How to grow nice delphiniums by The Farmer

“Why do my delphiniums die in the garden, Matthew?”

This is what people say to me. They ask me at dinner parties. They ask me at weddings. Sometimes they ask me at funerals; that’s particularly insensitive if the bereaved relatives are eaves dropping. In those circumstances I scowl and put a finger up to my lips.

Delphiniums are a perennial crop. If you look after them, they should flower twice each year over several years. If you don’t look after them, they will die forthwith.

The holy trinity are these.

1 No one likes being eaten by slugs. This especially applies to delphiniums, they hate being eaten by slugs. If you have a clay soil type then you will need to incorporate something abrasive in the soil to immobilise them. Mixing sand into the soil around the plant is ideal.

2 Delphiniums do not like to be too wet in the winter. The hollow stems are like a drinking straw into the heart of the plant. If the rain gets in and then freezes then you’ve got a homicide case on your hands. Make sure that they are not planted in low spots or in areas which are prone to waterlogging and keep the crown of the plant fairly high in the soil.

3 Watch out for diseases. It is best to cut down the foliage after the flowers have been enjoyed. Old foliage may contain fungal spores from diseases like mildew, it is best to remove this. It is safest to chuck it over the hedge into your neighbours garden.


Julienne said...

Ooooh I like gardening hints! Every bit helps when you have totally brown thumbs!

flwrjane said...

Unfortunately it is too damn hot to grow delphiniums here in the American south.

But I take to heart and will definitely use the tip about flipping the garden trash over the neighbors fence.

Thank you Mr. Naylor.

Sherri B. said...

This explains why I had problems growing these beauties. Pacific Northwest means, wet winters with some freezes and quite a bit of clay soil. Off to the florist I go.