Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Delphinium 'New Millenniums'




Nothing is quite as stunning as a Delphinium in full bloom.

Pictured here in my garden in Whitby, Ontario is a New Millenniums Delphinium. This spectacular Delphinium is a New Zealand variety that is said to outperform all other tall types. I have grown several other varieties through the years and must say that this particular one has been my all time favourite.

This particular variety grew to about 4-5ft. tall in my Whitby garden and produced double flowers that were deep blue on the outside with a purple bee. Staking is usually required but for mine I found when I staked them they would snap off at the point where the stake ended. So I switched to using a large double peony ring instead with good result.

Deadheading once the flowers begin to fade will result in a second bloom in the fall (although the display is much less impressive).

In hot, humid summer regions (like mine here in Whitby, Ontario) Delphinium plants do not usually last more than 2 to 3 years. I was fortunate enough to get about 4 years out of this one before it finally developed a blight and died.

Foliage is prone to powdery mildew in mid summer. Make sure the plant has good air circulation around it to reduce your risk; should your pant develop powdery mildew simply cut it back hard to encourage fresh leaves or use a preventative fungicide beginning in mid spring.

For best flowering use a high phosphorous fertilizer each year, in early spring. Being an organic gardener I would add bone meal in the fall (every second year) instead. Bone meal is high in phosphorous and takes a long time to break down.

I truly miss this plant and it's spectacular June blooms. I have never been able to grow another delphinium in that location located just outside my kitchen window (as the disease spores remain in the soil and will kill future plantings of the same plant type). But is was sure nice while it lasted!!

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