Larkspur are classic additions to cottage gardens and English perennial borders. Find facts and information on how to grow healthy larkspurs. The larkspur is an annual plant that are known for their tall stems of lavender, blue, pink, or white flowers. They are used in borders, naturalizing, and in container plantings.
Larkspur Facts and Information
Larkspur, Consolida hybrids, prefer full sun and grows in an upright pattern with stems reaching from 12-36” high and a width of 6-14”. They also prefer a fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.5.
Larkspur have showy delphinium type flowers that appear in summer. The feathery bright green foliage is an added attraction. They should be grown in large groups with mixed colors for an old-fashioned cottage garden effect.
Planting and Caring for Larkspur
Larkspur should be planted 6-12” apart, depending on the cultivar, in late spring after frost has passed. Apply soluble fertilizer at time of planting, or begin using plant food 3 weeks after planting. Follow label directions for amount and frequency of feeding. Water deeply whenever the soil is dry. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch to help retain soil moisture and add organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. Remove plant just prior to or right after first frost.
Propagation of larkspur is done by sowing seeds. The plants will self-seed themselves. To sow seeds indoors, chill the seeds for 7 days at 35 degrees. Sprinkle seeds over the soil mix and cover. Thoroughly moisten and keep moist, not soggy, until seeds germinate.
Germination occurs in 10-29 days after sowing and reduce the temperature to 50-55 degrees F. *Tip-If you don’t want your plants to reseed, you should deadhead the plant before the seed pods mature.
Warning! Contact with the flowers or leaves can irritate the skin, especially small children. Don't let anyone ingest or breathe over these plants as they can cause paralysis and other problems if eaten.
Larkspurs seem to have slugs, snails, and powdery mildew as their major problems.
Related species will include the cultivar ‘Blue Bell’ which has sky blue flowers, ‘Blue Spire’ which has deep blue flowers that hint of purple, ‘Brilliant Rose’ flowers are deep pink, ‘Dazzler’ flowers are scarlet, and ‘Exquisite Rose’ has bright pink flowers. The plants in the Imperial Series are tall, some reaching 3 ft. With spurred double flowers in mauve, pink, blue, and white.