Common Name: Delphinium, Larkspur, Consolida

The delphinium is a hardy perennial that can survive winter and return the following year. They are elegant bright flowers which grow tall, often to the height of 6 foot and come in a variety of colours such as blue, pink, red and white. Flowers emerge from small circular, leafy buds that are delicate and a bright shade of green. Because of their height they need shelter from strong winds and rain. Keeping them on a stake all year round will stop their hollow stem from breaking, and they won't end up being beaten down and flattened. Delphiniums hate wet and poorly drained soil, if you leave them in this type of soil they will die. Soil that is moist but open to the sunshine is where the Delphinium will thrive. They are hungry feeders so will need to be fed a few times throughout the summer months, this is one of the reasons as to why they don't grow well when crowded by other plants.

 They’re difficult to grow from seed so it’s best to buy plants locally from garden centres in the spring to plant from spring to summer. Delphiniums like a slightly alkaline soil, especially when first planted, so it's a good idea to add lime to raise the pH above 6.5.


Interesting Facts:

  • It is very poisonous to both humans and animals. Eating or absorbing Delphinium in any form can lead to severe illness, paralysis, or death.
  • In ancient times, it was used to repel scorpions, lice and other parasites.
  • They can grow up to 6 foot tall in height.
  • The black or white centre of the Delphinium is known as a bee and speaking of bees they are highly pollinated by both butterflies and bees.
  • If you’re born in July, you’re lucky to have Delphinium as your birth month flower! They aren’t just for July babies, though! They make great meaningful gifts, symbolising joy, goodwill, and protection.  

Companion Planting

The taller delphiniums grow well in the back of a border, against a house, wall or fence, and the shorter varieties look good in the front of your garden, on sight for everyone to see. Delphinium, hollyhock, or mammoth sunflowers are the most common plants used for back borders. Delphiniums earned a beloved place in the Victorian language of flowers by representing an open heart. Delphinium flowers were often used in wedding bouquets and garlands along with lilies and chrysanthemums. As delphiniums need a lot of food and take up a lot of space, they are best paired with easy growing plants such as iris and phlox, these flower varieties can almost grow well next to any plant. For lower growing delphiniums, plant next to alyssum and ageratum.