Little Known Larkspur Plant

A Gardeners Guide to an Uncommon Plant

Larkspur, sounds like those things that are attached to cowboy boots however is really a type of plant. This annual flower is not well known however grown in North America and are are many times seen in dried arrangements. They are a relative to the buttercup flower which is better known by non-gardeners. Not only are they great for dried arrangements but make a wonderful addition to the garden and can be cut to place in a vase indoors.

Larkspurs can grow to a height of twenty to twenty-eight inches and come in red, pink, white and violet. They make a wonderful addition to other annual flowers sections of the garden however are not suggested to be grown in high traffic locations since the flowers grow on spikes. All zones are able to grow this plant however they do not survive tropical areas.

When choosing a location in the garden, try finding a spot where they can grow in the background or away from high-traffic locations. Since the roots are very close to the top soil and are tall, it is suggested that a plant be located away from the powerful wind. For best results, states that offer cool moist summers are suggested to chose this plant. In addition, the stem and seeds contain alkaloids which are toxic to human and pets. Therefore it animals frequently visit the garden, these plants are not suggested. In addition, they are not suggested for gardeners that have children as everyone knows children will put anything in the mouth.

Personally, I have only seen these plants available in seed form; I am sure there are online stores that offer to send a full plant for a price though. One to two weeks before the seeds are intended to be planted, sow the soil. Try placing a rich organic fertilizer in the area that is intended for the plant. This is best to be done in the spring season. They can be planted in the fall however they tend to produce better if planted in the spring. It is important to chose a location that you will like the plant to permanently stay though as they prefer to not be transplanted. Place each seed six to eight inches apart and top them off with a thin layer of top soil. Top with mulch to keep the moisture close to the plant since they do not like dry locations.

As for upkeep, a Larkspur prefers not to have the soil dry, therefore frequent watering is needed. In addition, since they can get very tall, try staking them so they do not blow in the wind. Stakes can be purchase at a local gardening center or made from thick sticks from the yard. Basically string the plant to the stake and they will stay in place. Encourage re-blooming by deadheading after each bloom has died. Since they are tall and gorgeous in color, you can also think about cutting them down once the flower has bloomed and taking indoors. They make great vase flowers for up to seven days or can be dried for longer usage. After the first frost, cut the stalks back to around two inches in height to assure they grow back next year. Then, each year remember to apply new mulch and transplant large clumps when needed every five years.