Columbine Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Columbine
Highly attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, Columbines are an easy-to-grow, wonderful addition to the spring border. After blooming, cut the stems back and enjoy the fern-like foliage as a ground cover. Enjoy Columbine flowers in the vase too!
Sow Columbine seeds directly outdoors in the early spring when there are still a few frosts expected. Or, following a 2 - 4 week cold treatment, sow the seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks prior to the end of frost season.
Columbine plants do well in partial shade in most climates. In areas with cool summers, they will tolerate full sun. The soil should be moderately moist, fertile, and drain well.
How to Plant Columbine
- Columbine seeds respond to cold, so prior to starting indoors, dampen soil or sand and add the seeds in. Place this mixture in the refrigerator for 2 - 4 weeks
- Following the cold period, sow the flower seeds in starter trays
- Press the seeds into the soil but do not cover
- Keep the trays continually moist and warm for germination
- Place the tray in a sunny window for growing
- Harden off the seedlings for 7 - 10 days prior to planting out
- The seedlings are delicate so transplant gently
- Or, prepare a seedbed as early as the soil can be worked
- Add compost to improve the soil
- Sow the Columbine seeds but do not cover them
- Keep the area moist for germination
- Thin to the strongest plant about 16 inches apart
Care And Maintenance
- Irrigate regularly to establish the plants
- Mulch around the base of the plants to suppress weeds and hold in moisture
- After blooming, treat plants back to neaten their appearance
- In the fall, the plant will go dormant, trim back and clean up any dead material