How to Plant Columbine


Columbine, also called Aquilegia, consists of 80 different species of flowers belonging to the buttercup family. They bloom in almost every color in early to mid-spring, with each flower containing five petals. The plant's hardiness extends from USDA Zones 3 through 9, meaning that it will basically grow throughout the United States with the right care. You can plant columbine for yourself as long as you know how to create the right environment for these wildflowers.

Step 1

Choose an area in early spring with rich, well-drained soil and partial shade. This plant does best in the shade of deciduous trees where it receives protection from the hot, summer sun and full sunlight when growing in the winter. Do not choose an area with dense shade.

Step 2

Incorporate organic compost into the soil to increase richness. Place a layer of the compost on the ground and dig it into the soil with a spade, breaking up any large clumps of dirt and pulling out any rocks as you go.

Step 3

Lay down the columbine seeds on top of the soil, spacing them about 1 foot apart. You must make sure it is early in the season, because the seeds need cool nights to germinate. They also germinate faster with light, which is why you need not dig them into the soil.

Step 4

Water the seed, keeping it moist until it begins to sprout. Once the plant begins to grow you can decrease watering frequency to once every seven to 10 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Spade
  • Columbine seeds


  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Texas Gold Columbine
  • USDA Plant Guide: Red Columbine
  • Sooner Plant Farm: Aquilegia

Who Can Help

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Columbine
Keywords: planting columbine plants, planting Aquilegia, growing columbine

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.