The Q&A Archives: Pruning Delphinium

Question: JUST PLANTED FIRST DELPHINIUM. ONLY ABOUT A 18 INCHES HIGH AND 12 INCHES OF THAT A WHITE BLOOM. HEARD YOU NEED TO PRUNE IN FALL. SHOULD I AND HOW SHOULD I DO THIS? DOES SIZE DETERMINE IF PRUNING NEEDED? HELP. KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS BEAUTIFUL FLOWER.

Answer: Delphiniums are lovely in bloom and can sometimes be successfully grown as perennials but they are somewhat difficult in our climate with hot summers and cold winters. Once the flower has faded, trim the bloom stem off. Leave the base foliage intact to keep growing. With luck, the plant will send up some additional bloom stems. In the fall after freezing weather has killed things back, remove any dead portions of the plant. Next spring, it should grow and bloom again -- with a little luck. You may want to stake the plant so that wind or rain doesn't knock it over. Keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet, and place a layer of several inches of organic mulch over the root zone but not touching the plant. Keep an eye out for slugs, also. Good luck with your delphinium!

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