Delphinium is actually a genus of around 300 species of half or fully hardy, annual, biennial, and perennial flowers. Commonly known as larkspur, they are majestic plants with sweet and showy flowers that last for over a week.
There are three basic colors in delphinium: yellow, red, and blue. This means that the beautiful violet delphiniums that we see are actually the products of hybridization. With the help of hybridization, there are few other colors that have emerged, ranging from pale sky blue, indigo blue, purple, lavender, pink, and pure white.
All of these varieties are actually disease resistant, which makes them all the more suitable for flower gardens, only with the primary knowledge about their care.
Delphinium is often associated with carefree behavior and levity. There is an interesting story about the origin of these flowers. It is said that they originated during the famous Battle of Troy. According to a legend, Achilles' mother wanted a heroic Greek warrior to accept her son's armor.
Ulysses was chosen instead of Ajax, who was more favorite of the two. Ashamed, Ajax killed himself in despair. It is said that these beautiful flowers emerged where he shed his blood. However, there is no exact connection between the meaning of these flowers and this legend.
The Native Americans and then the European colonists used delphiniums to make dye and also to drive away scorpions. Today, this flower is also assumed as the birth flower of the month of July. These are given away to symbolize lightness of the situation and find humor in day-to-day stress of life.
They are also dried up and used for various floral arrangements. Those of you who are fascinated by the beauty of these flowers can surely plant some of these shrubs in your garden. Here are some easy ways of taking care of these plants.
Delphinium flowers are actually suitable for mid-summer gardens and are excellent for bordering of the flower beds. Full sun (i.e., 8 to 10 hours of sunlight) to partial shade (i.e., 4 to 8 hours of sunlight) is considered essential for a healthy growth of these shrubs.
Also, most of the soil conditions are suitable for delphinium to thrive, but for better gardening and getting healthier plants, add compost manure and peat moss to the soil.
Always remember that these flowers are heavy feeders and they need regular fertilization for a superior and healthier bloom throughout their blooming season. Hence, use a quality perennial fertilizer as per the instructions. One of the other essentials includes staking them.
Basically, stems of delphinium flowers are hollow, and as a result they are always at risk of getting seriously damaged by wind. As part of caring for these plants, I would suggest you to stake each stem individually or neighboring stems together. Height of the stakes must reach up to that of the flower spikes for better protection.
Delphiniums are disease resistant and disorder free, but according to the various atmospheric conditions, they are on the verge of falling for perennial plant diseases, like powdery mildew, leaf spots, stem rot, gray mold, and aster yellow. But, proper care and timely fertilization would ensure better health of these shrubs.
As a basic step in delphinium care, ensure pruning of the fading flowers, especially before they start to drop seeds. Also, cut down the remaining stalks at the crown.
Well, I guess all of you are now aware about how to care for delphiniums in your gardens. They are very low maintenance plants and have lesser demands from their owners as well. However, basic care is always necessary and beneficial for both you and the flower gardens.