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The Delightful Delphinium

For centuries, Delphiniums have been a beloved flower, cherished around the world. These colourful blooms bring a burst of pleasure when spotted in gardens and meadows, whether in the wild or cultivated spots. So much so, that it’s fair to say that no floral arrangement, container garden, or landscape is truly complete without a few sprigs of this incredibly pretty and whimsical lifesaver.

Origin of the Delphinium

Delphiniums have their origin in the northern hemisphere and are native to the temperate regions of North America and Europe. They are most abundant in the Pacific Northwest, where they have been a popular wildflower and a welcomed agricultural crop for centuries. Delphiniums come in many shapes and colours, but they all share a similar bell-shaped bloom that’s characterized by a five-pointed star. The flower’s specific name, Delphinium, however, comes from the Latin word “delphinus”, meaning “dolphin,” which is an appropriate name given its bell-shaped flower.

The Floral Symbolism of the Delphinium

Delphiniums have been used for hundreds of years as a symbol of beauty and joy. As with many other flowers and symbols, the meaning of this composition often varies depending on its usage and the colour of the flower petals. For instance, blue Delphiniums are seen as expressing a desire for things to “go well” or the wish for a good future. Depending on the culture, they can also express thoughts of joy and admiration, or simply be a sign of good luck. On the other hand, white Delphiniums are linked to purity, innocence, and duty. Lastly, red Delphiniums are often given as a sign of heartache and sorrow.

Uses of the Delphinium

The standard use for Delphiniums is as a decorative element in flower beds and flower arrangements, often placed in areas where they are most visible and noticed. One interesting way to include them in your garden is as a ‘living fence’; its tall and spindly profile gives it an impressive presence and its flowers can add vibrant colour as well. Delphiniums also have a role in wedding bouquets; their tall stems help provide good structure and spurts of interesting blues, pinks, and whites.

Delphiniums two

Care and Cultivation of Delphiniums

Caring and cultivating Delphiniums is not difficult or expensive, but some basic cautionary measures should be taken. Ensure the soil has a pH level of 6 to 7, is well-draining, and gets enough sun and irrigation. Delphiniums are vulnerable to pests and mildew, so look out for potential disease or attack and take the necessary steps to prevent it. Additionally, they respond well to light pruning (about a third of the stem) in late spring. When the flowers bloom and fade, it’s important to deadhead the old blooms to promote good health and superior top growth.

Delphinium Seeds

Delphinium seeds are available for purchase and require only a simple procedure for planting. Simply broadcast the seeds across the desired area or drop them in individual holes (1/4 inch deep). Water the seeds and keep the soil consistently moist until germination begins. Depending on the species, it typically takes two to three weeks for the Delphiniums to sprout up and begin to blossom. It can be helpful to incorporate some manure or fertilizer into the planting area in order to promote optimal growth and flowering.


Overall, there are many reasons why people are drawn to the beauty of the Delphinium. Their vibrant colours and steady form make them delightful additions to the garden, the floral arrangement, and the landscape. With their timeless symbolism, fragrant air, and cheery blooms, it’s no surprise that Delphiniums remain one of the world’s favourite flowers!

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