Planting Larkspur

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Warmer weather beckoned me outside over the weekend to plant a few seeds. It's still on the early side to direct sow vegetable seeds (though I'm queuing up my President's Day peas), but now -- late winter -- is a good time to start larkspur flowers.

Larkspurs do best in cool weather and can be sown as soon as the soil can be worked. In fact, I learned from past experience that if you plant larkspur seeds too late in the spring, they won't bloom until the following year. Larkspurs are easy to grow from seed, and, though they're listed as an annual flower, they reseed readily here, which makes them seem more like a perennial.


Along one side of our deck is a built-in planter. This is where I transplanted my perennials from the community garden last fall, and it's where I plan to add more flowers this spring. It's the catch-all flower garden for now, until I dig in new borders around the house.


In went the larkspur seeds, and I topped everything off with the clippings from our Christmas wreath. The pine boughs are there partly for recycling, partly to add a little green to all that brown, and, also, to provide some protection for the plants in case we get walloped with a snowstorm yet this winter. Some of our biggest snowstorms in the past have come around President's Day. I wonder what's in store for this year? We were up to around 70 degrees here today, so who knows. I've marked Washington's birthday - February 22 - as the day to sow peas, regardless.
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Related Post: The Larkspur Meadow

21 Comments:

Anonymous A scientist in the kitchen said...

I look forward to your larkspur. There's a Nancy Drew book with Larkspur Lane in the title which I've read as a girl. Been wondering how it looks like...

9:08 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Larkspurs are great flowers. Getting a start this early will help them flower this year.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

Down here larkspur comes up around the winter solstice. If you plant them too late they won't bloom and they'll die over our incredibly hot summers. Mine self-sow every year now and my job is to transplant them as the plants will grow quite tall if they are spaced about 8 inches apart. Left unthinned they remain rather small and unhealthy.

I did a good job of transplanting in December and they are about 6 inches tall now.

10:32 PM  
Blogger jodi said...

Tried to leave a comment earlier but Blogger was mad at me or something. The seed packets are gorgeous--one looks like it's from Renee's Seeds, but I don't recongize the others. Larkspur are so beautiful...I bought two red-flowered ones from a nursery but while the regular colours do fine, the slugs ate these two down to nubs. Pity.

11:54 PM  
OpenID flowergardengirl said...

I love Larkspur. I hope I remember to plant them early next year at my new house--someone please remind me!! They love it here in NC. I can't wait to see yours.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Frances said...

Thanks for that info. We have tried to get them to reseed without success. It was the timing that was off, the summer heat is bad, cold is good. Off to get more seed!

Frances at Faire Garden

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

Been thinking about moving up some of my early planting this year because of all the crazy warm weather. Peas on Presidents Day sounds like a good plan.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Curtis said...

Another seed I need to get. I also need a notebook so I don't forget all these seeds I am wanting to plant. And a place to put the great tips that come along with them.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Miranda Bell said...

You've got a great site and Larkspur are beautiful - they're certainly on my list this year - we've woken up to a real frost here in Brittany, France this morning so I'm guessing I won't be doing any seed sowing directly outside quite yet!
Miranda

4:46 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Good luck with your larkspur, Christa - I think mine are happy - coming up by themselves for the third year. Maybe yours will do that too.

I used to save the seed in Illinois, sprinkling most of it around in early winter, but keeping back some for spring just in case.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

11:33 PM  
Blogger Kylee said...

Larkspur just haven't done the best for me. I'm not sure if I'll grow them again this year or not. I hope yours do well, Christa!

1:31 AM  
Blogger Doctor Mom said...

Up here in New England, I seed-collect in the summer and then sow larkspur in both fall and early spring--all plants are descendants of one originally from the Washington metro area (www.thebackquarteracre.blogspot.com/2006/06/cora-leichs-larkspur.html) and (www.thebackquarteracre.blogspot.com/2007/07/consolida-cross-fertilization.html). Hope you have good luck with them!

2:35 PM  
Blogger Muum said...

I wish I was out planting seeds. We are still deep into winter, with heavy snow cover (which really is a good thing), but it seems like spring will never come. I appreciate the vicarious experience online!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I think you must be in zone 7. If that's the case, I should probably try some cold weather seeding too.

Thanks for the tip!

Robin at Bumblebee

6:15 PM  
Blogger Connie said...

I LOVE larkspur...it's one of my all time favorites! I sow direct early and also have had good success with winter sowing and transplanting when it is still small.
Larkspur seed is said to not be viable past a year, so now I always use fresh seed saved from my garden.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Fromartz said...

Peas by President's Day? Wow, didn't know they could go in so early. I will give it a shot

9:40 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I am so looking forward to what you make of your yard and garden. Larkspur, roses, and the vegetables--what a wonderful place you're creating.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Shady Gardener said...

I doubt I could grow them, but I'll look forward to seeing yours! :-)

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christa, Did your larkspur germinate yet? I planted some about two weeks ago (inspired by your Larkspur Meadow pic.) but they have not germinated yet.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

I haven't seen any sign of mine yet. Not sure why. Maybe still too cold?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Square Foot Hammer said...

Hmmm, I'm thinking perhaps my just sown last year's seeds will probably not come up? Having read all the other comments. But perhaps as I'm UK based, I might get away with it. If I do, I'll make sure I make a note of it in my blog. Good luck to the rest of you though.

12:39 PM  

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