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Delphinium eaten - Should I take it out and start from scratch?

I have discovered that slugs have eaten the new grow from my Delphinium while being under a cloche since November. Looks like I gave the little ones a perfect start into life with protecting them from the cold in December and plenty of fresh food.
Reading, there is no end of the story.
Normally, the stems should be around 20cm by this time of the year. I assume there will not be much grow this year, but I can't afford it to have a square meter with sad looking little stems.
If there is no turn around in March, I would then dig it out and replace it, which would be sad. I love my Delphinium Fountain Snow white.
Another idea is to plant around it so that it can survive and gets a new chance next year.
How long last Delphiniums? The RHS says Delphiniums reach their ultimate height inside 5 years.
Our one was bought in April 2016 and has been growing fine since then. I noticed less beautiful developed stems in the recent 2 years.

On the other side, the Eremurus next to it had no flowers developed last year, and I wonder if the Delphiniums and the Eremurus Foxtail have only a certain period of life and need then be replaced.

Thankful for all ideas, which are as usually much appreciated.

I my garden.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,871
    I don’t have delphiniums in this garden, but I’ve grown them successfully in previous gardens … here in East Anglia I wouldn’t expect to see any sign of them until mid March at the very earliest … I used to mark the site of the crowns with a cane over winter and surround them with a good circle of coarse gritty sand to keep slugs away, and as soon as spring growth started I’d do nightly slug inspections armed with a torch … my haul was fed to the chickens 🐓 

    Yours seem very early to me, and it does appear that by using a cloche you’ve provided the slugs with both bed and breakfast.  

     I’d clear the ground around the crowns and cover it with grit and cross my fingers that there’s enough of the crown left to re-shoot 🤞

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    I agree - a buffet on tap.
    I gave up on them many years ago because of slugs, but encouraging plants into early growth is rarely a good idea for any plant they like, and delphiniums are hardy so they need no protection in that way.
    You can try some of the various methods for keeping slugs away and see, but don't encourage them  :) 
    If you had the droughts many people had that won't have helped. Eremerus can cope with dry conditions, but the soil needs enough moisture to thrive, so if ground is parched long term, many plants will struggle, even established ones. Having both plants at close quarters in drier soil would possibly be a bridge too far. Eremerus get big root systems.

    Most perennials last for years, if they're happy, but also need room to thrive, and often need dividing to rejuvenate them. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The only way I could grow delphiniums was to put slug pellets around them from December on, gave up trying eventually. It is the tiny black keel slugs that seem to find them just as the new growth starts below the soil level. I love delphiniums and miss growing them but it is so wet down here I was on a hiding to nothing.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,495
    I did manage to grow a couple many years ago, but only by starting with really hefty plants and using slug pellets. Trying to raise young plants to a size at which they stand a chance against the molluscs has proved a waste of time and effort.
    Aconites make a good substitute though and there are some nice ones available. They don't get eaten!
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,011
    Some people are even kinder to their slugs and feed them beer as well.

    If you wait, your delphs will possibly (probably) send up some new growths.  But remember, slugs work underground in winter.

    In America they grow delphs as annuals.  The seeds are availbale in the UK and wil. give good plants that will last 2-3 years.  Not show standard, but a good garden display.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • Many thanks to all your comments. I have always covered the delphinium and eremurus with a cloche in November and it worked fine, apart from this year where had the little ones in the soil. I took off the cloche yesterday and hope that the minus 5 C have done an elimination process. 
    I will wait until March and see how it develops. 

    I my garden.

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,263
    It can be a puzzle as to why delphiums don't appear at all in spring. It is often slug damage underground that is the problem. You can dig around but no sigh of the plant at all not even roots.

    That is the downside of cloches they also unfortunately attract slugs and snails.
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    edited 17 January
    I'm not sure why you're covering it though @Simone_in_Wiltshire ?
    Do you mean seedlings? Delphiniums are hardy, as I said earlier. Cossetting plants is counter productive most of the time as you just produce weaker plant long term.  :)

    I think you mean the annual delphinium @bede - ie larkspur.

    I'd agree with @Buttercupdays re something like Aconites. Much easier. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,011
    edited 17 January
    Fairygirl said:
    I think you mean the annual delphinium @bede - ie larkspur. 

    Correction: my pen-name is "bédé," not "@bede".

    I meant perrenial delphinium, of course.  Suttons call them Pacific Giants. Quo vide.

    I grew them for a number of years.  They will flower in year one if you want.  Mine usually flowered in year 2 and went on to year 4+ ish.

    By-the-way, keep it up.  You will be hitting your 50,000 target soon. Without risking any advice that was too serious.e
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    The problem with your name is that - I don't have accents on my keyboard, and  more importantly, the '@' [which is the way to tag someone] also doesn't work on the forum when people use accents. 
    To clarify- if you type @ and start typing the letters of someone's name, it brings up options. Yours doesn't work.

    I'm going to ignore your snarky comment too - although God knows, you make plenty of them. I was simply wondering if you were confusing the two plants, but carry on..... :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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