How to Grow and Care for Delphinium Flowers

how to grow and care for delphinium flowers
12 min reading time

Delphiniums are tall, elegant flowering plants that add a touch of charm to any garden. They produce spikes of blue, purple, pink, white, or yellow flowers that bloom in early to mid-summer, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard.

If you want delphiniums in your garden, it’s essential to learn how to grow and care for delphinium flowers so that they can thrive. This involves understanding their basic requirements for sunlight, soil, water, and fertilizer, as well as protecting them from pests and diseases.

Key Takeaways:

  • Delphiniums are tall, elegant flowering plants that produce spikes of blue, purple, pink, white, or yellow flowers that bloom in early to mid-summer.
  • Becoming familiar with delphiniums’ basic requirements for sunlight, soil, water, and fertilizer is essential to their growth and maintenance.
  • To maintain healthy plants, delphiniums should be protected from common pests and diseases that affect their growth and blooming.

Growing Delphiniums: Choosing the Right Varieties

Delphiniums come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a popular choice among gardeners. Choosing the right type of delphiniums for your garden can be overwhelming, but with a little knowledge, you can pick the perfect plant.

To help you decide, consider the overall look you want to achieve in your garden. Do you want a particular color scheme or height? Do you want a plant that blooms at a specific time of year?

Some popular delphinium varieties include:

Delphinium NameHeightColorBloom Time
Delphinium elatum4-6 feetBlue, purple, pink, whiteJune to August
Delphinium grandiflorum1-3 feetBlue, pink, whiteMay to August
Delphinium nudicaule1-2 feetRed, orange, yellowMay to July

When choosing delphiniums, it’s important to consider their height. Taller varieties may require staking or support to keep them from bending or breaking under their weight. Shorter varieties work well in borders or containers. Look for plants with sturdy stems and healthy leaves to ensure optimal growth and blooming.

With the right research and planning, you can choose the perfect delphinium varieties for your garden and enjoy their stunning beauty for years to come.

How to Grow and Care for Delphinium Flowers: Planting and Location

Proper planting and location are crucial for the successful growth of delphiniums. Here are some tips on how to care for delphinium plants:

Planting TimePlant delphiniums in the early spring or fall. Avoid planting during the hot summer months.
LocationChoose a location that receives full or partial sunlight. Delphiniums prefer cool temperatures and protection from strong winds.
Soil RequirementsDelphiniums thrive in rich, well-draining soil. Amend your soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting.
SpacingSpace your delphinium plants at least 1-3 feet apart, depending on the variety.
Support StructuresFor taller varieties, use stakes or trellises to support the plant and prevent it from toppling over.

By following these delphinium growing tips and providing your plants with the proper care and maintenance, you’ll be sure to enjoy a beautiful display of blooms in your garden.

Delphiniums Flower Care: Watering and Fertilizing

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial to ensure the health and vigorous growth of delphiniums. Follow these delphinium flower care instructions for watering and fertilizing:

Watering Delphiniums

Delphiniums require consistent soil moisture to thrive. They prefer moist but well-draining soil and are sensitive to drought. Water deeply once a week, or more often during hot and dry weather. Avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot and other diseases.

Fertilizing Delphiniums

Delphiniums are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, every two weeks from early spring until late summer. Apply the fertilizer granules around the base of the plants and water thoroughly.

Be sure to follow these delphinium plant care guide instructions for watering and fertilizing to help your plants grow strong and healthy.

Delphinium Plant Care: Protecting from Pests and Diseases

Delphiniums are susceptible to various pests and diseases, which can cause damage to the plant and affect its growth and blooming. However, with proper care and preventive measures, you can protect your delphiniums and keep them healthy and thriving. Here are some tips for protecting your delphiniums from pests and diseases:

Identifying Common Pests and Diseases

Before you can protect your delphiniums from pests and diseases, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Common pests include aphids, spider mites, and slugs, while diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot can also affect delphiniums. Keep an eye on your plants and look for yellowing leaves, distorted growth, or unusual patterns or spots on the leaves or stems.

Preventive Measures

The best way to protect your delphiniums from pests and diseases is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Clean your garden tools and equipment regularly to avoid spreading diseases.
  • Avoid overhead watering, which can promote fungal growth.
  • Ensure proper air circulation by spacing out your plants and removing any dead or decaying plant material.
  • Plant your delphiniums in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around your plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Organic Treatments

If you do encounter pests or diseases on your delphiniums, there are several organic treatments you can try:

  • Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests like aphids and spider mites.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your plants to deter slugs and other crawling insects.
  • Mix a solution of baking soda and water to combat powdery mildew.
  • Apply a fungicide containing copper to prevent or treat fungal diseases.

Remember to always follow the instructions on the product label and be cautious when using any chemical treatments.

Delphinium Growing Tips: Pruning and Deadheading

how to grow and care for delphinium flowers

Pruning and deadheading are crucial tasks for maintaining the health and continuous blooming of your delphinium plants. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you perform these maintenance tasks.

Pruning Delphiniums:

Pruning is the act of cutting back the stems of your delphinium plants. This encourages new growth and prevents the plant from becoming too leggy or top-heavy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Once the first set of flowers has bloomed, use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem just above the basal foliage (the leaves at the bottom of the plant).
  2. Make sure you cut at a 45-degree angle to avoid water buildup on the cut stem, which can lead to fungal diseases.
  3. If you have multiple stems, stagger the timing of your pruning to ensure continuous blooms throughout the growing season.

Deadheading Delphiniums:

Deadheading is the act of removing spent flowers from the plant. This promotes further blooming and prevents the plant from wasting energy on developing seeds. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wait until the flowers have wilted and turned brown.
  2. Use your fingers or pruning shears to cut the stem just below the spent flower.
  3. If you notice any diseased or damaged parts of the plant, remove them immediately to prevent the spread of problems.
  4. Continue deadheading throughout the growing season to encourage new blooms.

By following these pruning and deadheading tips, you can ensure your delphinium plants are healthy and blooming all season long.

Overwintering Delphiniums

For those living in colder climates, overwintering delphiniums is crucial to ensure their survival. There are several methods you can use to protect your plants from freezing temperatures and harsh conditions.

The first step is to cut back the foliage to about two inches above the ground and remove any debris from the area around the plant. You should also apply a layer of mulch around the base to help insulate the roots.

If you live in an area with mild winters, you can simply cover the plants with a layer of straw or other organic material. However, in areas with harsher conditions, you may need to take additional steps to protect your delphiniums.

TransplantingOne option is to transplant the delphiniums to a protected area, such as a greenhouse or cold frame. This will provide them with the optimal growing conditions to survive the winter.
PottingIf you prefer not to transplant your delphiniums, you can also pot them and bring them indoors for the winter. Make sure they are placed in a cool, well-lit area and watered sparingly.
DivisionAnother option is to divide the plants and store them in a cool, dark place until spring. Make sure to label them so you know which varieties are which.

When spring arrives, you can transplant or repot your delphiniums and watch them flourish once again. With proper care and attention, these beautiful flowers can become a perennial favorite in your garden.

Troubleshooting Common Delphinium Issues

Delphiniums are stunning flowering plants that require some attention to thrive. Even when you provide your delphiniums with the ideal growing conditions, you may still encounter some issues. Here are some common problems and solutions to help you troubleshoot your delphinium plant care.

Yellowing leaves

If you notice yellowing leaves on your delphiniums, it could be due to overwatering or poor drainage. Try reducing the amount of water you give your plants and make sure that the soil drains well. Alternatively, yellowing leaves may also indicate a lack of nutrients, so consider adding fertilizer to the soil.

Lack of blooms

If your delphiniums are not blooming, it could be due to insufficient sunlight or a lack of nutrients. Make sure that your plants are getting at least six hours of direct sunlight per day and consider fertilizing them regularly with a balanced fertilizer.

Stunted growth

If your delphinium plants are not growing well, it could be due to poor soil quality or a lack of nutrients. Make sure that the soil is well-draining and that you provide your plants with enough fertilizer. Additionally, stunted growth may be caused by overcrowding, so make sure that your plants are spaced apart adequately.

Curling leaves

Curling leaves on delphiniums are often a sign of stress caused by high temperatures or lack of moisture. Try to keep your plants well-watered and provide some shade during hotter periods in the day. Additionally, curled leaves may indicate pest infestations, so be sure to check your plants for any signs of bugs.

Fungal diseases

Delphiniums can be susceptible to various fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and verticillium wilt. If you notice any signs of fungal infections, such as white or gray patches on leaves or stems, treat your plants immediately with a suitable fungicide. Make sure to also remove any infected plant debris promptly.

By identifying and solving common delphinium issues, you can keep your plants healthy and thriving. With the right delphinium plant care, you can enjoy beautiful blooms year after year.


Delphiniums are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they require some attention and care to thrive. By following the tips and guidelines covered in this article, you can become a master of growing and caring for delphinium flowers.

Remember to choose the right variety for your garden, plant them in the ideal location with proper spacing and support, and maintain consistent moisture levels while fertilizing as needed. Regular pruning and deadheading will help promote continuous blooming, and taking steps to protect your plants from pests and diseases will keep them healthy year-round.

If you encounter any issues while growing delphiniums, don’t panic. Refer back to this article and use the troubleshooting tips provided to overcome any challenges that come your way. With some patience and dedication, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of delphiniums in your garden for years to come.


What are delphinium flowers?

Delphinium flowers, also known as larkspur, are tall, flowering plants that belong to the buttercup family. They produce colorful spikes of blooms in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white.

How do I grow delphinium flowers?

To grow delphinium flowers, start by selecting a sunny location with well-draining soil. Plant the delphiniums at the appropriate spacing and water regularly to maintain consistent moisture levels. Provide support for taller varieties and deadhead spent blooms to encourage continuous blooming.

What are the ideal growing conditions for delphiniums?

Delphiniums thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer cool temperatures. They require well-draining soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. Adequate spacing and proper airflow are also important for their growth and preventing diseases.

How often should I water delphiniums?

Delphiniums require regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply at least once a week, or more frequently during hot, dry weather. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

Do delphiniums require fertilization?

Yes, delphiniums benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring and again after the first bloom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates. Avoid excessive nitrogen, as it can lead to weak stems and reduced flower production.

How can I protect delphiniums from pests and diseases?

Common pests that can affect delphiniums include aphids, slugs, and powdery mildew. Monitor your plants regularly and take preventive measures such as using organic insecticides and removing affected leaves. Proper spacing and good airflow can help prevent diseases.

When should I prune and deadhead my delphiniums?

Pruning and deadheading delphiniums should be done after the first bloom to encourage a second wave of flowers. Cut back the stems to the basal foliage, leaving behind a few healthy buds. Deadhead spent blooms regularly throughout the growing season to promote continuous blooming.

How can I overwinter delphiniums?

To overwinter delphiniums, cut back the foliage after the first hard frost and cover the plants with a layer of mulch. Alternatively, you can dig up the plants and store them in a cool, dry location until spring. Provide protection from freezing temperatures and excessive moisture.

What should I do if my delphiniums have yellowing leaves or stunted growth?

Yellowing leaves or stunted growth in delphiniums can indicate nutrient deficiencies or pests. Ensure that your plants are receiving proper fertilization and monitor for pests. Prune affected leaves and treat with organic solutions if necessary.

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