My delphiniums are up and growing - what next? Part one!

Wanganui, New Zealand

Hybrid Delphiniums are gross feeders. No matter what varieties you are growing they will appreciate being well fed. What to feed and when will depend on your soil type and climate but there are some general rules that will apply to everyone.
1) Feed them a well balanced fertiliser at about one and a half times the rate you would use for your roses. I scatter a cupful of 12/10/10 fertiliser around my plants (but not on them when they first appear in the spring. Freshly planted plants will need less. At the same time, if you have animal manure or compost then give them a good mulch. Water the fertiliser and compost in well Once the [plants are about knee high I would repeat the dose.

2) If using wood shavings for mulch be sure to add nitrogen

More tomorrow. In the mean time there is heaps of growing information here


Terry Dowdeswell

Image of delphinium seedling on trial - note wood shavings mulch.

Thumbnail by dowdeswell
Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I like the look of your staking system. I need to come up with something for mine. Have 6 that made it through the winter and am looking forward to seeing their second year bloom.

Wanganui, New Zealand

The wire netting does a great job for supporting them in long rows and has the advantage of being inconspicuous. I prefer not to stake them at all in the garden and like to see them growing through roses or other perennials that give hard support - or just letting them flop where they get too tall. There just about as many garden support frames on the market as there are delphinium varieties so there may be something you can find locally



Image - New Millennium "Blue Lace"

Thumbnail by dowdeswell


Your delphs are so gorgeous! Perhaps you can send some insight my way - we get such hard driving rains, that any delphs I have ever grown, just get beaten to death by the rains. What can I do - I have tried staking them and unfortunately they still get pummeled to nothing....

Wanganui, New Zealand

Hi Carolyn,

You do get a good amount of rain don't you!

The best advice I can give apart from moving house, growing water lilies, or growing them under cover is to suggest giving them plenty of space, full sun, good drainage, a high potash fertiliser and growing them through wire netting or plants, such as roses, that will offer good support. The key really is to keep them strong and short and the above suggestions should helt. Also, choose short and sturdy growing varieties such as Pink Punch and Morning Lights.

Hoping this helps

Image - Pink Punch

Thumbnail by dowdeswell

Good ideas, Terry. I had not thought about growing them through other plants.

Thank you for the suggestions.

Lindenhurst, NY

Your delphiniums are just amazingly beautiful. I tried growing them from seed a few years back - i did have some germination but they didn't seem very happy growing here in my climate. I'm sure they could have used a lot more fertilizer than i gave them. I had one plant come back for 2 yrs then I never saw it again:-(

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