Heidi’s Sneak Peak – Delphiniums

p1010089Delphinium elatum ‘New Millennium Stars’

I have always been star struck by delphiniums.  It’s a “crush” that goes all the way back to my mother’s perennial garden up in northern Minnesota.  Here south of the metro I found them difficult to keep happy.  Many of the older varieties don’t have the heat tolerance that they breed for now.  When the New Millennium Hybrids were being introduced I made it a goal to grow some of these lovelies and once I tried them I quickly realized that they had improved tolerance to our summer heat and humidity.  ‘New Millennium Stars’ are a mix of the New Millennium Hybrid Series and includes ‘Blue Lace’, ‘Blushing Brides’, ‘Green Twist’, Double Innocence’, Misty Mauves’, ‘Morning Lights’, Pagan Purples’, ‘Purple Passion’, ‘Royal Aspirations’, and ‘Sunny Skies’.  These are the “stars” of the New Millennium Series and oh how they shine!  These varieties produce flowers that range from white to pink to purple and blue in early summer.  Often they will re-bloom in late summer early fall.  They range in height from 3 to 6 feet and produce excellent form, strong stems and are vigorous growers.  The New Millennium Series was bred by Terry Dowdeswell in New Zealand and was selected specifically for their improved tolerance of heat, humidity and cold hardiness.

p1010088Here’s the dirt on delphiniums…

Delphiniums attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.  They are deer and rabbit resistant and grow well in full sun to part shade.  While average soil is just fine for delphinium, fertile soil will give you the best results. (More like the ones in the pictures.)  I have planted them in richly amended soil and I have planted them in average soil and made the effort to liquid feed them regularly.  Both techniques produced very nice results.  I like to put a tomato cage around them when they start to emerge in the spring when planted in locations where wind may be ap1010086n issue.  After a month or so the tomato cage is very much hidden, and the plants have a little extra support.  They have average water needs so regular watering during high heat or drought conditions will be necessary.