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Are Delphiniums Perennials Or Annuals? [Truth Revealed]

Do you know, Delphiniums are deer and rabbit resistant, which can be perfect to add to your household? 

Generally, Delphiniums are tropic bloomers that can be perennials or annuals, depending on the species and cultivar. Some return year after year and even self-seed, while others only last a single season.

However, be wary of Delphinium hybrids that may last years but fail to self-seed.

Read on for a complete list of perennial and annual Delphiniums with helpful gardening tips.

Do Delphiniums Self-seed?

Delphiniums are beautiful flowering plants belonging to the family Ranunculaceae from the African tropics.

Commonly known as larkspurs, they are known for their tall, spiky stalks with colorful flowers, ranging from hues of blue and purple to pink, white, and sometimes yellow.

Delphinium tends to self-seed as a long-lasting flower that comes back each season, particularly those grown as perennials.

delphinium blooming flowers for seeds
After the blooms fade in summer, it produces seeds, which disperse from the seed-pods, scatter, and germinate on their own.

However, only some perennial Delphinium varieties, including open-pollinated or heirlooms, will self-seed.

Ensure to offer at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, an organic soil mix with a pH range of 6.0-7.0, weekly watering, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, early stalking, and deadheading of stalks to witness flourishing blooms each year.

The full-size perennial Delphiniums can reach up to 6 feet (1.8 m), but those grown in pots as annuals may hardly rise above 4 feet (1.2 m) due to a less extensive root system.

You can consider growing annual Delphiniums as houseplants to decorate your living room and office. Otherwise, choose perennial Delphiniums for open spaces like the patio.

Are All Delphiniums Perennials?

No, not all Delphiniums are perennials. While many varieties are indeed perennials, some are annuals or biennials.

Most Delphiniums are hardy perennials that grow season after season and self-seed to produce new plants each year, like the Elatum group of Delphinium.

Delphiniums growing in Texas as native species are reliably perennial, where almost every variety grows tall spikes with blue, purple, pink, and white flowers.

Moreover, they are hardy plants and can survive winter dormancy, regrowing from their established roots in subsequent years.

On the other hand, annual Delphiniums are neither hardy nor regrow from the established roots because of the less extensive root system.

Similarly, they would set seeds but die off at the end of the growing season. Additionally, they boast shorter flower spikes.

Delphinium Variety Examples

Here are a few examples of perennial, annual, and hybrid species if you consider growing them. Remember, most perennial species can be grown as annuals too.

Delphinium elatumDelphinium nudicauleDelphinium 'Centurion'
Delphinium belladonnaDelphinium cardinale (Scarlet Larkspur)Delphinium 'Blue Lace'
Delphinium exaltatumDelphinium ajacisDelphinium 'Summer Skies'
Delphinium tricorneDelphinium 'Blue Mirror'Delphinium 'Pacific Giants'
Delphinium consolida (Field Larkspur)Delphinium consolida (Field Larkspur)Delphinium 'Magic Fountains'
Delphinium nudicaule (Red Larkspur)Delphinium 'Summer Skies'Delphinium 'Guardian' series

Check out some handy tips for growing and caring for Delphiniums.

  • If you plan to grow Delphiniums, remember to sow the seeds in spring (March or April) and plant them outside in late spring (May and June).
  • The plant will sprout with beautiful flowers throughout June-September, depending on the region and sunlight received.
delphinium calendar
Take help from a handy Delphinium growing calendar.
  • Remember to begin deadheading flowers from July until September to allow the plant to bloom again.
  • Cut the flower stalks down to the base or a pair of healthy leaves to redirect energy toward new growth.
  • Prepare perennial Delphiniums for winter by adding organic mulch around the base to insulate heat, and cut back the old foliage or leaves to a few inches above the ground level after the first frost.
  • Native perennials often grow tall, requiring staking to prevent bending or breakage. Install wooden or metal stakes in spring or early summer.
  • Those residing in colder regions, such as the UK or northern US regions, choose cold-hardy Delphinium cultivars and plant in a location that receives full sun.

From Editorial Team


Whether you choose Delphiniums as perennials or annuals depends on your preferences and growing conditions.

Perennial Delphiniums offer the potential for long-term beauty, while annuals provide vibrant displays for a single season.

Consider your climate, sunlight availability, and temperature to select the perfect Delphiniums for your garden or containers.