diseases that affect Delphinium Flowers:
Larkspurs are prone to fungal diseases most notably Sclerotium rot which yellows leaves and wilts plant. It is also affected by mildew. Diseased plants should be removed immediately in order to avoid the disease from spreading.
Insects hardly affect Larkspur. Organic or chemical insect repellents have proved to be highly effective against most pests.