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Larkspur is a classic cottage garden staple that produces great cut flowers. With airy stalks of blue blossoms, this plant adds a gracefulness to any garden and looks good in masses or mixed with other perennials and annuals. A true annual, larkspur is easy to start from seed and will happily reseed itself in the garden year after year.
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Part Sun, Sun
1 to 3 feet
6-18 inches wide
garden plans for Larkspur
With blooms coming in beautiful shades of sky to navy blue, it's easy to see why larkspur is planted year after year. Blue is a hard to find color in the flower world, and larkspur has it in spades. You can find these blooms in both single and double varieties. Some varieties feature numerous petals that create a pom-pom effect. Plants will bloom longer if you remove old blossoms.
Larkspur Care Must-Knows
Larkspurs are extremely unfussy plants and grow easily from seed. In southern climates, you can sow seeds directly in the ground in the fall. As soon as the weather begin to warm up in early spring, they will happily sprout and begin their show. Because they are cool-season annuals, the plants will begin to brown and die in the humid summers of the South. In more northern climates, sow seeds in early spring. Plants can last longer into the summer in the North before the weather gets too warm.
The foliage of larkspur is a great addition to the plant (and the garden!). Light, airy foliage lends a soft fern-like effect. It also helps plants blend in the garden, making larkspur extremely versatile when paired with other plants.
When planting larkspur, make sure you choose well-drained soil. Larkspur doesn't like to stay wet for long periods of time, but it does need consistent moisture. Be sure that plants stay evenly moist, especially when flowering. If they remain too dry for too long, plants can become stunted and have poor bud set, so you may miss out on blooms.
For the best blooms, plant larkspur in full sun. Although plants can handle a small amount of shade, they are more likely to flop and require stakes. You can prevent this by planting larkspur near tall neighbors to act as a support system, by sowing plants densely, or by planting them along a wall or structure.
Larkspur vs. Delphinium
A very close relative of larkspur, delphinium looks almost identical in many aspects, but a few differences set these two plants apart. Delphinium tends to be a perennial species, whereas larkspur is an annual. Foliage of larkspur is finer textured than delphinium. When it comes to blooms, delphinium flowers are densely born on spikes while individual blossoms tend to be much larger than larkspur. With those few exceptions, general plant care and maintenance is basically the same.