How to Grow Larkspur from Seed – Cut Flower Gardening for Beginners

Larkspur always have a special place in my garden. It’s not that I have fond memories of them or anything – it’s that they’re one of the first hardy annual flowers that I was able to successfully grow. With their carefree habit, they’re super easy to sow and to use as cut flowers. As always, make sure to do your research before planting. Larkspur are toxic, so make certain to keep your kids and pets (and everyone else) safe while in the cut flower garden.

This year, the garden was a little bit out of control. Yes, that’s a huge pumpkin vine crawling into the middle of the larkspur patch.

Here in Kentucky (zone 6b/7), I direct sow the larkspur seeds into a prepared garden bed in the fall around the end of September. This is a good time because the temperatures are nice and cool with highs usually in the 70s(F). Before surface sowing the seeds, I put the packet into the fridge for about a week. This seems to hit any cold stratification requirements that they need.

Larkspur seed germination can be slow. In my yard, it can take up to about 4 weeks. Even then, it may be really difficult to identify the seedlings because they resemble the seedlings of many other garden weeds. It isn’t until months later (once they put on sizable true leaves) that I finally get a better idea of how well the plants are actually doing.

By the time the first frost arrives in the fall, the larkspur have several true leaves. These plants will remain small and close to the close throughout the winter and the extended periods of cold weather. Once spring arrives, they’ll begin to stretch taller and bloom. 

I’ve had success with larkspur here in my yard without protection from any kind of row cover. However, the plants will be impacted by the severity of the winter temperatures. Last year, the entire patch survived unharmed. The year before, I lost every single plant to cold. Whether or not you’ll need the protection of a row cover or low tunnel will completely depend upon the conditions in your own garden. It really is a process of trial and error.

3 thoughts on “How to Grow Larkspur from Seed – Cut Flower Gardening for Beginners

  1. gorgeous, but have to ask: as a new flower grower, Larkspur scares me because of toxicity. My three adopted dogs are my best buds and I worry they will chow down on something dangerous. I notice you have a feline friend roaming around…you don’t have issues with Larkspur? (or other “poisonous” flowers?). Kind regards and thanks for all the energy in sharing your breadth of well…Nomasted

    1. I think it really depends on the temperment of the animal. For example, my cat never eats anything from the garden. Even though she’s pretty trustworthy, she’s never allowed outside when I’m not there to supervise. As long as I’m taking responsibility, I feel confidently that my pets are safe.

  2. You give good information, but I have a question. Will cutting back the blooms encourage further growth and bloom like with other annual flowers? Seed pods are forming, and I want seeds, but also I want the larkspur to continue to bloom throughout the summer. Will cutting the seed pods encourage this rebloom? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.