Grow Delphiniums with Complementary Plants

The following is a list of foliage plants and ground covers which we have found most useful to complement and enhance delphiniums, and give an alternative to the traditional herbaceous border plantings.

Delphiniums will look even more impressive if you are able to give them a backdrop of small leafed silvery, grey or milky green tall shrubs or small trees. We encourage the use of suitable NZ natives here.

Hardy Perennials

Acanthus mollis latifolius - "Bear's Breeches": An excellent companion to delphinium. Magnificent dark green foliage year round in warmer areas, otherwise a hardy deciduous perennial. Tall spikes of tightly packed purple/white flowers.

Artemisia arborescens: Silky grey foliage, medium sized evergreen shrub. 1.5 m. Used extensively for border plantings. Also excellent if tied up and allowed to droop. May be successfully hedged.

Artemisia "Powis Castle": Probably the best of the compact artemisias, tough and shapely silver/pewter toned foliage. 1-1.5 m.

Haloragis - Bronze Type (NZ native): Beautiful small leaved bronze foliage plant which forms spreading clumps. An ideal colour foil for Artemesia Powis Castle. Full sun preferred for best colour.

Ground Covers

Ajuga "Catlins Giant": A large leaved Ajuga offering spikes of mid blue flowers in spring. Very fast growing - bronze purple foliage. A superb ground cover. Full sun or shade, either will do.

Helichrysum petiolare: Furry, silver-grey, oval leaves on grey stems (tips tending white). Forms excellent high ground cover and will climb. This plant will also climb up a trellis. Has very prolific umbels of yellow flowers in summer. Stands medium frosts - easily propagated.

Helichrysum petiolare "Limelight": As above but with lime green foliage. These plants have many uses and look great in mixed patio containers. Prefers shade. Looks great under trees.