Pint-Size Dwarf Delphiniums Really Are Dwarfs

Dwarf delphiniums entered my life quite by accident. But, pint-size though they are, they remain in my garden year after year by plan!

When I ordered that first hatch of seed included:

  • Delphinium grandiflorum White Butterfly
  • Azure Fairy and Blue Butterfly
Dwarf DelphiniumsPin

I thought I was selecting the familiar tall Chinese larkspur and expected blossom spikes a yard high. 

The catalog description plainly mentioned they grew 15” inches high, but I discounted that! I had seen only the tall type and assumed I’d seen everything.

The seed I ordered was planted early in spring in open rows in the vegetable garden. It came up quickly and had the typical cut leaves I expected. 

The plants were transplanted 18” inches apart in rows and as they grew, they made neat little mounds of foliage.

Cute Little Plants

Imagine my amazement when, by July, those cute little plants were covered with flowers! They branched as prolifically as tumbleweeds and were as broad as they were tall.

When garden guests admired their miniature size, I’d agree they were fine little plants, but I always carefully explained that probably next year, they’d be twice as tall. 

I was astonished when they weren’t. By the next spring, a few had died—no doubt they bloomed themselves to death, but most of the remaining plants were as thrifty as ever.

Self-Sown Seedlings 

Around their feet were hundreds of self-sown seedlings. The original plants bloomed at the same height as before.

Ever since I first grew them, I’ve depended upon these admirable pint-size delphiniums for foreground blueness all summer. 

My most spectacular color combination involves:

  • Tall delphiniums at the rear.
  • Scarlet Scottiae lilies for stunning contrast.
  • Masses of yellow sundrops and dwarf delphiniums alternating in the front. 

It’s dazzling!

44659 by Gretchen Harshbarger