How to Grow Delphinium from Seed: An Easy Guide for Beginners
The delphinium, with its stunning petals and dramatic height, is a garden favorite for many. The beauty and grandeur these flowers bring make it worth the patience it takes to grow them from seed. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to grow delphinium from seed.
Understanding the Delphinium
Delphinium, also known as larkspur, is a tall, vibrant perennial flower that can add a burst of color to any garden. Available in shades of blue, lavender, purple, pink, and white, these beautiful blooms make a dramatic statement in any landscape.
It’s important to note, although delphiniums are synonymous with beauty, some parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested and can irritate the skin. Therefore, it’s recommended to manage these plants with care and keep them away from pets and children.
Selecting and Preparing Delphinium Seeds
When choosing delphinium seeds, it’s best to opt for those from a reliable source to ensure you are getting quality seeds. Once you have your seeds, you will need to prepare them for planting. This usually involves chilling them in the refrigerator for about a week to simulate winter – a process known as stratification.
After stratification, soak the seeds in lukewarm water for 24 hours. This helps to soften the seed’s hard outer shell, promoting germination.
The Planting Process
After preparing your seeds, it’s time to start planting. Fill a seed tray or pots with a good-quality compost and water it well. Scatter the seeds on the surface, pressing them gently into the compost, but don’t cover them as delphinium seeds need light to germinate.
Place the seed tray in a propagator or seal inside a polythene bag and keep at around 15-20°C. The seeds should start to sprout within two to three weeks.
Caring for Delphinium Seedlings
Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them into 3-inch pots to allow them to grow further. Maintain moderate temperatures and good lighting conditions, and keep the soil moist but not overly saturated.
Remember, young delphiniums are prone to slug and snail damage. So, be sure to protect your seedlings by using organic repellents or creating barriers with copper tape or crushed eggshells.
Transitioning to The Garden
When the risk of frost has passed, and your plants are at least 3-4 inches high, you can move them to the garden. Delphiniums prefer rich, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. They also need a sunny location to grow at their best.
Space the plants approximately 2-3 feet apart to allow for air circulation and growth. Then, water them in thoroughly and watch as they start to flourish into beautiful, towering flowers.
__Frequently Asked Questions__1. Can you grow delphiniums in pots?
Yes, you can grow delphiniums in pots. However, considering their height, it is advisable to use a large, deep pot and provide them with a stake for support as they grow.
2. How long does it take for delphiniums to flower from seed?
In optimal conditions, delphiniums can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to flower from seeds. However, this may vary depending on the growing conditions, and some plants may not flower until the second growing season.
3. How often should I water my delphiniums?
Delphiniums prefer a moist, well-drained soil. They should be watered regularly, particularly during dry spells. However, avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot.