Delphinium. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases And Pests. Varieties. Photo

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Delphinium. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases And Pests. Varieties. Photo
Delphinium. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases And Pests. Varieties. Photo

Video: Delphinium. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases And Pests. Varieties. Photo

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Video: HortiHugh: Delphinium care 2023, February

The name "delphinium" is associated with the shape of the flower. The Greeks, in particular Dioscorides, (in the 1st century in his main work "On Medicines" he described all known medicines of plant, animal and mineral origin) compared the buds with the head of dolphins (delphinos). In Russia it was called "spurnik", in Germany - "knightly spurs", in England - "funny spurs", and in France - "lark's legs".

Delphinium, or flower legend
Delphinium, or flower legend

The Greek legend says that once upon a time in Ancient Hellas there lived a gifted young man who sculpted from memory his deceased beloved and breathed life into the statue. For this insolence, the gods turned him into a dolphin. Once the reborn girl came to the seashore and saw a dolphin in the waves, which swam to the shore and laid a delicate flower emitting an azure light at the feet of her beloved. It was a delphinium flower.


  • Delphinium history
  • Description of the delphinium
  • Delphinium landing
  • Delphinium care
  • Reproduction of delphinium
  • Delphinium varieties
  • Delphinium diseases and pests

Delphinium history

Traveling botanists collected plants all over the world and brought them to their homeland. Initially, annual delphiniums were introduced into the culture, in particular, the dubious and oriental. From the crossing of these species came a hybrid called the Ajax delphinium. It has very spectacular shapes with different colors of flowers: white, pink, lilac, lavender, blue, purple. But since the 17th century, gardeners and breeders began to attract perennial species, and first of all, tall, labiate, large-flowered delphiniums.

Description of the delphinium

Larkspur, delphinium, spur (lat. Delphínium).

The genus unites about 400 species of annual and perennial rhizome herbaceous plants growing in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, several species come from the highlands of Africa.

Plants 50-200 cm tall, with finger-split, finger-dissected or multiple-finger-dissected, slightly hairy leaves arranged in regular order. Some species are pollinated by hummingbirds; for others, various bumblebees are welcome guests. This is due to the special structure of the flower. The simple, non-double flower of the delphinium has five colored sepals, the upper one with a spur.

In the center of the flower are two petal nectaries and two small petals called staminodes. They are colored differently from sepals and are called peephole or bee. The main purpose of staminodes is to attract pollinating bumblebees. The fruit is single or multileaf. Seeds are small, viable for 3-4 years. There are 600-700 pieces in 1 g. Learn more about the history of cultivation and biological characteristics …

In gardens and parks, not only hybrid delphiniums are grown, but also some wild species. Dwarf plants and delphiniums with red and yellow flowers are especially popular. Some perennial species are sometimes grown as seasonal cuttings.

Tatra larkspur (Latin Delphinium oxysepalum)
Tatra larkspur (Latin Delphinium oxysepalum)

Delphinium landing

When planting a delphinium, a separate 40x40x40 cm pit is prepared for each bush. The distance between the plants should be at least 50 cm. The planting site is sunny and calm, since the plants are very fragile and easily break. The work on dividing and transplanting delphiniums to rejuvenate the bushes is best done in the spring, at the end of April. When dividing on a bush, no more than 2-3 last year's cut stems are left, around which new buds or young shoots have formed.

Strongly overgrown bushes are formed in the spring, leaving 2-4 peduncles, the rest of the shoots break out, since with a larger number of shoots in the delphinium, the flowers grow smaller, their color is less saturated, and the double flowers become semi-double. Broken out non-hollow shoots 10-15 cm long are used on cuttings for vegetative propagation.

In one place, delphiniums can grow up to 10 years, therefore, the planting pit must be well filled with compost, humus, ash, granular complex mineral fertilizer with microelements. For better rooting, the soil is kept moist.

Fertilization. The lush flowering of the delphinium is provided by the introduction of mineral and organic fertilizers three times a season: in spring, before and after flowering.

After flowering, the stems are cut shortly and covered with clay to protect them from water ingress, otherwise the roots may rot. Pruning the stems stimulates the formation of new shoots, which sometimes bloom again. In central Russia, it is better not to allow repeated flowering, for this purpose, the peduncles are broken out.

Delphinium care

At the end of April, the delphinium can be fed with liquid organic fertilizers (mullein solution in a ratio of 1:10 by volume) or mineral fertilizers. At this time, nitrogen fertilizers are very important, their use will lead to the development of powerful foliage, large shoots and flowers. Second top dressing in early June. The share of nitrogen fertilizers should be sharply reduced, but the share of potash and phosphorus fertilizers should be increased, this will ensure successful flowering. The last top dressing is carried out at the end of flowering, applying only potash and phosphorus fertilizers (50 g / m2), which will ensure good seed maturation and the formation of renewal buds.

Watering is required in moderation and only in dry times. It is better to spill once well than to water a little often. When watering delphiniums, avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can lead to powdery mildew in cool weather.

As soon as the shoots reach a length of 20-25 cm, they break out weak and thin shoots, while 3-5 of the strongest should be left. This will allow you to get large inflorescences. Mulch 2-3 cm thick is very useful.

Then, after 1-2 weeks, the supports are installed. Several long stakes are placed in a circle around the bush, without damaging the rhizome when installing. The shoots are tied to them with a soft ribbon or a metal circle is installed.

After flowering, the shoots lose their decorative effect, gradually die off. If you do not want to collect seeds, you can trim the stems. After a while, secondary growth of shoots will begin and a second flowering is possible. In autumn, after the leaves die off, the shoots should not be cut off, since their stems are hollow and water gets into them, which can lead to decay of the rhizome.

These stems are easily removed in the spring. But even if you want to collect seeds, you can do it twice, because after the first collection of seeds and pruning of dried stems, the plants have time to bloom and form a second crop of seeds. Even if you have to remove the green fruits, they will ripen in a warm and dry room.

It is not necessary to shelter plants for the winter, unless severe frosts strike completely without snow.

Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)
Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)

Reproduction of delphinium

Delphinium propagates by seeds, bush division and green cuttings. The most affordable way is seed. Now you can find on sale seeds of various mixtures and varieties of a wide variety of colors, not only the usual blue-blue gamut (Summer Sky, King Arthur, Black Knight), but also with pure white flowers (Galahad, Arctic) and pink (Astalat). During seed reproduction, varietal traits are not fully transmitted, due to the hybrid origin of varieties, but some splitting (deviation) (10-30%) in the sowing will not upset you at all: plants that deviate from the variety may have an interesting color or flower shape and will be no less are beautiful.

Problems with seed reproduction are different. Seeds require mandatory stratification (cooling period) before sowing. When sown before winter in open ground, in a garden bed or in dug-in containers, they will rise in spring with a thick green brush. Seedlings thin out and dive in the phase of 2 - 3 leaves. But there is not always the possibility of winter sowing. As a rule, it is produced in the spring in open ground or in balcony boxes for seedlings. The disappointed florist explains the lack of seedlings by the low quality of the seeds. Complaints about non-viable delphinium seeds are often heard. Unfortunately, not always on the packaging with seeds there is information about the need for their stratification.

In addition to the mandatory cooling period before sowing, delphinium seeds have other features. They retain their sowing qualities for a short time - 1-2 years. The drop in seed germination is not gradual, as in most crops, but rather sharp. During the acquisition of seeds, they have good germination. But for sowing they can significantly reduce it. We recommend storing the purchased seeds in the refrigerator at + 4-6 degrees. Most firms pack delphinium seeds in small sealed ampoules that are convenient to store in the refrigerator. This will extend the period of preservation of sowing qualities by seeds and provide the necessary stratification.

Reproduction by dividing the bush is also not always successful. Delphinium does not tolerate transplanting at any age: both young seedlings and old bushes. When dividing a bush, you need to be as delicate as possible. If you cut off part of the rhizome with a shovel and transfer it with a lump of earth to another place, then both parts of the plant often die. Not always immediately, but within 1-3 months. The intervention of a variety of delicate colors (white and pink) is especially painful. To divide the old bush, it is recommended in early spring or early autumn to dig up the rhizome, carefully divide it with your hands or cut it with a knife, without damaging the buds of renewal. Places of cuts and breaks should be treated with wood ash or a solution of the "Maxim" preparation.

Reproduction by green cuttings is quite laborious and can be recommended for rare and valuable densely doubled varieties in order to preserve varietal qualities. Young spring shoots up to 10 cm long are used for cuttings. Before planting, cuttings are treated with a solution of heteroauxin or preparations based on it (Kornevin, Root). Cuttings are planted in containers with damp sand, covered with foil, watered and sprayed regularly. The container is placed in partial shade. Avoid drying out and waterlogging, overheating and sudden changes in temperature. If necessary, bring the container indoors overnight.

Top dressing is carried out from the second week after planting cuttings every 7-10 days, preferably by watering and spraying with a complex soluble fertilizer ("Fast effect" for seedlings and indoor flowers). Don't leave the cuttings unattended: only constant care will guarantee success. Rooted plants are carefully transplanted into the ground to a permanent place at the end of summer.

Since delphiniums do not like transplanting, try to immediately choose a suitable place protected from the wind for it, preferably in a light partial shade (flowers fade in direct light), with fertile, but not moist soil. Delphinium bushes, planted along hedges and walls of buildings, among rose bushes, in groups on lawns, look good. With proper planting, delphiniums will grow for 8-10 years, without requiring special attention and care.

Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)
Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)

Delphinium varieties

The first varieties of the hybrid delphinium (Delphinium hybridum), the most popular now among flower growers, appeared in culture in the 19th century. In recent decades, thanks to new technical capabilities and modern techniques, breeders have received unusually spectacular varieties:

"Princess Caroline" ('Princess Caroline'). One of the most beautiful varieties. The powerful peduncle reaches 180 cm in height, of which 60-70 cm falls on the inflorescence. The flowers are strongly double, 6-8 cm in diameter with pure-soft pink petals.

"Red Caroline" ('Red Caroline'). Variety obtained from "Princess Caroline", but with smaller flowers, bright, reddish (very rare for delphinium) color and less vigorous shrub.

"Dwarf". The variety is only 60-70 cm tall (the inflorescence is up to 20 cm long), has densely double, bluish-lilac small flowers with a green stripe in the center of the petals, collected in an unusually dense ear.

"Black Raven ". The variety has tall, numerous peduncles, a loose ear with rather large flowers that look absolutely black from a distance, dark purple with a wide black border around the edges of the petals.

"Snow lace". A very elegant variety with pure white large flowers that have a rich brown "dusting" along the edge of the petals.

Bellamosum. Plant height 100 cm. Inflorescences are dark blue, bright. Propagated by seeds and dividing bushes. Blooms in July and August.

"Pink Butterfly". The variety is large-flowered, attracts attention with pyramidal inflorescences 40 cm high. Flowers, like butterflies, are delicate, airy, pink. Blooms in July and August.

"White Butterfly". The variety has the same characteristics as "Pink Butterfly", only with snow-white inflorescences.

"Pacific mix". Dutch variety, 180 cm high. Used for single and group plantings and for cutting. Seeds are sown in March for seedlings. It is sown outdoors in May. Blooms in July and again in September.

Marfinsky hybrids ". Delphiniums of Russian selection, which include the varieties "Blue Lace", "Lilac Spiral", "Morpheus", "Pink Sunset", "Venus", "Lavender Obelisk", "Daughter of Winter". They are extremely hardy and can grow for many years without transplanting without losing their decorative effect. The color of the flowers varies widely from pale blue to dark purple.

Also noteworthy are foreign varieties with large open flowers of white, pink, dark blue and other colors, for example, "Laurin", "Summer Skies", "Black Knight" (Black Night), "Blue Shadow "(Blue Shadow)," Early Gray ". They tolerate our climate well, are frost-hardy and are quite drought-resistant.

Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)
Larkspur, or delphinium (lat. Delphínium)

Delphinium diseases and pests

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that occurs especially quickly in the wet, cool weather of the second half of summer. A grayish-white bloom appears on the leaves and stems, which then turns brown. Leaves and stems die as a result. This disease can be prevented: plant bushes sparsely, remove excess shoots, thereby improving ventilation, carry out preventive spraying. If the disease is detected, it is necessary to spray it twice with a solution of foundationol or Topaz.

Ramularia leaves

Numerous spots up to 10 mm wide appear on the leaves on both sides. The spots are dark brown, then pale in the center to light gray with a dark rim, gradually merge. With a strong spread of spotting, the leaves dry out prematurely and fall off. Since the infection persists on plant debris, the latter must be collected and destroyed. At the first sign of the disease, plants should be sprayed with antifungal drugs.

Bacterial diseases

Black bacterial spot

Black spots of various sizes and shapes appear on the leaves, first on the lower leaves, spreading gradually upward, until all the foliage dies. The stems are also affected, turn brown, break and dry out. At the onset of the disease, the leaves can be saved by spraying them twice with a tetracycline solution (1 tablet per 1 liter of water). Be sure to remove the affected leaves from the area, as the infection persists in them.

Viral diseases

Ring spot

Numerous concentric rings of irregular shape of yellow color appear on the leaves. With severe damage, the leaves are completely covered with yellow chlorotic spots. Sick plants must be culled and destroyed. Since the carriers of the disease are aphids, the latter must be fought by spraying the plantings with karbofos, actelik, actara, intavir, spark, etc.


Of the pests, the most harmful is the delphinium fly, which lays eggs in flower buds; the hatched larvae feed on parts of the flower, gnawing out stamens and pistils. Flowers do not give seeds and quickly crumble.

Leaves damage slugs, various caterpillars. Slugs do especially great harm to young seedlings, gnawing the leaves strongly, and sometimes destroying them completely.

You can cope with all this misfortune by spraying with insecticide solutions. And slugs are collected in traps made of cabbage or burdock leaves, covered with a board. In addition, it was noticed that slugs do not like the smell of bleach, so they can be scared away by placing jars with a solution of "bleach" in the delphinium plantings.

Delphinium attracts gardeners not only for its beautiful appearance, but also for its ease of care and rapid growth. This plant is unpretentious, does not require shelter for the winter. But it has its own characteristics of cultivation.

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