Eazy Gardening

Growing and Propagating Delphinium Elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’: A Guide

Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ (Candle Larkspur)Delphinium elatum, commonly known as Candle Larkspur, is a show-stopping perennial that can add vertical interest to any garden. The plant is native to the mountainous regions of northern and central Europe, where it can grow up to 6 feet tall.

This plant can be an excellent addition to your garden, providing a burst of color from summer to early fall with its striking blue flowers. In this article, we will examine the different aspects of the Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ variety, including its appearance, blooming habits, benefits to wildlife, preferred growing conditions, potential pest and disease issues as well as planting and maintenance tips.

Overview of the Plant

Common Names

Delphinium elatum is commonly known as Candle Larkspur or Alpine Delphinium. ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a specific variety that has dark, rich blue flowers.

Description of the Plant

Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial that features large, deeply lobed leaves and tall spikes of dark blue flowers. The plant can grow up to 5 feet tall with a spread of 2 to 3 feet.

The flowers are typically borne on spikes that can reach up to 4 feet in height. The individual flowers have five petals and a distinctive spur that protrudes backward.

The plant typically blooms from early to mid-summer, but with proper care, it can continue to produce blooming spikes until early fall.

Characteristics

Appearance: The flowers of Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ are the defining characteristic of the plant. They are large, showy, and deep blue in color.

The foliage of the plant is also attractive, with deeply lobed leaves that add texture to the garden. Blooming Habits: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ typically blooms in early to mid-summer but can bloom up until early fall with proper care.

Benefits to Wildlife: Candle Larkspur is a favorite of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it an excellent choice for gardeners who want to attract these pollinators.

Plant Cultivation and Care

Preferred Growing Conditions: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. The plant thrives in cooler climates and is not well-suited for hot, humid areas.

Potential Pest and Disease Issues: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is susceptible to botrytis (gray mold), powdery mildew, root rot, and aphids. To prevent pest and disease issues, it is essential to provide adequate air circulation and avoid over-watering the plant.

Planting and Maintenance Tips:

-Plant Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in the early spring or fall. – Choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-draining soil.

– Water the plant regularly, especially during dry periods. – Cut back the stems after blooming to encourage a second round of blooms.

– Deadhead spent flowers to encourage a longer blooming period. – Consider staking the tall spikes, as the plant can become top-heavy and topple over.

In conclusion, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ (Candle Larkspur) is a stunning, large-flowering perennial that adds vertical interest to any garden. By following the planting and maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy the plant’s striking blue flowers from summer to early fall.

Whether you’re looking to attract pollinators or simply want to add a pop of color to your garden, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is an excellent choice.

Plant Propagation Methods

Propagation is the process of multiplying plants by growing new ones from seeds, cuttings, bulbs, or other plant parts. Different plants have different propagation methods depending on their biology and life cycle.

Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ can be propagated through either sexual or asexual reproduction.

Sexual Reproduction

Sexual reproduction is the process of growing new plants from seed that is produced from the flowers of the parent plant. Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ produces small, black, oval seeds that can be harvested when the seed pods turn brown.

Once harvested, the seeds can be stored in a cool, dry place until the following spring. To start growing Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ from seed, start indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in your area.

Sow the seeds in a sterile seed-starting mix, covering them lightly with soil. Water the soil and place the container in a warm, bright spot.

Keep the soil moist but not saturated until the seedlings emerge. Once the seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, transplant them into individual containers or outdoors in a sunny location.

Asexual Reproduction

Asexual reproduction is the process of growing new plants from vegetative parts of the parent plant, such as cuttings or division. Asexual reproduction results in plants that are genetic clones of the parent plant.

To propagate Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ through cuttings, take a 6-inch stem cutting from a healthy, established plant in late spring or early summer. Make a clean cut just below a leaf node, strip off the lower leaves, and dip the cut end into rooting hormone.

Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a well-draining mix of soil and perlite, water, and place in a bright spot. Keep the soil moist but not saturated until the cutting develops roots and signs of new growth.

Division is another way to propagate Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue.’ Divide the parent plant into multiple sections during early spring or late summer. Carefully lift the parent plant out of the ground, cut it into into smaller sections, and plant them in individual containers or outdoors in a sunny location.

Plant Adaptations to Different Environments

Plants are incredibly adaptable organisms that have evolved over millions of years to survive in a variety of environments. Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ has adapted to characteristics of its environment, including soil type, light exposure, and moisture levels.

Soil Type: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ prefers a fertile, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. The plant can grow in a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, as long as the soil is rich in organic matter. Light Exposure: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ prefers full sun to partial shade.

In hotter climates, planting delphiniums in partial shade or filtered light during the hottest parts of the day can keep them from wilting and allow them to bloom for longer. Moisture Levels: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ prefers moderate to regular watering, but overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

The plant will adapt to lower moisture levels during periods of drought, but this can cause the plant to become stunted, with fewer flowers. Altitude: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is adapted to growing at high altitudes in the wild, where cooler temperatures and lower oxygen levels predominate.

The plant is hardy in zones 3 to 7, making it suitable for planting in colder climates. Wind: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ has evolved to withstand windier conditions, with the plant’s tall spikes allowing the flowers to pollinate easier in the breeze.

However, the plant should be staked or grown in a sheltered location to prevent it from becoming top-heavy and collapsing. In conclusion, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a versatile plant that can be propagated through sexual or asexual reproduction.

The plant’s adaptations to different environments, including soil type, light exposure, moisture levels, altitude, and wind, make it suitable for growing in a variety of climates and settings. By understanding the plant’s unique adaptations, gardeners can provide optimal growing conditions and enjoy the striking blue flowers of Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ for years to come.

Using Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in Indoor Settings

Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is primarily an outdoor plant that grows best in full sun to partial shade. However, it can be grown indoors with proper care and attention.

The plant’s tall spikes and striking blue flowers can make an attractive centerpiece for a room, or it can be used to add vertical interest to indoor gardens. To grow Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ indoors, select a brightly lit location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Delphiniums grown indoors may require supplemental light during the darker winter months. The plant also prefers a cool environment with temperatures range between 60-70F.

Plant the Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in a large container filled with well-draining soil. Water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist, but avoid over-watering to prevent root rot.

Fertilize the plant during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Growing Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ indoors requires extra care compared to outdoor growing, due to the more controlled environmental conditions.

Using Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in Outdoor Settings

Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is an excellent choice for outdoor gardens, especially in cooler climates. The plant adds vertical interest to garden beds and borders with its tall spikes and striking blue flowers.

It can be planted in groups or as a single specimen, making it a versatile landscaping plant. The plant performs best in full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil.

Delphinium elatum grows best in cooler climates and can become stunted in hotter regions. It will require regular watering, especially during dry periods, but over-watering should also be avoided, as it can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

For outdoor planting, dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the root ball and place the plant in the hole. Backfill with soil mixed with compost and water thoroughly.

Plant Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in groups, 12-18 inches apart to create a bold visual impact. For shorter varieties, make sure to plant them as a foreground with taller plants in the back.

In addition to garden beds and borders, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ can be grown in containers on balconies, decks, and patios. Plant the container with a mixture of well-draining soil and balanced fertilizer.

Water the plants regularly and deadhead the spent blooms to encourage new growth and additional flowering.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a versatile plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Growing Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ indoors requires bright light, cool temperatures, and well-draining soil, making it suitable for brightening up a room or as an indoor garden plant.

Meanwhile, growing in an outdoor setting requires full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil, making it an excellent choice for garden beds, borders, and container gardens. By understanding the needs of Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ and providing the right care and attention, gardeners can enjoy the striking blue flowers of this plant indoors or outdoors for years to come.

Toxicity of Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’

While Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a beautiful and popular garden plant, it is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. The plant contains a variety of alkaloids, including delphinine, deltaline, and ajacine, which can cause serious harm if consumed.

Pets and Horses: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is toxic to pets, particularly dogs and cats, and horses. Ingestion of any part of the plant can cause a range of symptoms, including drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death.

Symptoms can appear within minutes to hours after ingestion, depending on the amount of plant material consumed. If you suspect that your pet or horse has ingested Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue,’ seek veterinary attention immediately.

Humans: Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is also toxic to humans, although cases of poisoning are rare. Symptoms of delphinium poisoning in humans can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, and seizures, depending on the amount ingested.

Skin contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation and rash. Children are particularly susceptible to delphinium poisoning due to their smaller size and weight.

If ingested, seek medical attention immediately. Prevention: The best way to prevent poisoning from Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is to keep pets and children away from the plant.

If you have pets or children, consider planting the plant where it will not be accessible to them. When handling the plant, wear gloves to prevent skin irritation.

If you suspect that you or your pet has ingested the plant, seek medical attention immediately. In conclusion, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a stunning, popular garden plant that can add vertical interest and color to any garden.

However, the plant is toxic to pets, horses, and humans if ingested. Understanding the potential risks associated with the plant and taking preventative measures can help ensure a safe and enjoyable gardening experience.

In conclusion, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The plant’s striking blue flowers, tall spikes, and deep green foliage make it a popular addition to gardens and landscapes.

However, the plant is toxic to pets, horses, and humans if ingested, requiring careful attention and preventive measures. Understanding the different aspects of Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’, such as its overview and characteristics, propagation methods, adaptations to different environments, and toxicity, can help gardeners make informed decisions when selecting, planting, and caring for this plant.

FAQs:

Q: Can Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ be grown indoors? A: Yes, Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ can be grown indoors with proper care and attention.

Q: Is Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ toxic to pets and humans? A: Yes, the plant is toxic to pets, horses, and humans if ingested.

Q: What are the preferred growing conditions for Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’? A: The plant prefers full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil, and moderate to regular watering.

Q: How can I propagate Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’? A: The plant can be propagated through sexual reproduction (seeds) or asexual reproduction (cuttings or division).

Q: How do I care for Delphinium elatum ‘Million Dollar Blue’ in an outdoor setting? A: Plant the plant in a well-draining soil, water regularly, and deadhead spent flowers to encourage new growth and additional flowering.

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