Transplant a Delphinium in 6 Steps

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-10
What You'll Need
An open area with lots of sun
Wind protection
What You'll Need
An open area with lots of sun
Wind protection

Delphiniums add a lovely touch to any garden or window box. They are relatively easy to grow from seed or cuttings and once established, they can prosper in a variety of different soil types. You can easily transplant delphiniums from pots to an outdoor environment. The following will provide some tips to help you successfully transplant your delphiniums.

Step 1 - Soil

Delphiniums usually enjoy a nutritionally enriched soil. However, existing delphiniums will already be established, so soil quality in new areas should replicate their current environment. If you are worried about the ground that you are transplanting into, it is possible add compost or rotted manure to ensure the newly planted delphiniums will have adequate nutrients.

Step 2 - Choosing the Location

Choosing the location for delphiniums can be a bit of a balancing act. They enjoy space and sun, so an open area does provide a number of advantages. However, high winds can cause them irreparable damage, so you may need to use some sort of windbreak. All temporary wall or planting close to a fence will usually work best. The flowers may also need to be staked at a later stage to ensure that they grow correctly.

Step 3 - Remove and Replace

Remove delphiniums from their existing plot with tenderness and care. Dig wide of the root structure and work inwards, gently loosening roots by hands. Once adequate soil has been removed, work your hands beneath the plant and wriggle gently until it comes away.

Take the transplants and place them into the new location. Put two to three inches of soil over the root and gently tap the soil down by hand to dispel air. Add a little more soil to the top of the root base and gently tap down a second time to ensure a firm foundation. The delphiniums should be fine once transplanted but will need a little water to encourage good health once transplanting is complete.

Step 4 - Trim

When spring arrives, remove all but two to three of the strongest shoots. This will help promote growth at a later stage. You should also apply a 5-10-5 fertilizer at this time. This process should be repeated in the summer and fall, as this will encourage the plant to bloom again the following year.

Step 5 - Stake

In open areas, the delphiniums will most likely have to be staked. This should be done at an early stage before too much growth occurs. Several types of material can be used for staking. Bamboo and metal rings seem to work the best as the plant can really find a strong hold.

If you’re short of materials, branches can often make a good substitute. Staking is essential for delphiniums as they grow quite tall. High winds and rain can cause them to topple over and they seldom recover. However, remember to remove the stakes when fall arrives. The foliage should start to yellow, indicating that the removal process should begin.

Step 6 - Removal

After the flowers start to bloom, it is necessary to cut back the spikes. Cut down the old stalks to the ground when new ones start to appear.


Delphiniums like space. Make sure you place them at least one foot apart. This will help prevent overcrowding. Dig small drainage channels for the plants in winter, as this will prevent over-watering and root rot.