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staking delphiniums...

Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 818
Hi there, what is your experience of staking delphiniums...? Last year I used one stake per plant, but it wasn't too successful, as they looked a bit constrained ... would something like this work better https://www.selections.com/grow-through-metal-circular-plant-supports-100cm-40cm-set-of-3?search=plant support (and is this one tall enough?) or should I just use three stakes and tie string around them...? Many thanks
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  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,099
    I have exactly the same conundrum, Janie, and have been looking for advice on line. Plenty of experts who are in the horticulture business say that a string mesh arranged around a triangle of canes, or a circular support like the one you list, is just fine. What baffles me is that they often say the support needs to be no more than 2’ - 3’ high. As the stems often reach 5’+ I am fearful that unsupported top half of the plant would snap in a brisk wind.

    I have decided to use an arrangement of 4’ canes with a web of green twine between them. The problem I have every year - I never learn - is that when placing plant supports in the ground at the start of the growing season I think they are far too tall and compromise. Next year I will do better.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 10,121
    IMO you need a stake per stem and the stake needs to reach to the bottom of the flower.
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 818
    Thanks guys. One stake per stem would mean quite a few stakes per plant! I may buy a couple of different supports this year, and see how they fare. And I may opt for the mesh around tall stakes option around some, and use this year as a trial...
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 466
    As BenCotto says I put stakes that were not tall enough round my delphiniums and the flowers were snapped off  by the first strong breeze. Not sure if it would have been better not to have staked them at all. I tend to only bother with the things which impede the paths (or get in the way of the mower) 
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 818
    So... in the interests of research... I have now staked my delphiniums... I have four rows of four delphiniums in each. Here are the methods I am using to stake them this year (the ones with a single stake per plant may end up having other stakes to support individual spikes as @punkdoc advises, but I'll wait to see how they grown first...). Wonder which one will work out best...? 


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 10,121
    A lot will depend on how tall the flower spikes grow.
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,099
    I’m looking forward to hearing your advice at the end of the season, @Janie B. I’m going for your top right solution having picked up these supports for a pittance in an end of season sale.


  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,022
    I watched this video a while ago, it is expert advice ( Helen Dillon)  given to a gardener explaining how she supports her delphiniums. I tried this and it really does work and the plants look more naturalistic.

    https://youtu.be/QMnCCxcClXE
    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • PoppypussPoppypuss LancashirePosts: 80
    Thanks for posting the video link Bright star, I’ve also been wondering how pest to stake. Think I’ll try the half hoops as I’ve got some elsewhere in the garden and see how it goes. 

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,099
    I watched that video and thought she surely knows what she’s talking about - but I still did not believe stakes that low would work.
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