Delphinium 'Misty Mauves'
Common Name: larkspur 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Mauve to purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 3-7 where this delphinium is best grown in fertile, humus rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Performs well in alkaline soils. Prefers climates with cool summer temperatures. Appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Plants often struggle in St. Louis summers, and are generally not recommended for growing in hot and humid summer climates south of USDA Zone 7. Plants require protection from strong winds and rain storms via sheltered growing positions and staking. After bloom, promptly cut back spent flower spikes to the basal foliage to encourage an additional late summer and/or fall bloom.

‘Misty Mauves’ is often grown as an annual or biennial. It may be grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden, but is an F1 hybrid which will not come true from seed harvested from garden plants. If retention of unvaried parent flower color and form is required, purchase new seed as needed or propagate from basal cuttings. For growth as perennials in cold winter climates, purchase new plants in early spring or plant seed indoors 8-10 weeks prior to last spring frost date. For growth as annuals in warm winter climates, sow seed in pots in mid-summer with transplants set into the ground in October for bloom the following spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Delphinium is a genus consisting of over 300 species of annual, biennial and perennial flowering plants. Most delphiniums sold in commerce today are complex hybrids. One such hybrid grouping, commonly known as English hybrid types or Elatum Group (often designated as Delphinium x elatum), features a large number of showy cultivars which have been introduced into commerce over time in a number of different series or strains which are considered by many gardeners to contain some of the showiest of the delphiniums available in commerce today.

Genus name comes from the Greek word delphis meaning dolphin in reference to the flower bud shape of some species purportedly resembling a dolphin.

‘Misty Mauves’ is part of the New Millenium Series. It is a compact cultivar that features frilly-petalled, mauve (light blue to dark blue), semi-double to nearly double flowers which bloom in late spring to early summer on long, slender, terminal spires atop stems rising well above the foliage mound to 3-4’ tall. Flower spikes should be staked in order to prevent them from leaning or falling over. After bloom, promptly cut back spent flower stems to the basal foliage to encourage an additional late summer to early fall bloom.

The New Millenium Series was bred by Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums in New Zealand. These are F1 hybrid cultivars (hand pollinated) that typically rise to 3-6’ tall on stems clad with divided palmate green leaves. Slender terminal columnar flower spikes (racemes) feature densely packed single to double florets in colors ranging from blue to pink to white. The main flower show occurs in early summer. Basal leaves are 5-7 parted and upper stem leaves are 3 parted.


Delphiniums require considerable maintenance (staking, pruning, deadheading, disease control) in order to perform well in the garden. Delphiniums are generally susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis blight, leaf spots and crown rot. Plants grown in full sun generally show better resistance to powdery mildew. Water plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage. Crown rot will inevitably develop if plants are grown in poorly drained soils or planted too deep. Slugs and snails can do significant damage. Watch for aphids, leaf miners, stem borers and mites. Taller plants may need staking and appreciate being sited in locations protected from wind. Plants are considered toxic to humans if ingested.


Superb in cottage gardens. Back of beds and borders. Best in groupings or massed. Plant against a stockade fence for protection from wind. Excellent cut flower. Deer and rabbits usually do not cause problems.