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Oakley Witch

Hi everyone

Not been on for a few weeks, maybe even months. I have my delphiniums that are in flower just now but....if I cut them back will they give a second show or do I leave them to seed??? Also, will they come true to the colour they are when they flower??? Thanks.


It can be hit and miss as to whether you get a second flush - depends on the weather.  Some varieties will self seed, others (F1s) are often sterile.  I've grown seeds from some of mine (parents were all blue) and got a mixture of colours, but many were quite bland (eg dirty whites and some with sparse flowers.)  One thing I've learnt from experience is to cut them down right to the ground at the end of the year.  I left some until the next spring once (I usually leave most of my plants uncut to provide winter cover for wildlife) but found that the next year the flowers had all been eaten when they were small by caterpillars of the delphinium moth.  They overwinter inside the hollow stems..

Oakley Witch

Delphinium moth? I havent come across that. Can I prevent that Bob?


Hi there OW - welcome back !

I once quizzed the Blackmore and Langdon people at Hampton Court - he said always cut the flower spikes on delphiniums back as that makes them concentrate on becoming stronger plants for next year, rather than putting all their energy into setting seed.


Yes, I don't leave delphiniums to set seed - I find they make stronger plants for next year if I don't, and I usually get a few more blooms from sideshoots if the weather is kind. 


I cut delphiniums back as soon as flower,spike is going over.  I cut back entirely to,the ground or to lateral/ secondary flowers lower down on that stem.  The sooner this is done the more,likely it is that they will flower,again in late summer.  I agree with Bob.....I came to exactly the same conclusion, viz., to cut back everything to the ground in the autumn, for the same reasons.  (I find that cutting flowered stems on all sorts of plants before they totally go over often encourages earlier repeat flowering)

Oakley Witch

Ahhh. brilliant folks. Will get that done tomorrow  Thanks for the welcome back chiky.xx

Yes...welcome back Oakley

Welcome back nice to here from you again - me not managed to grow delphinium that flower yet as only started to grow them this year - they are only small seedling

Oakley Witch

Thanks folks  Lucy, they will flower next year hun. Get the seeds in now and they will flower next year. I have done my blue/purple mix but have just bought some lovely tall white ones for the moon garden so off to sow them this afternoon (and play with my new purple trug)


I live in the Pacific Northwest of the US, so it's weather kind of like Britain.  I've heard that putting a plastic pot over the cut down delphinium can help prevent rotting in our rainy climate.  Has anyone done that and had success in wintering over?

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