The Q&A Archives: Growing Delphiniums in Kansas

Question: I live in northeast Kansas. I've tried several times to grow delphiniums with no success. We live on the river bottom and have wonderful loam soil. I've added manure when I planted, and have kept themwatered but not drenched. Still, they all die.

Answer: Delphiniums do not like hot-humid weather. I suggest you start your delphinium seed (or buy your plants) in late summer, plant them to the garden in early fall, mulch them for the winter (if your ground freezes considerably), and expect a knock-out shownext spring-early summer. When your summer again comes on, the plants may melt away in the Kansas sun but at least you've had a good one-time show. On the other hand, your plants may get large enough the first fall-to-spring season, that they may survive the following summer (and each year they may get bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger). A summer mulch will help keep the soil moist and cool, by the way.

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