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April 20, 2006

Hi. I just planted 5 beautiful, healthy larkspur plants I got from Graceful Gardens. They had hardened off for a few days in a sheltered spot in lovely high 70's/low 80's weather. Then the day after they were put safely (I thought) in the ground we were hit with crazy 100 degree weather for two days. I did my best to protect them, but they're now shriveled up little things. I planted a whole bunch of other plants the same day and although some show minor signs of heat damage they're all definitely going to survive. My question is is there any hope for my larkspurs? Are they just super heat sensitive before they're established? If I leave their dried-up shells where they are could they possibly put up new growth? Anyone have experience with this sort of thing?


Comments (37)

  • threeorangeboys

    Oh, how heartbreaking! I am so sorry
    Larkspur is not a big fan of the heator humidity. I plant it every year (in Northern Virginia) from seed, and once the true heat and humidity hit, it pretty much checks out. I have no idea if you can make them come back, but since they are annuals, they aren't going to have a strong root system in place so I wouldn't hold out much hope. That being said, I haven't ever planted Larkspur plants, so I am certainly no expert.
    Good luck.

  • Dena Walters

    My sister lives in Nacogdoches Texas and its pretty hot and humid here in TX, and she planted larkspur one time..she now has a million 'reseeded' plants. So I would think had it not bloomed yet then it can't reseed.
    If you wanted some, maybe you could direct sow some seeds. Surely one of the big box companies have seeds...
    Good Luck, and so sorry to hear that you lost them.


  • pansyface2006

    I live in South Mississippi and I plant my larkspurs in the fall where I want them to grow. Mine are beginning to bloom now. Never had any luck with transplanting them.

  • Hollywog

    Larkspur is happiest when direct seeded, and since it is an annual you should have blooms by mid-summer should you decided to sow some seeds now. I planted some last year and it didn't seem to mind our terrible heat and humidity, and it re-seeded profusely. I would strongly encourage giving it another try--it turned out to be my very favorite garden annual last year!! It was sooo gorgeous with its clouds of pastel color in among the other flowers and perennials. Take a look---
    You can just see some of it in the background--pink and lavender blue. It started reseeding last september and, even though it is classified as an annual, its babies survived the winter and are growing up just beautifully. I'm hoping for some early blooms this year!

  • petula9

    Thanks everyone! The transplants are definitely dead and gone, but I think I'll give direct-seeding a shot. And if it doesn't work now, I'll try again in the fall. I love this forum! I think the people here are by far the nicest and most helpful on gardenweb. Thanks again.

  • nanahanna

    I got a piece of larkspur from a friend with some good roots...it is flourishing in my sunny bed and has lots of potential flowers coming out. It was heavily mulched and mock orange is growing above it so it gets just a little protection from the sun with the mock orange. This is my very first try with larkspur so I am hoping it does well and reseeds itself.

  • Theresa24

    I can vouch for the direct seeding in fall. I have larkspur appear every spring from sowing them in fall one year. They are blooming right now right here on the 8/9 border...the reseeded ones and the ones in the new bed I just sowed last fall. I have never tried sowing in the spring. I've heard they need a little cool weather to germinate but is worth a shot.

  • lynnencfan

    My best results with larkspur has been with directsow in the late fall/early winter. They sprout in January and right now they are budded to the hilt. Should have blooms starting early next week. They reseed now and I haven't had to plant any in years. They do resent being transplanted and I have found that the earlier I do it (plants only being a couple inches tall) the better they take to it. I wish I could say that yours would rebound but I have my doubts.....


  • ohsusannah

    Larkspur are so beautiful, but I live in zone 8 and didn't think larkspur would do well here because of the heat. It's great to hear that so many of you are successful with them in the warmer climates. Can you recommend a certain kind of larkspur?

  • nanahanna

    I wish I knew the variety I got from my friend..I will try to remember to ask her but the leaves a feathery looking if that helps any. When mine blooms I will do a search and see if I can help you out with a variety that grows well here in hot humid South Arkansas.

  • sewnmom7

    petula, send me your address & i'll send you some seeds,they should do well in your ares, i live in a hot dry climate,central Texas, so you should be fine.molly

  • ohsusannah

    Molly, when do you plant your seeds and do you know what type you have? I live in central Texas also and planted Rocket Larkspur seed that I got from Wildseed Farms, but not one seed germinated. I''m sure it was my error, but I'm not ready to give up on Larkspur. Thanks. Susan

  • annieinaustin

    Susan, I've also had good luck with scattering the seeds in late fall. Old-time advice was to crumple and scatter some dry leaves over the top of the seeds - guess they don't like to be buried, but do need darkness for germination.

  • Annie

    My Larkspur reseeds themselves with reckless abandon every Fall, sometimes wildly escaping out into the lawn (yeah!)or paths. They germinate in late fall and appear sometime around January-February, not bothered a bit by wintery snow or ice. When spring arrives, they suddenly take off and shoot up fast. They will bloom here in May thru June, and sometimes a little longer if we get ample rain and mild temps. It can sometimes show a bit more color in the fall if we get a mild August and a goodly amount of rain from Aug-Oct or Nov.

    I love how it moves around my gardens year after year, crowding out the Bermuda grass (hehehe) and hugging up against other plants. It's just such a friendly flower!

    I have transplanted them successfully, but I gave them a shot of Miracle Grow and provided shade and wind protection for more than a week. (a bottomless milk jug with the cap off works great. Anchor it with a long stick thru the handle pushed into the soil- works good for any plant that wilts when transplanted.) Soak with water twice a day for at least a week, then ease off slowly. When you see signs of new growth, remove the milk jugs.

    Here are some of my Larkspurs that escaped out into the lawn. I just loved it! Love that deep violet-blue color, too.

    ~ SweetAnnie4u

  • PRO
    Nell Jean

    These reseeded from last year. The original was a 25 cent packet from the dollar store. Most are singles; this one doubled.



  • Annie

    Hey Nell!
    Love your Larkspurs. Really eye-catching.
    What are those red-violet flowers in the background (right) with the silvery branching stems? Would love to have some.

  • gottagarden

    These are in a friend's garden. She says they reseed every year. I liked them so much I planted seeds. Then this spring I caught myself weeding them out!!! The seedlings looked like a common weed :-( Every year I learn something new, usually the hard way. Won't make that mistake next year.


  • PRO
    Nell Jean

    Annie, the silvery stemmed plants are rose campion. E-mail me, I have some seeds. They're nice when not in bloom, felt-like grey mounds.


  • shellva

    Petula, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know how frustrating it is to put good money down on plants only to have them shrivel up and die, very discouraging!

    As to the beautiful photos of everyones larkspur, stunning! I am definetly planting my larkspur seeds this coming fall! I've already purchased them, they are in the refrigerator waiting. I had heard they like a fall seeding in warmer climates. I did a fall sowing of nigella last fall and they are growing like crazy. They are about ready to bloom here soon.


  • fammsimm

    What a stunning picture, gottagarden. Their bright blue color is so beautiful.

    Don't feel bad about pulling seedlings thinking they're weeds. I've done that more times than I care to admit!


  • backyardmom

    hi!gotta garden. nice picture!
    i' a newbie to gardening.what type of daisy is that in the picture?

  • Annie

    You've got mail!

  • sammy zone 7 Tulsa

    I am new here, but my larkspurs come up every year. I have used true larkspurs because of the bad luck I have had with delphiniums. Those don't like the heat here, but the larkspurs are fine in Oklahoma.

    I just don't remember when I planted them or what kind I used. Mine are more "feathery " than the ones you have here.


  • rosaholicme

    Petula, I live in central Florida and planted larkspur seeds in early spring. They are currently blooming. One thing I read was that they don't transplant well. In my experience that's true as I transplanted one plant which shriveled and died. The others are blooming just where I planted - got the packet of seeds from HD.
    How they'll do when it gets really hot here as it surely will, I can't say yet.

  • msedge

    Any one have any Larkspur seeds to share for exchange? thanks

  • Lisa_H OK

    MsEdge: I'm all out of larkspur, but if you will head on over to the Seed Exchange, you should be able to find someone there to trade with you. You might want to read the directions for trading before you start.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Exchange

  • lilwormy2003

    All my larkspur are purple, I wanted the blue ones. Oh well.

  • west_texas_peg

    I have larkspur seeds to exchange. Mine are mixed, blues, purples, light orchid, maybe (rarely) a white one, some pink.
    I have quite a lot of seeds and still have some blooming that my husband planted in January or February. I'm working on that bed right now, trying to get the $#@% bermuda grass out AGAIN! plus a volunteer watermelon has come up again this year and it taking over that bed...I'm not complaining since we harvested 11 very large melons last year from a volunteer that came up in that bed.

    Let me know if anyone is interested in larkspur seeds.

  • gardeners_hands

    Hey gottagarden, I tried your photo as a screensaver (I'm on a screensaver kick right now, changing it every time I get the whim...) and it's even more fantastic - AND JUST THE RIGHT SHAPE!

    thanks... GH-

    Here is a link that might be useful: one of my

  • gottagarden

    Oh GardenersHands that was scrumptious! I loved those colors together. What was that light purple flower that looks like scabiosa? It just lightens up the whole photo.

    Backyard mom - that's a shasta daisy.

  • memo3

    Sadly Larkspur isn't hardy to my zone...at least not any of those I have seen on the web. Can I grow it as an annual in zone 4? I had thought of trying more delphiniums next year because I long for the deep blue color and height of them. I bought six plants this year and they promptly died when transplanted. Is it the same with delphiniums as larkspur on the transplanting. SweetAnnie, I may try your milk jug trick and see what happens next time.

    GottaGarden, Your pictures are always so delightful and BRIGHT! Please, do tell what camera you are using. My little Nikon is small and easy to use but I sure don't get the color saturation in my pics that you get.

    Nell, I just love seeing pictures of your country gardens. You are such an inspiration to me of what can be acheived out in the wilds!


  • threeorangeboys

    memo . . . you should be able to plant larkspur as an annual. In fact it IS an annual, so you don't have to worry about it wintering over. You just need to spread your seeds widely in the fall. They don't germinate if it is over 55 degrees, so you should be all set with that in the fall/winter.
    They are the "poor man's delphinium" and I have found them a wonderful substitute. I can't have delphinium as they HATE the humidity here in Virginia, but the larkspur have been an amazing beautiful addition to my garden.
    good luck.

  • gardeners_hands

    gottagarden, that's annual candytuft. The mix also has; white, pink, rose, 3 or 4 shades of lavender/purple, for some reason I only got 98% meduim purple this year. Purple? I should complain? Think not.

    If you are viewing that particular photo click 'previous' on the upper right, I had labeled all of the flowers in that same photo. Or - you can click on my gardeners_hands name at top of page and see my whole album.

  • memo3

    I had a yellow/orange/brown tabby many years ago. He was the most affectionate cat. His name was Buster Brown. It's been a long time since I have seen any tabbys of this coloration.
    Our cat is all white and named Flower, by my DD2 when she was just three. She's almost 14 now. Where does the time go?!!

    I planted a pkg. of larkspur this spring but we were hit with 100 degree temps clear back in April...very weird! No wonder they never sprouted. Not much else did either, a few sunflowers and three 4 O'clocks is all I got out of 30 pkgs of seeds. Makes you want to give up! Thanks for the info 3orangeboys. I'll order some more larkspur seeds and plant them in February lol!


  • gottagarden

    Memo, my camera is a 6 year old Kodak digital, one of the first ones. It's always been so reliable with point-and-shoot, everything automatic.

    Time for a new camera now, I want a higher resolution camera, but can't make up my mind which one to get. Might go with Kodak again since I have been so happy with this one.

  • lilwormy2003

    Does anyone know a source of true blue larkspur seeds? I can only find purple ones. Do true blue larkspur exist? Help!

  • redrumed

    I just got a pack of salmon colored seeds, has anyone grown them? Why does everyone seem to want blue?

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