Larkspur Flowers – Planting, Growing and Care Tips
Larkspur is a traditional plant for cottage gardens that makes excellent cut flowers. This plant is graceful to any garden and looks great in masses or blended with other perennials and annuals. It has airy stalks of blue blooms. Larkspur is a simple plant to grow from seed and will cheerfully reseed itself in the garden year after year. It is a real annual.
It is simple to understand why larkspur is a classic because of the stunning colors of the sky to the navy blue that the blooms come in. Larkspur has many different colors, including blue, a rare color in flowers. There are single and double forms of the plant, some of which have so many petals that they resemble pom-poms.
Larkspur’s leaf is a wonderful complement to the plant (and the garden!). Light, airy vegetation creates a fern-like look. Larkspur is remarkably adaptable when coupled with other plants since it aids in plants’ ability to blend in with the garden.
Keep Larkspur seeds, blooms, and leaves out of reach of children and pets because they are poisonous if eaten.
Where to Plant Larkspur
Annual larkspur can be found in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 through 11. It thrives in bright garden borders and beds; under ideal circumstances, it can self-seed in the garden.
How and When to Plant Larkspur
Larkspurs are easy to raise from seed and are not finicky. In the fall, you can plant seeds straight in the ground in southern regions. Early spring is the best time to plant seeds in the northern areas.
Larkspur Care Tips
Larkspur should be planted in full sun for the greatest blooms. While plants may tolerate a little shade, they will probably flop and need stakes. This can be avoided by sowing larkspur plants thickly, placing them along a wall or other structure as a support system, or planting them close to other tall plants.
● Water and Soil
Make sure you use well-drained soil when planting larkspur. Although larkspur doesn’t enjoy being wet for extended periods, it does require regular hydration. Make sure plants receive consistent moisture, especially when they are in bloom. Plants might get stunted and have poor bud set if left too dry for a long time, which means you might get fewer blooms.
● Temperature and Humidity
The plants will start to turn brown and die in the hot, humid summers of the South because they are cool-season annuals. In the North, plants can withstand the summer months before it becomes too heated.
How To Grow Larkspur Flowers
Larkspur blooms are typically cultivated from seeds. Although they can be moved and transplanted, doing so requires caution because it is a delicate operation. This is due to the ease with which moving the plant might harm the taproots, which enables the plant’s amazing development.
Before the seeds begin to sprout, they must endure a cold time. Placing the seeds in the refrigerator is the most effective way to cool them two weeks before planting. To keep them wet, place them in a Ziplock bag with perlite. If the temperature exceeds 18 °C, the seeds will not sprout. The seeds should begin to sprout three weeks after being placed.
Water the seeds frequently to promote root development, but avoid overwatering or submerging them. You can transplant the roots into their permanent locations once they have blossomed.
Ensure the soil has adequate drainage before planting larkspur to avoid the roots rotting and dying. For best development, keep the soil moist at all times. Flowers don’t thrive in hot, dry environments. Additionally, they do well in the sun, so you must pay close attention to the soil’s moisture levels.
Larkspur blooms grow very tall and may need extra support to stay erect, particularly in windy situations.
They typically self-sow by scattering their seeds. They can, therefore, simply come back the following year. However, if not properly controlled, this also makes it simple for the plants to take over your yard.
Cut the plants down at the end of the growing season once the blossoms have turned brown. To ensure they grow again the next year, merely leave a few in situ.
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What Is The Meaning Of The Larkspur Flower?
According to legend, the larkspur blossom stands for love. Along with positivity, attachment, and an open heart, it also represents these things.
The larkspur’s color contributes to a deeper understanding of the plant’s meaning. The blue flower represents dignity and grace, whereas the pink bloom represents contrariness.
The History Of The Larkspur Flower
Although the plant is poisonous, the seeds were crushed in ancient Greece to eradicate body lice. A mushy porridge prepared from the plant, larkspur poultices, was used to treat open wounds and hemorrhoids. The Native Americans also used the blossoms to dye and ward off insects.
This flower is thought to offer protective qualities, similar to some gemstones. When warriors went into combat, larkspur was a common component employed in protection spells. According to sources, these spells are still employed to help law enforcement officers, firefighters, and humanitarian relief workers maintain their safety while on the job. The flower is also used to pay tribute to the deceased.
The horn-shaped blossoms of the plant were thought to ward off ghosts, thieves, scorpions, and bad spirits. For protection, dried larkspurs were frequently placed near homes.
Types of Larkspur
1. Black Knight Larkspur
The purple flowers on the ‘Black Knight’ cultivar are semi-double. Its name refers to the dark tone of the flower’s color. The summer season is when “Black Knight” blooms, and it may even rebloom in the early fall. Outside of the varieties with blue flowers, this is among the simplest types of larkspur to locate at garden shops and home improvement stores.
2. Galahad Larkspur
Galahad is a hybrid cultivar of the Candle or Alpine Larkspur species that live longer than most larkspur varieties. In contrast to the plant’s deep green leaves, the snow-white blossoms really pop. Some of the other white-flowering types feature blooms with black centers. However, “Galahad” gives gardeners who prefer pure white a choice. In the early to mid-summer, it blooms.
3. Astolat Larkspur
The well-known Pacific Giant hybrids are categorized as Astolat Larkspur. Between the beginning and middle of the summer is when flowers bloom.
4. Guardian Lavender Larkspur
The larkspur known as “Guardian Lavender” is only modestly tall. It may flower in the early summer because of this, blooming earlier than the truly tall varieties of Larkspur. It bears double flowers that range from lavender to mauve.
5. Dwarf Larkspur
Dwarf larkspur, which only reaches heights of one to two feet, offers you a choice in Delphinium that requires less upkeep. Growing this shorter species enables you to omit the staking often required for larkspur maintenance, including disease control, pruning, staking, and deadheading. True blue, violet-blue, and purple are all shades of blue found in the flowers. It blooms in April or May, which makes it larkspur that blooms earlier than usual.
6. Blue Mirror Larkspur
Another dwarf larkspur cultivar, “Blue Mirror,” means you don’t need to stake it to prevent the stem from breaking in strong winds. A closer look reveals at least three hues in blossom, even though it is blue larkspur. While the blue on the petals is heavily tinged with lavender, the center is primarily white. It blooms from late spring to early summer.
7. Cassius Larkspur
The ‘Cassius’ larkspur’s blossom resembles the ‘Blue Mirror’ variety except for its black center. But in contrast to “Blue Mirror,” “Cassius” is a tall variety of Larkspur.
8. Summer Skies Larkspur
Most gardeners envision a plant with blue flowers when they think of larkspur. As you can see, blue larkspurs come in a wide variety. Hardiness, size, and the specific characteristics of the blue blossom color vary between them. Another Pacific Giant hybrid, “Summer Skies,” has flowers that are a light blue tint. Mid-summer is when it blooms.
9. Golden Larkspur
The most uncommon color for larkspur to appear in is gold or yellow. Only California is home to the Golden Larkspur flower. Be sure to appreciate this specimen as a wildflower if you live in the Golden State. It begins to flower early (March to May).
10. Red Lark Larkspur
For gardeners looking for the uncommon, “Red Lark” is a terrific find because red is a rare hue for larkspur plants.
Another cultivar that flowers earlier than the more stately varieties of Larkspur are this one, which grows just modestly tall.
Although the larkspur flower is a lovely addition to any garden, you should use caution when planting it because of its deadly nature.
Once you’ve overcome that obstacle, you can choose the color you want to plant. Then you can choose between starting from scratch with seeds or little seedlings.
Is larkspur the same as delphinium?
They look alike. Delphinium is a close relative of larkspur and resembles it in many ways, but a few peculiarities distinguish the two species. Larkspur is an annual plant, whereas delphinium is typically a perennial species. Larkspur’s leaves have a finer texture than delphinium’s. Regarding blooms, larkspur tends to have significantly larger individual blossoms, whereas delphinium flowers are densely born on spikes. Most general plant maintenance and care are the same, with a few differences.
Does larkspur attract pollinators?
The plant’s blossoms draw hummingbirds and pollinators, particularly bumblebees. The main pollinators of larkspur are bees. Although they are drawn to the plant, butterflies and other insects are less effective at pollinating it.
Are Larkspur Flowers Poisonous?
Unfortunately, this stunning creature can kill! Given how quickly the plant spreads, it might wind up in fields where animals graze. Sadly, this may lead to the animal that eats it dying. Because the plant’s seeds are deadly, children and animals should not be allowed access to them. The plant’s younger sections can cause serious digestive problems if consumed and serious skin irritation if touched. Wash your hands immediately after handling a plant.