Position – Full sun
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Delphinium are perennials, annuals or biennials, dependant on their variety. They show an abundance of coloured bowl-shaped blooms adorned on tall, towering stems and bushy palmately lobed foliage. These plants are best situated to the back of a border or flower bed, planted en masse, where they provide an elegant structure when planted alongside low growing companion plants and shrubs. Dependant on variety, Delphinium will grow to an approximate height of 1.5 -1.9m (60-72") and a spread of 30-60cm (12-24"). Take care when handling these plants as all parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested whilst the foliage may irritate the skin.
Delphiniums are best planted during the spring in moist, well-drained soil of sand, chalk or loam within an alkaline or neutral PH level. Choose an appropriate site sheltered from the prospect of strong winds and stake well. Prepare the planting area with a generous amount of compost, mixing thoroughly to the native soil. Dig a hole that is the same depth and twice the width of your plant, spreading the roots before lowering into place. Water thoroughly and deeply to settle the surrounding soil after planting. Grow Delphinium in a position of full sun ensuring they do not dry out. If you are concerned about water retention within your soil, apply a generous layer of mulch to preserve moisture levels and to keep the roots cool.
During the spring, fertilise Delphiniums regularly throughout active growth. If the foliage starts to turn yellow, it is an indicator that your plants require additional fertiliser – this can be in the form of rotted cow manure or a basic granular fertiliser. As Delphiniums mature, it will be necessary to stake your plant to ensure a strong and pleasing structure. Deadhead Delphiniums by cutting back spent flower spikes to small shoots as they flower to retain a strong shape. During the autumn, cut back your plant to ground level ensuring healthy future growth for the following season.
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