Delphiniums

PrintPrintEmailEmail
Your rating: None Average: 3.8 of 5 (58 votes)

Botanical name: Delphinium

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Alkaline/Basic


Flower color: Pink, Blue, Purple, White

Bloom time: Summer

Delphiniums are perennials grown for their showy spikes of colorful summer flowers in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. They are popular in cottage-style gardens and cutting gardens.

Delphiniums are a favorite of many gardeners and sometimes a challenge. They prefer moist, cool summers and do not fare well in hot, dry summers. The plants also dislike sudden wind or rain. 

Except for the dwarf perennials, most delphiniums need staking.

Planting

  • Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade, with shelter from strong winds.
  • Plant in the spring. Prepare the soil, mixing in 2 to 4 inches of compost.
  • Delphiniums are very difficult to grow from seed. Buy as a potted plant at the nursery.
  • Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant's container. When planting, ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
  • In the spring, broadcast lime, wood ashes, or a mixture of the two over this alkaline-loving perennial.

Care

  • Insert supports no later than midspring or when the plants reach 12 inches high. Stake the low-growing perennials with twiggy, brushwood support. The taller, large-flowered delphiniums need sturdy stakes.
  • Soil should not dry out. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • For good-quality flower spikes, thin shoots when 3 inches high; leave a minimum of 2 or 3 shoots on young plants, and 5 to 7 shoots on well-established ones.
  • In growth, water all plants freely, applying a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Deadhead by cutting spent flower spikes back to small, flowering side shoots.
  • After delphiniums have finished blooming, cut flower stalks to the ground, and new, though smaller, flower stalks will develop. The flowers will survive the coming cold days and even light frosts.
  • If delphiniums need to be divided in the spring, remove and replant the new little plants growing around the outside of the clump. Discard the hard old heart.

Pests

  • Susceptible to slugs and snails as well as cyclamen mites.
  • Powdery mildew, Southern blight, bacterial and fungal spots, gray mold, crown and root rot, white rot, rust, white smut, leaf smut, and damping off occur.

Harvest/Storage

  • This elegant flower is good for a cutting garden. If you take the blooms into the house as soon as they open, they will bloom again.
  • Add sugar to arrangements of delphinium.

Recommended Varieties

There are dwarf-sized delphiniums and medium-sized as well as tall ones (growing up to 6 feet and higher).
  • Belladonna Group: Upright, loose and branching perennials with single flowers that grow 3 to 4 feet tall. 'Blue Bees' is a Belladonna producing clear blue flowers with white centers.
  • Elatum Group: These are the tallest spiked hybrids growing to 6 feet or more. 'Blue Nile' is a medium plant bearing semi-double, bright, and mid-blue flowers with white centers (called bees). 'Bruce' is a tall Elatum bearing semi-double, violet-purple flowers, paler towards the center, with brown bees.
  • Pacific Hybrids: Similar to Elatum Group, although not as tall, this hybrid is short-lived and often grown as annuals or biennials. 'King Arthur' bears plum flowers with white bees with 5- to 6-foot tall flower spikes.

Wit & Wisdom

  • Very young delphinium plants and delphinium seeds are poisonous. If ingested, they can cause nausea, twitching muscles, paralysis, and even death.

Free E-Card

Send this beautiful blue delphinium to friends and family.

 

 

Comments

A couple of years ago I

By Dwight Schmitz on July 27

A couple of years ago I rebuilt our raised flower garden in our back yard using PT wood and everything we planted there (phlox, saliva, foxglove, lilies, etc.) has thrived so when it came time this year to rebuild the raised flower bed in our front yard, I felt confident using PT wood. I made a "concoction" of dirt using Scott's topsoil (they say it contains peat moss, but it can't be much), garden soil, additional peat moss (to keep the ground loose) and I threw in a little milorganite to boot. About a week ago we planted phlox and delphiniums and, after planting, I soaked the bases of the plants with Miracle-Grow's QuickStart (I followed the directions). The next day I soaked the ground with water and the third day another dose of the QuickStart. I've been watering every day since. The phlox are THRIVING!!!! It's only been a week and they all have new stems with buds coming up. The delphiniums, on the other hand, while not appearing to be dying, don't seem very "happy." The leaves are green, but all the edges of the leaves are drooping. Am I just being impatient or am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

We really enjoyed your post

By Almanac Staff on July 28

We really enjoyed your post and hearing about your gardening experience. Congrats on the phlox success. In terms of the delphiniums, perhaps it's just wilting with the heat. Be sure to deadhead delphs after blooming, too. All the best!

Soory! Forgot to mention that

By Dwight Schmitz on July 27

Soory! Forgot to mention that I live in Wisconsin, zone 5.

It's mid July in Illinois and

By Melyssa on July 20

It's mid July in Illinois and I planted my delphinium about one month back. It gets full afternoon sun and the summer has been very hot and humid this year. All my flowers have fallen off and the stalks and leaves are turning brown. I water the plant about three times a week and it has a nice layer of mushroom compost on top of the soil. I have not cut anything back yet.

What am I doing wrong?

Since the leaves are turning

By Almanac Staff on July 22

Since the leaves are turning brown after just a month, in addition to the flowers (which might fade just as part of their life cycle), it might be the heat. If the temperatures have been very hot (around 90F or above), with the full afternoon sun on them, it could stress the plant enough to dry it out. Provide partial shade during the afternoon hours. Another season, if hot temps are frequent in your area, you might try planting your delphiniums where they would get morning, rather than afternoon, sun. You might also try heat-tolerant varieties. Mulch is great, and will help to keep the soil cooler.
 
Also check your watering. Over- or underwatering can cause browning foliage. Water deeply and provide about 1 inch per week, adjusting for any rain or hot weather you might have; during hot spells, increase to every other day. Don't let the soil dry out, but don't let the soil get soggy either.
 
 

Bugs - many bugs! I started

By Melissa Cee on July 12

Bugs - many bugs!
I started my delphiniums about 6 years ago & they have done amazingly until this year. Their growth was stunted & some of the leaves looked heavy, shiny & sticky. There was a "bazillion bugs under the leaves! The double white never made it through the Winter (zone 3) & the other 3 were so infested I cut them back completely. Husband asked if they were gnats. I have no clue - anybody have an idea?

We're not sure, Melissa, but

By Almanac Staff on July 15

We're not sure, Melissa, but here are two coop ext site in which you might find a match with your plants' conditions:
• http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheets/delphinium-diseases
• http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene09de.html
We hope this helps.

Hi, My name is Marilene I am

By Marilene Dawson on July 2

Hi, My name is Marilene I am in Ireland and I planted my little purple beauty three weeks ago. Delphinium 'Blue Fountains' We are having lots of unusualy long hot sunny days and she has turned brown andlooks like she is struggling allot.

Today I did something terrible and cut her back completely. I thought maybe it would be better for the roots to give them time to relax in the soil without worrying about having to think about keeping its actual foliage and flowers happy.

Please tell me I have not killed her forever.

If your beautiful Blue has

By Almanac Staff on July 15

If your beautiful Blue has flowered once this season, you may have done a perfectly good thing; it may bloom again. We can't promise but cutting back after first bloom is frequently recommended. Fertilize her once again.
BTW, how far did you cut back: what do you mean by "completely"? It is advisable to cut only the flower stalk for reblooming.

My delphiniums break off at

By Gail Farrington-sprague on June 30

My delphiniums break off at the top whenever they flower. They look bad. Should I be planting them closer to the house or a similar wall for protection? Or do I need to plant them I clusters so they have each other to be more protected from the wind? They look beautiful, but grow very tall and then flower and then snap off just as soon as they are beautiful....I love the plant but feel like I'm doing something wrong....help?

This is usually an indication

By Almanac Staff on July 15

This is usually an indication that the plant/s need to be staked. See here for advice and options for doing that:
http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fact-sheets/general-gardening/supporting-herbaceous-plants-in-a-flower-garden

I am so sad! I was so

By Jessica77

I am so sad! I was so excited to get my little Delphiniums home and planted to add a gorgeous blue to my little flowerbed. I wish I had read more on them though...I have a bazillion and one snails and they ate everything down to nubs! :( I now hate snails even more....is there a way to revive my poor Delphi-nubs?

I have the same problem with

By Nathan78 on July 1

I have the same problem with slugs. Sluggo works great for getting rid of slugs and it says it works for snails also.

First of all you need to get

By Almanac Staff

First of all you need to get rid of your snail problem. You can buy snail and slug bait with iron phosphate, which is usually successful. Go to our slugs/snails page at http://www.almanac.com/content/slugs for more information about getting rid of snails.
If the roots are OK the delphinium will grow new leaves.

Great!! Thanks so much!

By Jessica77

Great!! Thanks so much!

I just read about the green

By LuAnn Herkstroeter

I just read about the green looper worms and delphinium. They strip mine almost every year. Sevin ant dust works, but I know it will kill the butterflies and bees. What else could I use? They truly will destroy it in a few hours, and start with the almost-blooms most years. ps I live in Wyoming.

Hi, LuAnn, These are nasty!

By Almanac Staff

Hi, LuAnn,
These are nasty! But there is not much you/we can do. We mention handpicking and Sevin below. Here's a little more:
Our bast solution is actually a few we've researched. The University of California has several suggestions: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r52300311.html
This Colorado State pdf has several interesting pics and offers an array of deterents and worse for loopers on page 24 (the cabbage looper appears on p 15): http://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/bspm/Garden%20Caterpillars.pdf
A third solution seems to be self inspection and removal by hand, and explained here are neem (it stops them from feeding and so eventually they die), and suggests natural enemies: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/caterpillar-pests-of-cole-crops-in-home-gardens/
If you happen on any additional or new sure-fire methods/ideas, please share!

I'm so disappointed in the

By Stacey Lang

I'm so disappointed in the three Delphinium Grandiflorum "Summer Cloud". We live in Zone 9 according to another well respected site focused on Perennials only (Tampa, FL). When we purchased these at a large retailer, they were selling quickly so we snapped them up after being told it would be ok to leave in the pots as long as we kept the soil moist. About 2 weeks ago when we were finally able to plant in our flower bed all of the flowers had already fallen off. The plant instructions on this plant says "full sun", My flowerbed faces northeast and this plant gets full sun until approximately 1:00 pm (due to a bush planted approx. 2 feet behind it.
Of course because we had just planted at first the soil was kept very moist and we used a moderately priced, nutrient enriched potting soil. This time of year is known for afternoon summer rain and I'm afraid the soil hasn't had the opportunity to dry out enough for it's taste.
We've also experienced a change in color of the leaves to a light green, which was previously deep green.
We planted at least 12" apart and away from other plants in our flower bed.

It's been a while since the flowers fell off so I feel like an idiot when u refer to cutting off flower spikes. What does that mean? The whole stick? I don't know what I'm looking for & I do not want to cut the wrong piece. If it needs more prolonged sun exposure trimming the bush back isn't a problem but the actual plant is shock and although the soil has been pretty damp due to rain, it feels a little on the dry side. I'm puzzled. Can you help me to save this beautiful plant? As you can see I've tried to provide as much detail as possible. Thank you

Keep the soil moist but not

By Almanac Staff

Keep the soil moist but not too wet and most delphiniums will grow well in full sun or light shade, so there is not need to trim your bush back. Cut the entire spent flower spike (stalk) back to where you see small side shoots.

Do you know where delphiniums

By May

Do you know where delphiniums are from?

Hi, May, The modern delph is

By Almanac Staff

Hi, May, The modern delph is the result of hybridization of species from around the world.
The word delphinium comes from the ancient Greeks whose word meaning dolphin (delphis) is a reference to the flower buds, suggesting that the buds resemble dophins.

I have about 20 delphinium

By Paul Stephens

I have about 20 delphinium plants grown from seed in 9 inch pots in my greenhouse. Can I plant them out now oct5th or should I overwinter them in my greenhouse with a little heat and cover them with fleece to protect them from frost. Your advice would be gratefully appreciated.

We are not clear where you

By Almanac Staff

We are not clear where you live. In temperature climates: If you set out your transplants in October, they will flower in late spring to early summer bloom. In areas with cold winters, you would seed in April or May. Protect from frost by loosly covering with pine branches.

I live in worsley Manchester,

By Paul Stephens

I live in worsley Manchester, england

Love the Almanac, wait for it

By N. Corkum

Love the Almanac, wait for it to come out every year. I have two tall delphiniums that are about 15 years old. They always bloom late September, is there a way to speed this up?

Delphinium can be divas. A

By Almanac Staff

Delphinium can be divas. A September bloom is normal for some varieties, however, if you want to improve the odds, here are tips from local cooperative extensions:
1. They like to eat a lot! Give them constant feedings with compost-enriched soil and fertilize regularly.
2. Never let them dry out. You can keep the soil evenly moist and the roots cool by mulching to a depth of 3" or 4", either with a good organic mulch or with that compost. Water well during periods of growth (in spring and after it begins its second season's growth).
3. Plant it in areas where it gets some shade during summer afternoons.
4. Over the winter, cover them with branches or mulch to protect the roots from frost heaving.
5. We aren't sure where you live, but if you get extreme colds, pick varieties that can cope well.
 

Hi it is the first summer

By Matthew Gregory

Hi it is the first summer having delphiniums in my garden in the uk, i planted late spring which maybe a little too late in the year. They did great but now in September have wilted and doubled over appearing dead. With next summer in mind do I cut back the delphiniums to just beyond the soil level and wit for summer growth next year ?? Your help would be great. Thanks

Hi, Matthew! You have not

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Matthew!
You have not been waiting for a response since September, surely, have you? We check our pages frequently. Well, let's get on with it, in any case!
Our sources suggest removing the flower spike just below the lowest flower and leaving the foliage for future blooms. Smaller spikes may form near the base of the plant. Treat them the same way. Hope your dephs are dazzling!

For many years, I had

By carol hayduk

For many years, I had beautiful flowers; for about the last ten, I have an ongoing war with small green worms that eat the heart of the flower stalk before it has a chance to mature. If I sprinkle flour onto the stems, I can stop the damage up to a point; however, when it rains, the flour is gone. Does the butterfly/moth that lays the minute black eggs, do so in the fall or in the early spring? What can I do to prevent this?

This sounds like a type of

By Almanac Staff

This sounds like a type of looper moth. You can do this:
Hand pick.
Control with sprays containing Sevin.
If larvae are under one inch, control with safer B.T. sprays such as Dipel or Thuricide.

Hi I have had this plant for

By Kim Zandee

Hi I have had this plant for 6 yrs and it blooms beautifully and this year Calgary alberta has had aot of rain in june n july but it has been hot so far in august and now I see the leaves are brown so should I cut it down? I make sure its fertilized and not dry. should I let it keep growing as iv done for all these years or remove it

There are several reasons for

By Almanac Staff

There are several reasons for brown foliage on delphiniums.
Sometimes it's overwatering.
Sometimes it's lack of nutrients; delphiniums are heavy feeders and appreciate compost and fertilizer.
Towards the end of their cycle, the foliage simply turns brown as it dies down naturally.
If you are late in the season and the brown bothers you, you can cut them down at ground level. 
You don't, however, really want to cut them down if the plant is still green as this will shorten the life of the plant.
 

I planted 3 new delphinium

By Lynn Eda

I planted 3 new delphinium plants a couple months ago. The leaves are now all brown around the edges. What is going on? Thanks for any help you can give.

Brown edges are usually a

By Almanac Staff

Brown edges are usually a sign that your plant is being overwatered or underwatered. Only water perennials if the rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Soil should never dry out.

I live in Southern Ontario,

By Val M

I live in Southern Ontario, close to Toronto. I have a second-year plant that was doing wonderfully this spring. However, we've had a lot of rain the last little while and it seems to be fading fast. The leaves have turned yellow and wilted, the flowers are wilting and the stalks are doubled over as if it pain. I have hard-packed clay soil and have never had any problems with any of my other delphiniums. With all of this rain that we've had though, the area where this plant is, is boggy right now. Is my plant doomed?

Yellowing of lower leaves

By Almanac Staff

Yellowing of lower leaves followed by wilting is often crown rot, but there could be other problems. Delphs do need good drainage and lots of air circulation so they're not overcrowded so a boggy area will be problematic. Take a sample your local cooperative extension for a diagnosis and action plan.

Hi, I am so new to gardening,

By Sandra Sheible

Hi,
I am so new to gardening, I purchased my delphinum because it was beautiful, now I am reading about acidic soil and add lime????? Can you direct me to a site that will start at the beginning and tell me how to make soil?? Sorry to interrupt, you all sound so knowledgeable, I am in Texas, it sounds like I should have never purchased this plant, it seems they hate hot weather and thats about all I get here. How do I find what zone I am in? Thank you very much for all your advice.

H, Sandra, Larkspur

By Almanac Staff

H, Sandra, Larkspur (Delphinium grandiflorum) is naturalized in much of Texas. However, they are fall-seeded annuals and they complete their flowering in late spring. Then you replace with hot-season annuals, such as periwinkles, celosias, or purslanes. As you said, they do better in places with fairly moist summers versus hot weather but there are heat-tolerant varieties in Texas and perhaps you have one! Just put lots of composted manure in their bed and make sure the soil stays well-drained as delphiniums hate wet soil. Don't let the soil get too hot. Stake them as they grow tall!

Very informative info, I

By David McEnerny

Very informative info, I bought one 2 feet tall from a greenhouse 3 weeks ago and it is thriving. Now almost 3 feet tall with 2 flowing spires and a third growing. I'm in Denver and it's very hot now. I keep it moist with the ground soil damp. It seems to be working...

Will Delphiniums winter over

By Patricia Ann

Will Delphiniums winter over in Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada's ?? We can have up to 20 feet of snow ...

Many thanks

Many varieties of delphiniums

By Almanac Staff

Many varieties of delphiniums are winter-hardy up through Alaska and Canada. Mulch well with several inches of hay; some folks use pine branches to provide a loose protection from severe frosts.

I live in northern BC ,

By bus and bugs

I live in northern BC , Canada. I have never mulched and my Delphiniums keep on coming back, bigger and more beautiful each year. The 3-4 ft of snow cover seems to insulate them very well.

I planted dark purple

By Janele

I planted dark purple Delphiniums (don't remember exact name) in my flower bed. The new flowers are coming out a very pale purple. What do I need to do to get the flowers back to the deep purple?

There are a few theories as

By Almanac Staff

There are a few theories as to why a delphinium might change color. If this is not the first season, it could be that the new flowers were from seeds of the parent plant, and if that parent was a hybrid, the seeds may exhibit traits not displayed in the parent, such as lighter color.

If this is indeed the same plant, but the flower color has changed over one season, there is one theory that a change in weather, such as cold damage to the roots, or high temperatures, can cause the flowers to change color.

Another theory is that the soil pH can affect color. However, this normally would not explain a color change over one season. Delphiniums usually prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. We'd recommend checking your soil pH, and adding lime to an acidic soil to see if that helps.

(Also, a delphinium flower will change color as it ages; but this wouldn't explain your flowers not having started out dark purple.)

Hope this helps!

I recently bought two

By Babs Showroom

I recently bought two flowering delphinium plants and planted one in a pot with potting soil that the garden store uses. It gets full southeastern sun. I watered well. Within two days, the leaves are withering and the flowers are drooping. I watered well again, no change. What could be the cause?

The plant may show transplant

By Almanac Staff

The plant may show transplant shock and will recover. Delphiniums like cool weather, so if you have had the plant in full hot sun it would be wise to move it to a spot with afternoon shade until it recovers.

After reading this I see I

By LoriANNW531960

After reading this I see I need to cut my plants back or stake them (due to the height). However I have been cutting them off, and putting them in water hoping for rooting to occur, and replanting them elsewhere. WHY DOES THE CUT DELPHINIUM NOT ROOT in WATER? Is there anyway to get the cut back piece to root? Please respond via email ASAP, as I have several batches in water that wont last much longer, and I need to plant them if this is possible...Thanks for your time.
Lori, IL, USA

You can propagate delphiniums

By Almanac Staff

You can propagate delphiniums by basal cuttings, but you need to include part of the brown callus material at the base of the stem. A 3- to 4-inch cutting in early spring or just after flowering is good. Then, you can place them in about an inch of water, or dip them in rooting hormone and place them in sand, perlite, or other light mix. Moisten the mix. If in rooting medium, place a plastic bag over the cutting (prop the bag up with stakes). Place the cutting in a bright, cool, humid area, about 50 or so degrees Fahrenheit. Rooting should occur in about 3 or 4 weeks.

If your cuttings do not have that brown base to them, I'm not sure that they will root. You might try dipping them in rooting hormone and placing them in rooting medium to experiment.

Are they deer resistant? We

By Marsmommus

Are they deer resistant? We have a herd that comes thru and eats on our clover...

Delphiniums are rated "Seldom

By Almanac Staff

Delphiniums are rated "Seldom Severely Damaged" on deer resistant plants charts.

Iowa gardener

By Anonymous

I am searching for information on delphiniums and what variety might be best to try for my Midwest (Iowa) zone. It sounds like a dwarf variety might be less finicky! Thanks to everyone who comments.

My mom lived in central Iowa

By KK

My mom lived in central Iowa and had a dwarf delphinium. The packaging stated it would have a life span of 5-7 years and would grow to approximately 2-3 feet tall. It grew about 4-5 feet tall each year (the first two were shorter) and lived over a decade. It probably would have gone longer had she lived to continue caring for it. Gorgeous plant each year and blooms lasted a long time.

June 1 wedding

By Anonymous

I have newly potted delphiniums putting out flowering spikes. Should I pinch back or allow to flower?

With newly potted

By Almanac Staff

With newly potted delphiniums, think out flower spikes if they are thinner than a pencil. Leave 1 to 3 spikes per pot. The more vigorous your delphiniums get, the more spikes you can leave.

delphiniums

By Anonymous

My favorite flower! When the first bloom finishes, I cut them back to the ground, and they bloom all over again, I even cut them back after the second bloom and they do it all over again. Always just as spectacular as the first time.

Long Life Delphiniums

By Anonymous

In front of my house in UK (Kent), there are Delphiniums either side of the front door...was there when we bought the house 20 years ago and are still there. We are now in Bulgaria, where our Delphiniums which we sowed from seed 10 years ago, flower throughout the year and seems to love the intense summer heat....to our great surprise. When Delphinums appear not to be doing anything, or not flowering, dig them up and separate the roots, they are telling you they are rootbound...then you will have loads more to enjoy.

Thanks for the great advice!

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for the great advice!

Delphinium not flowering

By Anonymous

This has been my second year with a delphinium plant bought from a garden centre
This is its second year running producing no flowers, it is strong and healthy and green why is this happening

Delphinium not blooming

By Anonymous

Try scratching in a couple tablespoons of garden lime all around the plant, it sounds like the soil is also too acid.

Is your soil poor?

By Almanac Staff

Is your soil poor? Delphiniums enjoy amended soil rich in organic humus. Also, make sure the soil is well drained and not too heavy as this plant doesn't like "wet feet."

Help-I miss my delphiniums

By Anonymous

Does anyone know why my delphiniums did not come up this year? Are they gone for good?

If your perennial is over 2

By Almanac Staff

If your perennial is over 2 years old then there's a chance that you may need to replace them.

Unfortunately, delphiniums are short-lived and generally do not do well after 2-3 years.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

Black Knight Delphinium

By Anonymous

I've had a Black Knight Delphinium since 1998, a real beautiful eye catching display in front of my house, south of the porch entrance. Last week the plant is about a foot high, lush green, and I'm visualizing another year of beauty from this plant. Three days later its' leaves are eaten up. Just stems looking at me with a dead appeal. A search reveals greenworms all sizes. I picked them all, some 40 of them. What are they, where do they come from. Have not touched other perrennials next to this delphinium. My corner is naked and feel like I've lost a best friend.

We feel for you. These worms

By Almanac Staff

We feel for you. These worms are called green loopers (Autographa biloba). We don't always see problems with this insect but it seems to be very wide spread this year. They not only affect Delphinium, but also Geranium, Salvia, verbena, and other perennials. As you indicated, they should be hand picked, if not too extensive. The worms can be well camouflaged. In the future, there are some sprays you can use, if you're willing, including Sevin, permethrin, orthene. Or, if larvae are under one inch, B.T. sprays such as Dipel or Thuricide are effective. Follow the directions closely.

Blue Butterfly Delphiiniums

By Donna Little

Several years ago I planted a Blue Butterfly Delphinium in one pot on my patio. This has become one of my favorite flowers. I've become very acquainted with their foliage and each year I'm thrilled to find them coming back. They have thrown seeds and have naturalized, coming up against a rock wall or on the other side of the house, completely away from the mother plant. In fact, I dug up a wayward plant and transplanted it into a pot in my courtyard. That plant is thriving, too! This plant seems to defy all the recommendations for optimum care. We live in the mountains of New Mexico in an area plagued by high winds, but this little plant refuses to give in. I water it a couple times a week and fertilize it maybe a couple of times during the summer. It provides so much joy each year with it's gorgeous blue blooms. I wish I could have a yard full of it!

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.