Questions about Lupine; Larkspur, and Foxglove

missemerald(7 (Virginia))May 28, 2009

This is my first year WSing, and the weather has been wierd here (or maybe I'm not good at this, whatever). I've had successes and failures. My current questions are about my WSed lupine, larkspur, and foxglove. First, the lupine has already been planted out and is about 2 inches high. The larkspur has also been planted out, but only one survived the freakish wetspell we had here; it is about one inch high. The foxglove is tiny and has not been planted out. Ideally, will I get any blooms from any of this stuff this year? I don't recall the particular variety of any of these, if that helps. The foxglove, in particular, is so tiny that I don't want to plant out soon, but when should I? The larkspur we planted during a break in the rains. We planted out several specimens, which subsequently fried in a eat spell before drowning. My daughter really wanted to grow these for butterflies. Do we have time to grow more, and if so, DS or WS? As for the lupine, the seed package was just pretty, and we have never grown them before, so I don't know much about their habits. Advice welcome.

I have already planted out zinnias and the marigolds are a complete wash. Not a single one germinated. I did DS more of those.


Miss Emerald

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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

My few Larkspur that actually germinated and were planted out are still a spindly 1" and I don't know what's wrong. I too had planted them specifically to attract butterflies.
The Bachelor Buttons & Calendula planted out with them are stalled in growth also. Think it may just be too warm for them now as, if I understand correctly, they grow better in cool spring temps.

It's pouring rain again so they all may get pounded into the ground and make it a moot point.

Were your Lupine the annual or perennial kind? There's both. It will be listed on the packet if you still have it.

There are plenty of people on this forum with lots of experience who can tell you whether or not you can sow more of ones you lost and have them germinate and survive in what should be mostly warm weather from here on out.

If I can sow more larkspur I'd also do it but I fear it'll be too hot for them outside of cold, rainy spots here and there.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 7:28AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Yes, you will have to check whether your lupines are annuals or perennials. Annual lupines should bloom this year; I WSed perennial lupines last year which are in bloom right now - and worth the wait!

Larkspur should bloom this year.

With the foxgloves, it depends what kind you sowed. I've sown alba (white) which were first-season bloomers. I've also sown Foxy, and some from the Camelot series, which all bloomed first season, (although, if I recall, later in the summer).

The weather here has been weird too. 90-degree spells in April, 50's and 60's in late May, rain, rain, rain (and cool rain, so it seems like nothing is growing, and everything is just kind of frozen in time, not the kind of rain where everything grows wild!)

Hopefully the weather will get back on track and your plants will catch up.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:01AM
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Here has been my experience with the above mentioned:

larkspurs - I so much like them better when they are direct sown in the Fall - Sorry, wintersowing works well with a lot of other plants, but for me, the larkspurs are too hard to transplant and are tiny compared to the reseeds I get in the spring.

By the time the Larkspurs that were wintersown get tall enough to bloom, it is too hot here for them to last. The reseeds bloom in early May and by almost June, I am ready to pull them or wait for a few to dry up

(Mostly I pull and buy the seeds, the foliage looks ugly and distracting in the garden)

Foxgloves: I HOS foxgloves for a huge mound that will only bloom it's second year - they are well worth it and definitely I sow them in early spring in containers.

Lupines - Terrible luck keeping them alive in our heat; had no trouble germinating them, but not worth the time and heartache seeing them wither in our NC sun.

Good luck - hope that helps - You may not be as hot as we are here - but you are from Virginia... so you could be...


    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:02AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I agree with Carrie. The best larkspur plants around here were sown in the fall. I'll be doing the same with foxglove this year too. I'll wintersow some as well. What I did sow this year has leafed out well, but hasn't really grown much. The larkspur has bloomed and fallen over. The stem broke so there won't be any seeds from that this year. I do have others that are ready to bloom, but once it heats up, I have my doubts.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:28AM
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this is all good info for me... I sowed and planted out lupines all over the place. I was hoping they would bloom this year. I am hoping since my zone has less heat they will do well. They are still pretty small right now though.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 12:07PM
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I tried lupines last year and had great germination and they got big while still in the container, but after I planted them in the ground they just didn't get any bigger.

Larkspur has been a disappointment for me this year too. I only got one sprout and it's not doing well. I planted a second jug about 4 days ago to see if I could just get some more sprouts, but still nothing yet. I'll try to direct sow them per advice from others above this fall and see if that works. I was so looking forward to those. I've read so many other posts that make these seem easy peasy.

Foxglove has done well for me though. I ws'd candy mountain, apricot, white, excelsior hybrids and foxy. All germinated and since foxy was done last year, I have beautiful plants with tons of blooms. I love foxglove, they are just gorgeous! The remainder will go in all my partly shaded spots. I can't wait to see what they'll all look like.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 12:10PM
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Same here, Larkspur are better broadcasted out in fall or just allow the current plants to self-sow themselves....quite a few of them will germinate in fall and winter over. You will have tons of thinning to do with the tons of spring babies too!
My wintersown Lupine (2 plants) from last year are not blooming yet, but trying to figure out what's up with the faint yellow blotching on the leaves that look like perfect circles? Never seen that one before....but notice it on several different plants in different locations.
I wintersowed Foxgloves (Digitalis ambigua AKA D. grandiflora) my fist year 2003-4 and they are perennial for me...clumps get larger ever year. Most of these bloomed the first year, but not that spectacular of a show.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 2:03PM
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