Delphinium Summer

The delphiniums are in full bloom right now.  They are particularly striking when paired with the roses, with the cool blues and purples of the delphiniums contrasting nicely with the full, plump pinks, reds  and yellows of the roses.

All of my delphinium, with only one exception, I started myself from seed last year.  Delphiniums, in order to germinate, need very light seed starting mix and also require darkness for germination.  I start the seeds in March,  covering them with soil and a piece of newspaper to keep the light out.  After they germinate, I grow them under lights until it warms up in June, and then I plant them outside after hardening off.  They usually bloom a little bit even that first year in August and September, then take the winter off and come back in full effect the following spring and summer.  You will get better germination as well if you are using fresh rather than old seed.  You can save your own seed and use that, or purchase seed.  If you save your own, you can sort them by color, so you can plant the starts together in more pleasing color arrangements because you know what color they will bloom, which is not usually possible with store-bought seed that typically comes in mixed colors.

I have noticed that the delphiniums seem to appreciate a cold winter.  I did cover mine with plastic last December because we had over a foot of snow at our place, rather unusual for this area.  However, after the snow melted the plastic came off, and the plants can back nicely this spring.


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