did you have success with delphiniums?

phyl345(z.5)January 31, 2007

this is such a SLOW forum (which is such a shame)but i decided to give it a try anyway .......... have any of you z5 gardeners had much success with delphiniums (particularily in my chicago area).......i don't know why i don't give up cuz i've certainly read enough times that they are too finicky to bother with ..... but, then i see a beautiful pix, and i start obsessing all over again .... have any of you found a larkspur that is hardier, but has that wonderful, colorful, tall stalk???

thanks, phyl

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motria(z6 Chicago)

Of course it's a slow forum - it's January!!

Anywho.. I killed a couple of delphinium and have sworn them off for the time being. In hindsight, I figure they couldn't hack the full-sun location and the clay soil might have caused root rot. If I were to try again, I would definitely find a part-sun site and amend the soil.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 10:31AM
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it is FEB.!!!! shouldn't that make a difference!!!! (GRIN) .... still, i have been on gardenweb since aug. .... and this forum is ALWAYS slow, don'tyathink?

i am going to try delphiniums again ... and i will take your advice & not put them in full sun .... which is where they were last year .....

so, anyone out there that can tell me WHICH delphinium they have had luck with in this area??? i just NEED to have some delphinium in my garden .... has anyone had luck starting them from seed .... w.s. or traditional inside the house?

thanks, phyl

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 11:41AM
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I've had great success with delphyniums down in Kansas. We've been in a horrible drought the past 5 or so years, but my delphs have still performed very well. I've even had many survive in whiskey barrel planters above ground, which suprised me. They have done particularly well on the East side of buildings, where they get a bit of protection. Of course, our sun angles or different, so this may not be true in chicago.

I grow all mine from seed, which I purchased very cheaply at Wal-Mart. I've been using the "Giant Pacific Mix". I have the luxury of having a greenhouse in which to start my seeds, but they are relatively easy to grow from seed, and could easily be done in a home environment.

If you think the site is slow, you should try finding avid gardeners in the remote parts of the Kansas Prairie. LOL! We're few and far between, that's for sure!! Good Luck! You're always going to lose some of your delphs to the climate changes, but if you can get them established, they are AMAZINGLY beautiful. Well worth the effort and expense of a little potting mix and some seeds.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 1:04PM
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I agree with durtroadz, they are well worth the effort. Unfornately last year, I too lost a few, (I am in zone 4)but having one is better than none at all. It was planted on the west side of the deck. Hoping for it to come up again this spring. However I am once again starting some more from seed(indoors) in hopes of having lots more this year. Even if they only make it through this year. Have had some in the past last for atleast three years,(they were boughten ones though)even so it is possible from seed as well. They are so beautiful. Mine were the pacific giants as well. Good Luck and don't give up!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 3:04PM
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thanks! as soon as the weather gets a little better, i will have to venture out and buy some giant pacific seed ... i should look thru some catalogs and JUST ORDER them! .. we just got back from a week in florida, so it SEEMS even colder than usual ..

actually, tonight i DID order (from value seeds) SUMMER BLUES delp & GENTIAN BLUE larkspur .... anyone out there who has grown either of these????

thanks, phyl

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:03AM
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I have grown both the summer blues delp and the gentian blue larkspur. The summer blues seemed weak and didn't live very long.I have to agree with everyone else that the pacific giants delps seem to be the easiest to start and mine have been blooming for three years now. I have them in full sun, and very loomy soil. They seem to like cool roots, so I mulch heavily. The gentian blue larkspurs are gorgeous. Once you grow them, you will want them every year. The blue is a very clear, clean color, and they are very easy to grow from seed. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 10:19AM
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wow, 4 responses so far ... thank you ... with this SLOW forum, i didn't know if anyone would be around to answer ....

aspen, don't you have slugs????? i WOULD if l COULD mulch ... but i have lots and lots of slugs ...

does anybody have some advice on slugs ... i came very close to giving up gardening last summer ... they are SOOOOOOOOdisgusting ....phyl

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:22AM
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There are commercial slug baits, or you could try the old beer-in-the-tuna-can trick. Sink the can so that it is level with the ground. Slugs crawl in and drown. Or, if you're really feeling vindictive, they puncture wonderfully on sharp bits of shredded hardwood mulch. (My fav. method.)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 2:23PM
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this forum is getting a little bit better, action-wise, don't you think!!
i appreciate the answers above ...
i am DETERMINED to grow delphiniums & larkspur this year, phyl insists with great confidence in her voice ...(grin)

p.s. do you direct-sow your larkspur seed?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:45PM
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My gentian blue larkspurs I start from seed around the middle of March. Otherwise I only get a few weeks of flowers before the frost kills them. But I also grow Blue Cloud larkspur, which look kind of like annual baby's breath, except they are a purplish blue. They grow fast and usually self seed. They bloom early enough to compliment the bed with my annual pink poppies. Let us know how it works out for you!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 8:57AM
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plantsnobin(z6 IN)

Try the New Millenium series. You can order small plants from Graceful Gardens. They took the heat last year, and I can tell already that they have multiplied, so it should be a really nice show this year. I also have grown from seed what was supposed to be D. oxysepalum, from a seed exchange. I am not sure they really were the species, but they were nice blue plants that did well. There is also a species -D exaltatum- that has smallish flowers, of a more purple to my eye. But for the big, blue that we grow them for, I would go with the New Millenium.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 2:12AM
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Maude_IA(z5-SE Iowa)

I'm in Iowa, zone 5, and have had modest success so far. What works for me?

Winter sowing, then transplanting to their final resting place in late spring. Those that survive the first winter usually live another 3 - 4 years before calling it quits.

I start seed each winter to replace the losers, and always have some, though not as many as I'd like. Checking the old seed packets, I see I've used Pacific Giant.

Someone advised me that the 'real' reason they die is because of poor winter drainage, so I've tried to site them on the uphill side of the garden, although from a distance, it looks fairly level, it seems to help.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:32PM
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i have gotten great advice from all of you!! .. here is what i have come away with:
1)pacific giant seems like the ones i should plant from seed

  1. some shade is probably a good idea

3)winter die-off is probably caused by poor drainage (so i will raise the planting area a bit and add ..?.. compost?)

4)mulch heavily cuz they like cool roots (i still have a mental problem with that cuz i HATE SLUGS, and SLUGS LOVE delphinium) oh, what to do, what to do ....

5)order millenium from graceful gardens

i just looked at their online catalog ... i WANT to order right now!!!(GRIN) they sell only by the tray ($54.00) what else has anyone gotten from them besides the millenium delphinium .. i probably don't really NEED a full tray of just one thing -- or do i .... hmmmmm
any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 4:42PM
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slugs- since I have shady garden slugs are my big problem- sprinkle heavily sluggo during fall- do not let them multiply and survive overwinter. During several warm heavy rainy days late May go out in the garden at evening and collect those sluggls into can with soapy water. 2-3 evenings of collections and your summer is safe. Occasional sprinkle of sluggo does helps.
If you can not bring to do it yourself hire your children or neighbor's kids to do so ;)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 11:15PM
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i had no idea that putting sluggo out in the fall would be effectiive!! ... i guess i was under the impression that sluggo was only effective until rain (or snow) washed it away .. or dissolved it ... wow!

during the nice weather last week, i was kinda, sorta, looking for evidence of slugs ... didn't see any slugs, but if did find several snails ... or, at least, i think they are snails ... they are not easily squishable like slugs, (harder, & two-toned in color)...

it makes me nauseous just writing about them!!!!!!! i DO squish them when i come across them, but i could just NEVER force myself to go on a slug-hunt at night .... besides, i must have a MILLION or more ... how could i put a dent in that in 2 or 3 nights?? (GRIN)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:23AM
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Does anyone have any suggestions for a new blue cloud delphinium that has lost all its blooms? I bought it a few weeks ago and it was beautiful. I've watered it about every other day and it is green but has no blooms? Should I fertilize it? And if so with what? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 7:50PM
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