As a native perennial plant, larkspur should not be missing in any garden, because it beautifies your beds already in spring with its bright blue inflorescences. We show you how to plant and care for larkspur properly.
Larkspur is a native wild perennial that belongs to the poppy family. The most striking thing about the plant is its blue, yellow or white inflorescences, which are also an important food source for bees and other insects. Larkspur can also be divided into tuberous and perennial representatives. In this article, you’ll learn how to grow and properly care for this colorful perennial in your garden.
How to plant larkspur in your garden
If you want to grow larkspur in your perennial bed, you can choose between tuberous and perennial species. The tuberous larkspur is an early bloomer, so it already shows its flowering splendor in early spring. However, its flowering period is relatively short. Perennial larkspurs, on the other hand, retain their leaves and flowers for almost the entire season.
Whichever species you choose, there are some tips you should always keep in mind when planting larkspur:
- The right location: larkspur feels most at home in a sunny to semi-shady spot. However, there are also shade perennials among the larkspurs that thrive in places with little sunlight. It’s best to find out about the species’ site requirements when you buy the plant.
- The right soil: The soil should be as well-drained and nutrient-rich as possible for larkspur to thrive. However, some species such as the yellow larkspur also tolerate somewhat drier soil.
Plant larkspur as a bulb: You can buy larkspur tubers at garden supply stores and plant them from mid-September to early October.
- First clear the soil at the site of weeds and large stones. Then work some compost or horn shavings into the soil.
- Press the tubers about five centimeters deep into the soil. Always leave at least ten centimeters of space between each tuber.
- Finally, water the tubers generously.
Put larkspur in the ground as a young plant: Larkspur is also available in stores as a potted plant. These plants can theoretically be planted in frost-free soil from March to December. However, the best time for planting is also in autumn.
- Dig a planting pit at the selected location, which should be at least twice the size of the root ball of the young plant.
- Place the seedlings in the soil at a distance of ten to fifteen centimeters.
- Enrich the excavated soil with some compost and fill it back into the hole.
- Finally, water the young larkspur again with plenty of water.
The right care for the larkspur
After you plant the larkspur, it should grow and thrive as quickly as possible. With the right care, this is no problem. We’ll give you a few tips below that will keep the perennial plant doing well for a long time:
- Watering: Especially in summer or when the location is in full sun, you should water the larkspur regularly. To help the soil retain moisture longer, you should also mulch the soil from time to time.
- Fertilize: If the soil at the location already contains a lot of humus, you do not need to provide the larkspur with additional nutrients. Otherwise, you can work some organic slow-release fertilizer into the soil in the spring.
- Overwintering: If you want to prevent larkspur from self-seeding, you should regularly remove faded stems and browning foliage. After flowering, the tuber-forming species retreat into the soil. You can cut back perennial corydalis to just above ground level in the fall. As a hardy perennial, larkspur doesn’t really need any further protection in the winter. However, you can cover it with some leaves or straw if needed.
- Diseases and pests: If you water larkspur too often, waterlogging can occur. The best way to prevent this is to water the perennial only when the top layer of soil has already dried out. Snails can also be a danger for the larkspur. A slug fence is the best way to protect your plants from these pests. Read more here: Build your own snail trap: How to get rid of them with natural means.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
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