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As you read this, you can learn the following:
* Description of the Larkspur
* Different Uses in Garden and Terrace
* Larkspur Planting Tips
* Larkspur Maintenance Tips
* Pests and Diseases
Description of the Larkspur
The delphinium is commonly known as larkspur, or dolphinelle. This name comes from the shape of the long spur protecting its flower buds, which resembles the dolphin’s muzzle. It forms a tuft with upright stems that can be up to 60 cm wide. The toothed foliage is medium green, highly lobed, sometimes downy. It disappears in winter. The floral stems of the delphiniums are spectacular, measuring up to 2 m in some varieties. They form more or less loose spikes, offering white, yellow, and pink colors. Above all, blue and violet shades are quite rare. The flowers can take very varied forms: in a cup, with a spur, an elf cap, simple or double. Their size varies between 2 cm and 10 cm.
The flowers bloom between June and October, depending on the variety. Many of them appear at the end of spring and then come up again at the end of the season. They are very melliferous and attract many pollinating and foraging insects.
There are about 400 species of larkspur, most of which are perennial herbaceous. There are also annuals and biennials. They belong to the family renoncululaceae. They originate from temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, distinctly in China. Some are quite widespread in France.
They are collected in the form of panicles or stretched bunches. The flowers are ideal for designing wreaths. These floral stems bear spikes of flowers with five petals, accompanied by an elongated spur, in a wide range of blues. All parts of the larkspur are poisonous and can provoke digestive disorders or inflammation only by contact.
Different Uses in Garden and Terrace
Larkspur flower is the star of English gardens. Their verticality is much appreciated for gardens, whether in a flowery meadow or a slightly fuzzy bed, such as a mixed border or in very linear edges. You can place the smaller ones in pots on the terrace. In rural gardens, they can accompany poppies, blueberries, and daisies. Their charm combines excellently with many perennials and old roses. Their colors allow for all kinds of fantastic notions, playing on contrasts or the contrary on gradations or nuances.
These beautiful slender stems are perfect for making more sophisticated wreaths. Pick them when they are almost in full bloom so that you can enjoy them for about two weeks. They can then be left to dry upside down to continue to enchant your home in dry bouquets.
Larkspur Planting Tips
They can thrive in fertile, deep, moist, and well-drained soils. They need freshness at their feet, sunshine, and good shelter from the wind, especially the tallest ones. On the other hand, they fear winter humidity and excess limestone.
A supply of natural organic fertilizer is ideal before planting. In compact soil, a quantity of potting soil enriched with white peat can help the larkspur to settle. It is possible to plant three to five plants per m2, ensuring to leave sufficient space between them to allow them to grow well. Larkspur can be placed in containers at least 30 cm deep, in a substrate composed of potting soil and compost or decomposed manure. The best time for planting is in the fall or in March/April while waiting for the last frosts to pass.
Larkspur Maintenance Tips
Watering twice a week should encourage their growth. After that, the soil must be kept cool by regular watering and the mulch. In the spring, adding compost and humus can nourish its development and keep the soil fresh. At the same time, you should fold down the ground to prevent moisture from rotting the plants.
Tall varieties often require staking; the stems are very brittle, especially when loaded with flowers. Once deflowered, the stem should be folded down over the leaves, and the wilted flowers systematically removed to give a new flowering at the end of the summer. Annuals, on the other hand, can go to seed, allowing many spontaneous sowings.
The larkspur is a little lazy. It can take two to three years to take root. Once in place, it should have to be divided every three to four years so that the plant retains its vigor and generous flowering.
This division is carried out in the summer or late winter. You can cut the plants in March-April. The young shoots, about 10 cm long, are taken from the base of the three or 4-year-old tufts. The cuttings are placed in a light, draining substrate and placed at a temperature of 15 to 20° degree. You should consider fertilizing the potted larkspur regularly.
Pests and Diseases
Beware of gastropods at the arrival of spring, when the tender leaves are developing. Larkspur is susceptible to mildew and powdery mildew. Slugs, powdery mold, crown rot, leaf spot are significant hazards to larkspur.
In Greek mythology, the lark’s foot is said to have originated from the blood of Ajax. This hero of the Trojan War would have thrown himself on his sword when he learned that the weapons of Achilles had been given to Odysseus rather than to him. The lark’s foot is one of the flowers dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Offering a lark’s foot in bloom would mean “let’s take it easy” or “I’m very busy.” In the language of flowers, it symbolizes lightness.
Dazzlingly beautiful at the bottom of the border, the larkspurs offer a refreshed spectacle throughout the summer. These plants are ideal for bringing verticality to the garden thanks to their spikes of flowers whose array varies from white to deep blue. Valuable for bedding plants, the large larkspur plants offer superbly colored flowers, including some of the most beautiful blues in the garden.