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Growing Columbine

February 22, 2006

Botanical Name:

Aquilegia

Life Cycle:

perennial

Planting Time:

early spring or early summer

Height:

dwarf types 10" to 12", full-sized types 2' to 3'
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Exposure:

full sun to partial shade (afternoon shade in warmer climates)

Soil:

average, well-drained soil

Hardiness:

zones 3 to 8

Bloom Time:

summer

Flower:

delicate flowers in a variety of colors

Foliage:

green

Propagation:

seeds

Suggested Use:

beds, shade beds, borders, pots and hummingbird gardens

Growing Hints:

Sow seeds in pots or directly into the ground in early spring to early summer. Seeds need light to germinate so do not cover them with soil, but press them lightly into the surface of the soil. Plants tend to die out in 3 to 4 years. Avoid this by collecting seeds from mature plants for scattering or transplant self-sown seedlings. Full grown plants have deep tap roots and don't transplant well.

Interesting Facts:

Hummingbirds love columbine. Little white spaghetti-like tunnels on the leaves of your columbine indicate you have an infestation of leaf miners-a common columbine pest. Treat plants by picking off diseased leaves or cutting badly infested plants to the ground. Toss infected leaves and plants in the garbage-do not compost.
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If you want surprises in your garden each spring, plant a few varieties of columbine, and see how they evolve. They are easy to propagate from seed.

Pink and White Columbine

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8 Photos

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August 5, 2013

I love this flower. My dark pink columbine. Just beautiful. I am starting some more columbines from seed, and I can't wait to plant and see them!

Columbine

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May 13, 2011

This is an origami flower. We are growing these in our garden and love the contrast between the blooms and leaves.

Photo of Origami Flower in Spring

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I have always admired this flower, but for some reason, I have never grown it. There's something about its name I find very pleasant, Aquilegia. I even like its common name 'columbine'. And the lesser used common names 'Granny's Bonnet' and 'Granny's Nightcap' will do in a rush.

Aquilegia  (Columbine) - red and white flowers

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While vacationing in Alaska this July, I ran across this gorgeous columbine growing wild in the edge of a friend's garden.

CPurple and White Columbine Flower in Alaska

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Due to losing my husband and my children not wanting me to be so far away, I had to move to the city. I miss my garden very much but it brings a smile to my face to be able to see the photos I have taken from that garden.

Closeup of pink and yellow columbine

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Of the two columbines we planted last year, this is the one that survived. The burgundy and white flowers are really lovely and we are going to add more colors this year.

Columbine (Hillsboro, OR)

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