The modern delphinium is one of the most spectacular and
popular of garden flowers. There are wide ranges of colors, several flower
forms, and varieties of different heights. Hobby growes strive to produce the
largest individual flowering spikes possible.
PLANT RIGHT: Select a sunny location and a soil as deep
and rich as possible. In early spring set plants into a well prepared soil. If
the soil is tight or does not drain well, place a layer of rocks and gravel
some 12 to 18 inches under the ground level. Work 1 pound of fertilizer per 25
square feet deeply into the soil. Set plants 2 feet apart, pressing soil
tightly around them.
SUMMER CARE: When
plants are about 2 feet high, stake with bamboo poles.
If moisture is needed, it is best to flood the soil
with water, rather than to merely sprinkle. Keep the
surface of the ground loose and free of weed growth.
FEEDING IS NECESSARY: One month
after transplanting, work 1 rounded tablespoonful of
Fertilizer into the soil around each plant. Soak the
plant food into the soil. Soon after blooming, delphiniums
should be cut back and fed in order to induce a big
second crop of bloom.
DIVIDING: About every 3 years it
is necessary to divide roots. This is an early spring
job, just when the shoots axe breaking through the ground.
Dig plants carefully, wash dirt away, cut clumps into
sections, each with plenty of fibrous roots and one
strong stem. Plant immediately in well-pre-pared fibrous
soil, setting plants so the crowns will be 2 inches
below the surface.
PROPAGATION BY CUTTINGS ... is
simple and, easy. In the early spring when the shoots
are about 2 inches high, dig the soil away, exposing
the crown of the plant.
Use a sharp knife and slice a thin heel from the crown.
Place in water for 2 or 3 hours, then re-move and dust
with sulfur before placing in moist sand. Keep partially
shaded and moist. After cuttings have taken root, move
into 3 or 4-inch pots. They should be ready to transplant
into the garden in about 5 to 7 weeks.
DELPHINIUMS FROM SEED: Good seed
is necessary to produce good plants. Hand pollination
is generally preferred. Use a good, loose potting soil,
firming it down into flats or pots with a wooden block
and then moisten before sowing the seed. Cover seeds
about 1/8 Of an inch by sifting soil over them. Keep
moist and shaded until seeds germinate, then remove
shade. August sown seed produces seed-lings that can
be wintered over in a cold frame and given a permanent
place in the garden the following spring.
Caring for Delphiniums