How to Plant Columbine From a Seed


Columbine (Aquilegia x hybrida) is a perennial flower reaching 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall. The green fern-like leaves form clumps. Upright stalks topped with hanging flowers loom over the foliage. The showy, red, yellow, blue, violet, white and pink flowers appear from the spring through the summer. Columbine is dear resistant. Use columbine in woodland landscapes, native gardens, front borders and showcase plants. It takes columbine flowers two seasons to bloom when grown from seed. Columbine thrives in USDA winter hardiness zones 3 to 8.

Step 1

Clear a planting site with full sun or partial shade exposure in September through December. Remove weeds and any unwanted plants.

Step 2

Loosen the soil to the depth of 6 inches with a shovel. Remove large rocks and break up soil clumps. Spread a 2 to 4 inch layer of peat moss on the planting site.

Step 3

Mix the peat moss into the soil with a rake to create a site with good drainage and rich in organic materials. Rake the soil level.

Step 4

Scatter the columbine seeds evenly over the planting site. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of peat moss. The columbine seeds need light exposure to germinate.

Step 5

Sprinkle the area lightly with water to keep the soil in place. Do not flood the site with water since this will wash away the seeds. Do not let the area dry out since it will cause the seeds to not germinate.

Tips and Warnings

  • Columbine can suffer from disfigurement and infestation of leaf miners. Cut the foliage to the ground and dispose of it. Do not compost it since it contains insect pests. The columbine plants grow back quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Rake
  • Columbine seeds
  • Water


  • Cornell University Growing Guide: Hybrid Columbine
  • Oregon State University: Columbine
  • Burpee Planting Guide: Columbine PDF
  • Denver Plants E-zine: Aquilegia or Columbines
Keywords: plant columbine seeds, planting columbine, planting perennial flower

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.