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Delphinium, Summer Skies

Short Description

Elegant spikes for the June garden.

Full Description

Immense, graceful light to medium blue spikes with white "bees". If sown early, blooms first year from early summer till frost. GARDEN HINTS: Grows best in part to full sun. Thrives in rich, deeply worked soil. Prefers cool, moist summer nights. Spacing 2'. Perennial in zones 3-7. Treat as hardy annuals farther north.
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Item#: 01487A
Order: 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

48-60 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24 inches

Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.

Spring, Summer

Resistant To Adverse garden conditions, such as heat or frost, deer or rabbits, that this product can tolerate well.


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Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
Watch video
Perennials Tour #2
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan), Perennial Garden Phlox, Hibiscus and Silphium.
Watch video

Delphinium: Indoor or Direct Sow or Potted Plant Perennial

How to Sow and Plant

Delphinium may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden in summer, or grown from potted plants.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow seeds indoors 8 weeks before last spring frost
  • Sow 1/8 inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 21-28 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Choose a location in full sun or light shade with a cool, moist organic soil.
  • In milder areas, sow directly in the garden in mid to late summer.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Sow seeds evenly and cover with 1/8 inch of fine soil.
  • Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 21-28 days.
  • Thin to at least 18 inches apart when seedlings have three sets of leaves.

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun or light shade with a cool, moist organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

How to Grow

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time.  Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry.  One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Tall cultivars must be staked or the flower spikes will break in stormy weather.
  • Cut back flower stalks after blooming.

Growing Tips

  • Plants need extra watering in dry, hot weather,
  • Delphiniums make splendid cut flowers.
  • Delphinium plants are striking in the back of the border, in cottage gardens, or as accent plants.
Full Sun, Part Sun
48-60 inches
24 inches
Bloom Season
Spring, Summer
Resistant To
Ornamental Use
Borders, Cut Flowers
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
Life Cycle
Delphinium, Summer Skies is rated 1.0 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor germination I bought several varieties of mixed columbine seeds (see other reviews) for my "formal" garden, which has good soil and is watered regularly. Now, in July, I have only a few tiny seedlings. Oddly enough, the cheap seed mix that i picked up at the box store and scattered in the field have sprouted and look healthy. Doubt I'll be throwing my money away on these again!
Date published: 2015-07-06
  • 2016-10-24T07:17CST
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