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How to plant and cultivate the delphinium?

How to plant and cultivate the delphinium?

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The characteristics of the delphinium

  • Type: Flower and flowering plant
  • Height: From 30 to 60 cm
  • Flower colors: White, pink, purple, blue, red
  • Desired exposure: Sunny, semi-shaded
  • Type of soil: Well drained, rich in humus
  • Foliage: Caduc
  • Interview: High light requirement, frequent watering
  • sanitizer: No
  • diseases: Powdery mildew, aphids
  • variety: Delphinium grandiflorum, delphinium villosum, delphinium belladona, delphinium popovii, delphiniium petrodavisianum

Origins and peculiarities of the delphinium

Also known as lark's foot or delphinium, the delphinium is a plant originating mainly from China (mountainous areas) and which belongs to the family of Ranunculaceae. It owes its Latin name "delphinium" to the resemblance of the spur which is at the back of the flower with the muzzle of the dolphin!

The delphinium is a flowering plant which can be planted in a pot or a planter on a balcony as well as in a border or a flower bed. It is true that because of their large size (the stems can sometimes exceed 2 meters!), The delphiniums are perfect for bringing height and relief to beds in flower gardens. Without forgetting the multiplicity of shades of blue and the diversity of shapes (flat, rounded, trumpet ...) offered by their flowers, which in addition have the advantage of having an excellent hold once cut and put in a bouquet!

Be careful though: whether it is the stem, the flower or the leaves, all parts of the delphinium contain substances which prove to be very toxic if ingested (the consequences can range from vomiting and gastric disorders at low doses, even death in high doses).

Plantation of the delphinium

Theperennial delphiniumis a flowering plant which has some requirements as for its planting: it is planted either in spring (March or April), or in autumn (September, October, November) and needs a soil: rich in humus, sufficiently fresh, well drained and deep.

The lark's foot does not support too heavy soil, nor too dry soil, and needs to flourish to be exposed to the sun (a little shaded place can also suit him).
It is advisable to leave a space between 30 and 50 cm between each foot in order to let it flourish in width as well as in height.

Multiply the delphinium

The delphinium is a plant that you can divide yourself either by sowing or by cuttings. Delphinium sowing is done either in the spring directly in the ground for the annuals or at the end of spring in a greenhouse for the perennials in order to put them in the ground the following spring. The cuttings are obtained by recovering young stems of at least 10 cm by ridding them of almost all their leaves.

It is then necessary to soak the cut end in a hormone of cuttings then to put them in compost in pots under a plastic transparent to the light in order to keep a temperature of approximately 20 ° C. Mist the stems and let it grow all summer. In autumn, they can be installed in their final place to see them grow the following season.

Maintenance of the delphinium

Knowing that the perennial varieties see their leaves completely disappear during the winter, it is essential, in the spring, during regrowth, to pay attention to the slugs and snails which adore this tender vegetation.
Aside from that, the delphinium will be reborn every year and with a little fertilizer, it is guaranteed that the flowering will be more important. Remember to install it in a little windy place also avoids seeing the long flowering stems being bent or broken under the gusts. They can also be staked when they are large delphiniums. Cutting faded flowers also facilitates the resumption of flowering.

Diseases and parasites of the delphinium

As previously mentioned, snails and slugs can cause real killings on delphinium plants by eating the shoots before they come out of the ground in spring. To remedy this, it is more than advisable to spread an anti-slug in the spring and fall at planting, then every year thereafter.

To fight against powdery mildew which can also affect delphiniums, it should be sprayed before an anti-powdery mildew treatment based on milk (10%).