INFORMATION ABOUT DELPHINIUMS…
Image by Jukka Heinonen The avid gardener knows the towering beauty of the delphinium. Tall delphiniums add graceful height and varied color to any sunny garden, while dwarf delphiniums are tiny treasures waiting to be discovered in a rock garden.
Delphiniums are broken up into three groups.
The Belladona Group is an upward branching perennial. It’s spike is loose and open, reminding one of a group of small butterflies. This group will bloom in mid to late summer with straight stems laden with single bloom, hat shaped flowers
The Elatum Group is a clump forming perennial. Its spike is tightly packed and looks like a flower covered cone. Elatum Delphinium will bloom in early and midsummer. While they are more impressive than the Belladona Group, they need quite a bit more TLC to grow well.
The Pacific Hybrids Group is much like the Elatum but is only an annual or biannual at best. They put on a wonderful but short show in the early to mid summer.
Delphiniums need some cold weather to grow properly so they grow best in Zones 3-7. They also like full sunlight with well drained, nutrient rich soil. All but the smallest of the Delphiniums need to be staked or their glorious spikes will fall down.
Delphiniums are one of those plants that benefit from early thinning. When the spikes are about 3 inches long, thin out all but the healthiest 3-7 on the plant. The older the plant, the more you can leave. Some Delphinium can be coaxed into a second less spectacular show by deadheading the spent spikes back to any side shoots that may appear.
Don’t cut back your delphinium until after the first frost when the plant has wither. At this time, it is safe to cut the plant all the way back to the ground. Don’t worry, it will come back next year.
Delphinium propagation is best done by cuttings. To propagate, take a pencil think basal cutting in early spring. Make sure you take the cutting from close to the crown.
Delphiniums can bring towering color to almost any garden. The color variations are nearly endless, so chances are, no matter what shade you are looking for, there is a Delphinium for you.
Part of the Helleboraceae family
Some species of delphinium: delphinium barbeyi, delphinium nuttallianum
Common mispellings: dellfinium, delfineum, delfinum, delfinim, dalphinium, delfinium, delphinum, dalphinium, dallphinium, dallfinium