Growing a delphinium from seeds at home
Gardeners have been cultivating delphinium since the seventeenth century, they love it very much for the variety of varieties and shades, as well as for the fact that these plants are quite unpretentious. These wonderful flowers are propagated by cuttings or by sowing seeds and growing seedlings. You can also divide an adult bush, but at the same time there is a risk of injuring the roots, so the most convenient way is still sowing seeds. There are nuances in growing any plant, so today we will talk about what steps you need to take to get healthy and strong delphinium seedlings grown from seeds. So, Cultivation of a delphinium from seeds.
Growing a delphinium: how to collect and save seeds
If you are thinking about planting a delphinium for the first time, then you can buy seeds in a garden center, flower shop or order online. If you were prompted to this idea by wonderful flowers growing from friends or neighbors in the country, then it is important to know when and how to collect planting material, as well as how to properly store the seeds. The fact that the seeds are ripe is evidenced by darkened and dry seed pods, which must be collected on a clear sunny day - the seeds collected after the rain cannot be preserved until next year in their proper form. The collected seeds should be placed in paper bags, signed with the name and color of the plant, and then stored in a cool place, such as a refrigerator. Delphinium seeds are very capricious, retain their germination for only eleven months, if the temperature regime is violated, even this short period can be reduced. Therefore, for growing seedlings, it is better to use self-collected planting material, the quality and storage conditions of which you have no doubt about.
Choosing a container for growing seedlings
Delphinium seedlings do not need large containers, rather they even prefer small containers or cups. You can use balcony boxes, plastic or peat pots, special seedling cassettes, paper or plastic cups. In any case, the container should have a hole in the bottom, since the seedlings are to be watered through the pallet.
Whatever container you choose for growing seedlings, it will have to be well washed and disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate.
Soil for growing delphinium
After you have decided on the containers, you need to start preparing the soil. As a rule, the basic requirements for the soil for any plant are not very different: you need a loose soil, into which both moisture and air will penetrate well. Neutral acidity is preferred. You can independently mix sand with humus, garden soil and peat in a ratio of 1: 2: 2: 2. For extra looseness, you can add perlite or chopped straw to this mixture.
If you do not have the opportunity to prepare the soil mixture yourself, then you can use ready-made soil for seedlings or a mixture for cacti and succulents.
The soil mixture, as well as containers for seedlings, must be disinfected: spill with a solution of "Fitosporin", "Fundazol" or potassium permanganate, steam in a water bath or ignite in the oven.
Growing delphinium - planting material
Now that you have both containers and nutrient soil ready, you can start preparing the planting material.
Up to this point, the seeds had to be refrigerated.Before prying, they should be disinfected in order to avoid seedling diseases in the future. To do this, prepare a solution of "Maxim", "Fitosporin" or potassium permanganate and dip the seeds into it for 15-20 minutes, having previously folded them into a bag of gauze. Then, without removing the seeds from the bag, rinse them with cool running water and soak them in a growth stimulator for 24 hours (you can use the Epin preparation). After that, the seeds can be removed from the bag and dried by spreading them out on a napkin or paper towel.
Growing a delphinium - sowing seeds
It is best to start sowing seeds at the end of winter. The seeds of the delphinium are not very large, they should be spread out on the surface of the earth and pressed a little into the soil, and then sprinkled with a small layer of earth. After that, it is necessary to water the plantings, and this should be done with a spray bottle so that the seeds do not move and each remain in its place.
Then the planting containers should be covered with a material that does not transmit light, wrap with plastic wrap and put in a refrigerator or put on a glazed balcony for two weeks - this is a necessary stratification process that accelerates seed germination. Check the planting, the first shoots may appear in ten days. After that, all the shelters must be removed, and the planting containers must be rearranged in a bright place, maintaining the temperature at about + 16 ... + 18 degrees. An increase in temperature cannot be allowed, since the viability of seedlings depends on this.
Delphinium cultivation and care
It is necessary to take care of the delphinium seedlings especially carefully at first. Even if you placed the seedlings on the windowsill, you will still need additional lighting, since at the beginning of spring the daylight hours are still not long enough, and with a lack of light, the seedlings will begin to stretch, which will greatly weaken it. Therefore, it is recommended to install a special phytolamp or fluorescent lamp.
It is necessary to water the plants very carefully, not allowing the soil to completely dry out or moisture stagnation. Watering should be carried out either in a pan or with a syringe under the root.
The air temperature in the room should not rise above +20 degrees. After the appearance of two or three real leaves, it is necessary to make a pick, planting the delphinium in pots, the volume of which is about 300 ml. When transplanting, it is necessary to deepen the seedlings to the level of real leaves.
Seedlings should be planted in a permanent place after the soil has finally warmed up and the weather has become steadily warm, as a rule, this is the second half of May. Two weeks before the intended transplant, it is necessary to feed the seedlings with Agricola or Solvent, and also begin the hardening process, gradually accustoming the plants to fresh air. At first, the seedlings of the delphinium must be protected in every possible way, shading from the bright daytime sun, sheltering in the event of a threat of recurrent frosts, and also strongly protected from pests. Most often, slugs pretend to tender young plants. If you mulch the soil around the delphinium with sawdust or coniferous litter, this will reduce the risk of these unpleasant pests, since it will be rather difficult for them to move on such a surface.
If all the actions were performed by you correctly, then you will be able to see the first flowers of the plants you have grown in the second half of August. The first bloom may not be very abundant, but undoubtedly, it will give you great pleasure, as it will be evidence of good plant care.
It is by sowing seeds and growing seedlings that you can get the strongest and healthiest specimens of delphinium. Yes, at the stage of preparation and germination of seeds, you will have to tinker, and you also need to make an effort, caring for the seedlings. But believe me, these plants are worth it: the large and bright inflorescences of the delphinium will become the hallmark of your garden!