Giant Imperial Mix was released in the 1930s and gained notoriety for growing into one of the tallest, brightest, most colourful mix of larkspur. The easy-to-grow annual will reach 3-4 feet tall at maturity and displays a profusion of delicate double-blooms that range in shades of pale to deep blue, violet, rosé, lavender and white. A truly stunning addition to any garden, try planting them in waves instead of a straight line for a more spectacular effect. Makes beautiful cut-bouquets as the flowers retain their vivid colours when dried.
*Note that all parts of the plants and the seeds are toxic to animals and humans.
- Latin Name: Delphinium
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 75-85
- Planting Depth: 1cm
- Plant Spacing: 30 cm
- Growth Habit: 60-90 cm tall
Originally native to the Mediterranean basin, Larkspur was introduced to Britain and Europe during the early 1500s. The name ‘’larkspur’’ originates from England and probably refers to the horn-shaped flowers that resemble the spur of a lark’s claw. Larkspur quickly naturalized in many parts of Europe, growing along the sides of the roads and in cornfields. There is evidence of the cultivation of the plant in USA during the late 1500s, but it’s in the 1700s that larkspur became a popular flower in North American gardens. Larkspur’s popularity declined in the early 1900s and it is only in the last few decades that the plant has regained some interest with the resurgence of romanticized cottage gardens.
Larkspurs boast tall, vertical stalks of vibrant blossoms. The flowers are stunning when in full bloom and they invite plenty of pollinators. Larkspurs are easy to grow with minimal care and will add summertime beauty to any space they occupy.
It is typically recommended that larkspurs started from seed be directly sown into the garden. However, seeds may also be started indoors five to seven weeks before the last frost date. No matter the method of starting, seeds should be stratified before planting. They can be wrapped in a moist paper towel, tucked into a sealed plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator for a week.
Use flats, starter pots or cells to plant the seeds 5 mm deep, but cover well as they require darkness to germinate. Larkspurs also need cooler weather to germinate. While raising seedlings inside, keep the ambient temperature around 13 degrees. Be patient with the seeds, as they may take up to 21 days to germinate. When the seeds sprout, they can be moved to a bright location and gradually thinned out. Move them outside after the danger of frost has passed to harden off in preparation for transplanting.
To start seeds outside, direct sow into a well tilled-bed. Lightly cover the seeds and water well. Larkspurs should be planted where they receive full sun. Cool weather is much preferred by the colorful flowers and afternoon shade should be provided in hot regions. Rich, well-drained soil is ideal for growing larkspurs. Mix in generous amounts of compost when preparing the bed.
Young plants in the garden can be spaced 10-15 cm apart. Lay down mulch around and in between the developing plants to retain moisture and keep down weeds. Deadhead the spent blooms to encourage longer periods of flowering. Larkspur self seeds and you may be surprised to see many volunteers popping up the following spring. The flowers are excellent fresh cut or dried and are a stunning sight as back borders of garden beds.
- Larkspur seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!