Larkspur Flower Growing Guide: How To Plant, Grow, And Care For Larkspur

Image by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

Larkspur, with its sky-reaching spires adorned with delicate florets, adds a touch of grandeur to any garden. But these statuesque beauties aren’t just visually captivating; they’re surprisingly easy to cultivate with a little know-how. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to bring forth a flourishing display of larkspur in your own backyard.

This post may have affiliate links. This means that sometimes when you click a link on our site and make a purchase on Amazon, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products we truly believe in, and your support helps keep us running!

Unveiling the Allure of Larkspur

Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Larkspur, also known as Delphinium, boasts a rich history dating back to ancient Greece. Symbolizing openness and positivity, these flowers were often incorporated into religious ceremonies. Today, larkspur remains a popular choice for cottage gardens and cutting fields, thanks to its diverse color palette ranging from classic blues and purples to enchanting pinks and whites.

There are two main types of larkspur: annual and perennial. Annual varieties, like the ‘Consolation’ series, complete their lifecycle in a single season, offering a burst of vibrant color. Perennial larkspurs, exemplified by the ‘Guardian’ series, return year after year, rewarding patient gardeners with their majestic presence.

Setting the Stage for Success

Before diving into the planting process, it’s crucial to understand larkspur’s preferences. Here’s how to create an environment where these floral giants can thrive:

Sun and Shade: Larkspur flourishes in full sun, receiving at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, in scorching climates with afternoon sun intensity, a bit of dappled shade in the hottest part of the day can be beneficial to prevent wilting.

Soil Preparation: Larkspur craves well-draining soil. Amending your existing soil with compost or aged manure will enhance drainage and provide essential nutrients. Check the soil pH, aim for a slightly acidic pH level between 6.5 and 7.0. A simple soil test kit can help you determine your soil’s pH and guide any necessary adjustments.

Selecting the Right Spot: Considering larkspur’s potential height (reaching up to 5-7 feet for some varieties), allocate ample space in your garden bed. Taller varieties might benefit from being planted near a fence or structure that can offer support.

Sowing Seeds or Transplanting Seedlings

There are two primary methods for introducing larkspur into your garden: direct seeding and transplanting seedlings.

Direct Seeding:

  • Timing: For most regions, sow larkspur seeds directly outdoors in early spring, 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Alternatively, fall planting can be successful in areas with mild winters.
  • Process: Lightly rake the prepared soil to create a shallow furrow. Sow seeds thinly, spacing them about 12-18 inches apart. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water gently.

Transplanting Seedlings (h3):

  • Starting Indoors: If you have a short growing season, you can get a head start by starting larkspur seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Use a well-draining potting mix and sow seeds at a depth of ¼ inch. Provide consistent moisture and adequate light using grow lights if necessary.
  • Transplanting: Once seedlings develop at least 4-6 true leaves, harden them off for a week before transplanting them outdoors. Harden off by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions for increasing periods each day. Dig holes slightly larger than the root ball and space plants according to their mature size (typically 12-18 inches apart). Water thoroughly after transplanting.

Nurturing Your Larkspur

Once established, larkspur requires minimal maintenance to thrive. Here’s how to keep your plants happy and blooming:

Watering: Water your larkspur regularly, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Deep watering encourages deep root growth, leading to stronger and more resilient plants. During hot weather, you might need to water more frequently.

Feeding: While larkspur isn’t a heavy feeder, a balanced fertilizer can promote healthy growth and abundant blooms. Apply a diluted liquid fertilizer once during early spring and again during bud formation. Alternatively, you can topdress your plants with a layer of compost in early spring.

Staking: Taller varieties of larkspur might require staking for support, especially in windy locations. Stakes should be inserted into the ground next to the plant at planting time, ensuring minimal root disturbance. Use soft ties to loosely secure the stems to the stakes as the plants grow.

Deadheading: To encourage continuous blooming, deadhead spent flowers by pinching them off just below the faded bloom. This not only improves the overall appearance of the plant but also redirects the plant’s energy towards producing new flowers.

Potential Pests and Diseases: Larkspur is relatively pest and disease resistant. However, keep an eye out for common culprits like aphids, snails, and slugs. These can be controlled with organic methods like insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. Fungal diseases like powdery mildew can also occur in conditions with poor air circulation. Ensure proper spacing between plants and avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk.

Extending the Larkspur Legacy

Larkspur readily rewards gardeners with the opportunity to propagate new plants. Here are two methods you can employ:

Division: Perennial larkspur can be propagated through division in early spring or fall. Carefully dig up the mature plant and use a sharp knife to divide it into sections, each with healthy roots and shoots. Replant the divisions at your desired location.

Seed Saving : If you’d like to harvest seeds for future plantings, allow a few flower heads to mature and dry on the plant. Once the seed pods turn brown and papery, collect them and extract the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to several years.


With their majestic presence and captivating blooms, larkspur makes a valuable addition to any garden. By following these simple guidelines, you can successfully cultivate these floral giants and enjoy their beauty for seasons to come. Remember, a little planning, proper care, and a touch of patience will be rewarded with a breathtaking display of larkspur that will transform your garden into a haven of elegance.

Bonus Tip (h3): Larkspur not only makes a stunning garden subject but also cuts beautifully for indoor arrangements. Harvest stems when several flowers on the lower portion of the flower spike are open. Enjoy these captivating blooms in a vase for a touch of floral grandeur in your home!

Leave a Comment