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Growing Delphinium and Digitalis from seed to flower in the same year?

KiliKili Posts: 344
edited 16 October in Plants
Hi all, can you advise please?

I want some tall plants for the back of my border next summer and I was reading the Dobies 2021 catalogue in which they offer Delphinium and Digitalis seed which seem to fit the bill as they grow to 5 feet. Reading the description they state "Sow late spring- early summer to flower the following June- August.".
I've read this to mean they will flower the following June-August the year after sowing. Have I read this wrong, will Delphinium and Digitalis seed sown in spring 2021 flower the summer of 2021?

Thanks for your help in advance.


'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw'

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,731
    edited 16 October
    No, but if you have the facilities to sow and grow them on them now (tricky) or in late winter under glass, there's a chance a few of them will flower late in the same year but you can't rely on it (especially if germination is poor, as it has been for my last few batches of delphinium seeds.)  However, plugs or small plants bought now, potted on and protected from the worst of the weather in a cold GH or frame will do the job, but at a price.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,484
    As the packet says, sow late spring for following June/ August flowering,
    if you sow next April/May they will flower in 2022. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,484
    Yes Andy I grow them. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • KiliKili Posts: 344
    edited 17 October
    Thanks for all the help and advice guys. It seems there a bit tricky unless buying plugs now as Bob say's. That being the case can anyone suggest an alternative that will grow to about 1.5m in height that I can sow and will flower in the same year?

    Many Thanks

    Kili

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 34,027
    I think that's tricky @Kili. Most perennials need more time to get to maturity. 
    It's annuals that do the 'sown and flowering' in the same year.
    Some perennials will grow and flower the same year, but wouldn't reach full size. You could sow seed just now though. That might give the odd result. Otherwise, it's as @BobTheGardener says - getting plugs, which were just seeds sown in this spring.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Why  not use annuals sown next Spring to flower later the same year but sow your foxgloves and delphiniums as well to grow on for the following year. You will need to sow foxgloves each year anyway as they die after flowering in most areas. Down here in Cornwall it is not unusal for them to flower 2 years in succession from the same plant but our climate is probably the answer to that.
    There are some lovely tall annuals to enjoy until your foxgloves and delphiniums are grown up enough to flower. By the way, I think you will have to put slug treatment down from Christmas, continuously, until your delphiniums are established as they are manna from heaven for the entire slug and snail population in your area. Many peoople think they do not have the right soil, conditions etc. to grow theses beauties but the slugs eat them below soil level just as the new shoots begin developing in very early Spring.
    Good luck.
  • KiliKili Posts: 344
    Thanks Fairygirl.
    Might try the seed. I have a greenhouse and a temperature controlled propagator which I can set to 15 degrees ( I think that's the germination temperature) and see what I can do. 

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • AstroAstro Posts: 263
    I'd reckon using grow lights might be the way of growing them for next summer from seed.   Snapdragons may be a consideration as a substitute.
  • KiliKili Posts: 344
    Would I be able to keep seed sown Delphinium and Digitalis in pots in a cool greenhouse over winter and plant out in April.

    Snapdragons I had in my borders this year but, I cant find any that get to over 5' in height. They only seem to get to about 2' at best.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,484
    Yes Kili that’s what you do with them.  They’ll be fine in cold GH or frame.  The bigger the plant is when you plant it out the better chance it stands of surviving slugs or frosts. 
    I don’t let them flower in the first year if they should try,  I’d rather they get even bigger then let them flower the following year,   same with lupins. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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