If you want a second set of blooms after your delphiniums have flowered, use this simple trick.
For more delphinium growing tips, also see Delphiniums: Growing Tips and Tricks.
How to Make Delphiniums Bloom Twice in One Season
Delphinium | Genus: Delphinium
Delphinium Growing Guide
• Hardiness zones 3a to 8b
• Full or part sun
• Well-draining loam is best
• Native to North America and African mountains and considered non-invasive
• Chill dampened seeds for better germination
Shop Online: Buy delphinium seeds at Botanical Interests (US shipping)
Depending on the variety you are growing, delphiniums can start blooming in late spring or early summer with the right growing conditions. These tall, magnificent flowers often come into bloom around solstice and continue flowering for several weeks, unless things like winds or rain damage them first.
Once the first set of blooms is finishing up—or you’ve taken cut flowers—if you still have a couple months before the risk of fall frosts, there is probably enough time to encourage a second set of blooms.
Here’s how it works. You have to be brave. When a delphinium has finished blooming, if left alone, the flower head is going to gradually turn to seed.
Your choice is, do you want seeds or second blooms? You may get both but the idea is that it’s best to try for one or the other so the plant can direct all its energy into one task.
If you want second blooms, cut back the original flower stems (see below).
If you want seeds, leave them in place. Or, go for second blooms and then leave those ones in place for seed saving.
Either way, your best flowers will have the best seeds, so keep this in mind as you go.
If you want to save seeds or let the plant re-seed (grow new plants from seed naturally), you just have to leave it and wait. The plant will put its energy into seed production.
Want Second Blooms?
If you want more blooms, it’s a bit of a race against time, before fall frosts set in.
- As soon as the flowers pass their peak, you have to remove the entire flower stalk. By doing this, the plant will now put all its energy into sending up more flower shoots instead of working on seed production. It also just makes the plant look nicer.
- To remove the old flowers, follow a stalk all the way to the ground and cut it off as close to the ground as possible. Do not remove any surrounding leaves or foliage.
- It’s a bit sad to do, as even the aging blooms can be very pretty, but, suck it up, Buttercup, as the saying goes, put the cuttings on display somewhere, and, unless something weird happens, you will probably have a second set of blooms before the frosts set in. The sooner I snip off the first set of blooms, the more success I seem to have with round two.
And that’s it.
If you have several plants, you can always choose the best ones for seed saving and the rest for second blooms.
Other Flowering Plants that Can Bloom Again
Cutting back or deadheading first blooms to get second blooms can also work for several other perennials including:
- Bleeding heart
and, many flowering annuals.
For more, see my best delphinium growing tips here.
I started gardening because of a love of delphiniums. The affair will never end!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
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