Delphinium Flowers

If you want to know a little something about delphinium flowers and how to grow them, read the following article:
Delphinium flowers are perennial flowers that belong to the buttercup family of Ranunculaceae. More commonly known as Larkspur, they are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and in the high mountains of tropical Africa. This flowering plant's season is from late spring to late summer.

These flowers come in several colors of red, white, blue, yellow and purple. The blue delphinium flowers are the most commonly found of these species. They are found in bunches, atop the flowering stem. The flower has five petal-esque sepals. These sepals contain the true petals. The seeds of the delphinium flowers are shiny, dark black in color. They are pollinated by bumble bees and butterflies. In earlier times, these flowers were used by Native Americans to make blue dye. And there have been recordings of them being used to drive away scorpions as well. The Europeans, it is said, used these to make ink.

Its Meaning

This strikingly beautiful flower derives its meaning from the Greek word Delphis, which means Dolphin. This is because the flower closely resembles the bottle-like nose of the dolphin. Delphinium flowers symbolize qualities like lightness, levity, big-hearted, ardent attachment and fun. It also carries within it the essence of heavenly qualities.

Growing the Plant

Delphinium flowers are a delight to have in the gardening world. But certain key steps have to be followed for this to come about.

There are countless varieties of the delphinium flowers. While some are about a foot in height, others can go up to several feet even. So when choosing the variety of the plant, think about its purpose in the garden. Do you need it as a boundary lining? Or as an independent flowering bed. Choose the smaller or bigger growing varieties, keeping the landscape designs in mind.

Soil and Location
The preferred soil conditions for the planting and growth of these flowers is that it should be moist, fertile and humus-rich. So is also a well-drained surface absolutely necessary. Make sure that there is plenty of sunlight available at the spots where you wish to plant it. They require a lot of sunshine for their growth, or else it directly affects the bloom or the height of the plant. Choose a spot where it is not windy, though these plants grow well in cool weather as well.

It is possible to start one's own seed very easily. It does not require to be specially treated in order to give good germination. To help the planting process, take the required seeds and place them in a plastic bag, add moist vermiculite to it (never put it in the freezer directly.) and put this in the freezer for 90 days. Then sow the seed.

Planting Technique
These flowers can be planted from the seeds or from already existing stems. When planting the flowers from seeds, keep a space of an inch between the seeds. Use a 6 inch pot and plant about 2-4 seeds in each plant. Make sure to press the seed in so that it barely covers. The seed is required to be in damp and moist soil. It also requires sunshine and light. Putting it deep within the pot will eliminate any chances of this and will result in the seed drying up. Make sure to keep the soil damp, always using warm water to water the soil. After about 14-21 days, the germination will begin.

Once the plants have grown, (when they have about 4 leaves) they need to be transported into prepared beds that are about 7'' deep and 4'' wide. Make sure that the temperature at the site of planting is 55-60 degrees F. Add a compost mix and fertilizer to the bottom of the hole. Space each delphinium plant about a foot apart. Place the plants in the dug holes, after carefully removing them from the pots and shaking away any loose soil. Make sure to water the plants well after planting. This will get rid of any air pockets, if there are. The flowers won't make an appearance till after the second year, from the time it was planted.

After Care
Delphinium care requires that you water the plants sufficiently. In fact a little extra water is beneficial. Water the plant with a liquid fish emulsion once a month or add some extra compost around each individual plant in the spring. Feeding the plant well is very very important if you want the plant to flower and bloom well. But be careful about the amount of fertilizer you put in. Overfeeding the plants with nitrogen will reduce the life span of these flowers.

The delphinium stalks will grow to a height of 4-5 feet and there is a possibility that they will droop over. So make sure you provide some sort of a support to them when they are growing.

Delphinium flowers will bring such a splash of color into your garden, that you won't be able to help, but keep looking at them. And now that you know how to care for them, there's nothing stopping you from having a lovely delphinium garden of your own. So go right ahead and create that magical world!
By Rujuta Borkar
Published: 5/4/2010
Bouquets and Brickbats