Delphinium Plant Features
The tall, stately blooms of delphinium have played a starring role in perennial borders for generations. With towering flower stalks of blue, white, lavender, or pink blooms, delphiniums are a delight in the back of a garden border. Tall delphinium varieties can stretch 6 feet tall, but there are also more compact varieties that grow just 2 feet high. Delphiniums are also beloved by bees and butterflies, which feast on the nectar-rich flowers. Delphiniums also make wonderful cut flowers. Hardy from zones 3-8.
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Delphinium Growing Instructions
Delphinium grows best in a sunny location with rich, slightly moist soil. Some varieties grow best in cooler, milder regions of the country, but there are delphiniums that thrive in any sunny situation as long as they aren't subjected to super hot temperatures in midsummer. If you're in an area with especially hot, humid summers, delphiniums do best in a situation with morning sun and afternoon shade --- as well as a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil.
Taller delphinium varieties also require staking to keep them from toppling in windy weather. Feed with a slow-release granular fertilizer in the early spring and never let the plants dry out completely. Amending the soil liberally with compost at planting time can be particularly helpful to delphiniums, especially if you have poor soil. In areas with heavy clay, topdressing the soil with a layer of compost every year can also be extremely beneficial.
Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Moist, well-drained soil
Complement your Delphinium with these varieties:
The tall, elegant flower stalks of Hollyhock are the perfect complement for Delphinium.
The sun-loving Coneflower makes a great companion for Delphinium.
Plant Daylily at the base of Delphinium to add a double dose of color to garden beds and borders.
Varieties: Our Favorites
Delphinium elatum 'Aurora Blue'
The dense spires of rich, double blue flowers of ‘Aurora Blue’ delphinium are simply gorgeous in the early summer garden. This easy-care variety grows 48 inches tall, but won’t topple in storms. Zones 4-7
Delphinium elatum 'Aurora Deep Purple'
Add a touch of purple to your garden with ‘Aurora Deep Purple’ delphinium. This sturdy variety develops sprays of dark purple flowers with pure white centers. It grows 48 inches tall and only 12 inches wide. Zones 4-7
Delphinium elatum 'Aurora Light Blue'
In early summer, the sky-blue flowers of ‘Aurora Light Blue’ delphinium burst into bloom. Like other members of the Aurora delphinium family, it does not require staking to keep it upright. This one grows about 48 inches tall and is hardy Zones 4-7.
Delphinium elatum 'Aurora Light Purple'
Perfect for containers and gardens, Aurora Light Purple shows off wands of lavender-purple flowers in early summer. It grows 48 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Zones 4-7
Delphinium elatum 'Dasante Blue'
Showing off spikes of rich blue flowers, Dasante Blue is a standout in the garden! It grows 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide and blooms throughout the summer. Zones 3-7
Delphinum grandiflorum 'Summer Blues'
Growing just 12 inches tall, ‘Summer Blues’ delphinium makes an ideal container plant mixed with other perennial and annual flowers. It forms a compact mound of sky-blue blooms. The lacy foliage adds interest when the plant is not in bloom. Zones 3-7
Delphinium grandiflorum 'Summer Nights'
An easy-care, compact variety, ‘Summer Nights’ delphinium grows just 10 to 12 inches tall. Use it as an edging plant or in containers! Flowers can be any shade of blue. Like other varieties of delphinium, butterflies and hummingbirds love 'Summer Nights'. Zones 3-7