Is Larkspur easy to grow?

carla17(Z7 NC)May 26, 2007

I don't recall seeing any in the big box plant stores. How would they do best? Any warnings or advice appreciated.

Thank you,


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I think larkspur is hard to grow here in the heat and humidity. The annual larkspur that reseeds does very well if you can find the seeds. I got lucky this spring and a friend brought me a bunch of seedlings but they have disappeared in my front gardens and I will have to hit her up for seeds this time so that I can direct sow them. I am sure I will be able to get them to grow that way. Once you get them to flower you should have them reliably for years since they reseed freely. Adele

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Larkspur is a fall sown, winter growing, spring blooming annual so its too late to sow it now. But look around for seed packets and keep them in the refrigerator until Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec and sow them wherever you want them next year. You have to rake all the mulch or fallen leaves off the spot - the seed need sunlight to sprout. Depending on the weather the sprouts will either not show up til a few weeks of warm temps in the spring or off and on throughout the winter. Once they are up they handle any hard freezes that occur (even snow and ice), but they don't always sprout early. If you can get them to sprout early you'll have larger plants come bloom time. If you want to pre sprout your seeds in flats, one trick is to soak the potting mix, sprinkle the seeds on top, cover the whole flat with a black plastic bag and set it aside (protect from sunshine, cold weather doesn't matter so you can store them outside or in the garage just out of the sun) for 30 days, then uncover it and most of the seeds will sprout. But you have to prick them out and transplant them quickly otherwise you'll lose most of them moving them to the flowerbed. They hate to be dug up and moved.

There's a rumor that they attract and kill Japanese beetles but one year when we had a long cool spring my larkspur bloomed well into the Japanese beetle season and they had no affect at all. I have had them keep blooming almost to August - they looked like cr@p, but they were still blooming!

They used to be classified as a Delphinium (which I have blooming in my yard, from seed, thanks to Adele!) but are now in their own genus - Consolida.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 10:18PM
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Once I got it started - direct sown in the fall several years ago - I have had it ever since. It is a very reliable self seeder. We will transplant seedlings in February to new spots and they take very well. Once it heats up they don't transplant at all. I wouldn't be without it. Almost any seed catalog has it or you might even be able to find it in the box stores. Sow the seed in the fall on clear soil and you will be rewarded for years to come....


    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 12:45AM
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Larkspur (Consolida ambigua) is one of the plants described in Passalong Plants and every since I read about it I've wanted to have it. I finally got some seeds this year and will sow it this fall.

Granite Janite and Lynn posted pictures of their larkspur in a thread about delphiniums that you started: larkspur

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 8:10AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Thank you for the information. They are really pretty. Will look for seeds to save for fall.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 9:26AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

O.K. so I'm a dolt and bought these seeds on a whim back in early April. I sowed them then as well. A lot have sprouted and many have put up their first "true leaves". Is there any hope for my larkspur or will they die a sad death before flowering. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:52AM
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Depends on the weather. If the temps don't get too hot too fast, they can still bloom and set seed.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:45AM
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I'm also a dolt. I knew they should be winter sown, but I forgot, so I put some seed out in March. Mine are a couple of inches tall now.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:50AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Thanks! Doesn't look to be getting too too hot just I may have a chance. I wish they just grew a little faster?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 11:28PM
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I was at Fearrington Village (outside Pittsboro off 15-501) last week. They had larkspur growing everywhere! The Garden Shop there sells the seeds to be planted in the fall. It's stunning! I fully intend to plant it throughout my butterfly garden so that I'll have some early season color. Most of the plants in my butterfly garden are summer-late summer bloomers.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:27PM
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Tammy Kennedy

there's a lovely patch of them on 440 heading east on the southern stretch, near lake wheeler road i think. They are quite easy if sown in the fall or even winter on top of mulch or cleared ground.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:44PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Gee, is that the answer, to sow in fall. I still have not planted my winter babies. We've had such freakish weather.
Glad to hear about the larkspur, Tamelask. Guess I'll try to get some now for fall. Does anyone know of an online vendor for laskspur seeds, in case I can't find any.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Carla, I bought a large packet of blue larkspur seeds last summer from the Dollar General for almost nothing. I scattered them in January I think and have blooms now.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:59PM
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