How to Grow Columbines

Columbine's bi-color flowers stand out. image by Laura Shreck:


Columbine often is used in hummingbird gardens to attract the small, quick birds. Sometimes referred to as the Rocky Mountain Columbine, it is the state flower of Colorado. The bi-color flowers usually are paired with white petals in the middle and longer petals in blue, red and other colors that form a starburst pattern around the white center. Blooming from late spring into summer, columbine adds color to your garden beds, borders or containers.

Step 1

Choose a partially-shaded bed with well-drained soil to sow your columbine. Work compost or peat moss into the soil, building up the level of the bed 2 inches to improve drainage. Or, fill well-drained containers or pots with soil or compost.

Step 2

Sow seeds outdoors in spring. Space seeds 16 inches apart on top the soil surface, then cover with a 1/8 inch layer of soil. Seeds germinate within approximately 30 days.

Step 3

Keep soil moist until plants are established. Water as needed to keep soil from drying out during summer dry spells.

Step 4

Fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer. Fertilize four weeks after sprouting and a second time in mid-summer.

Step 5

Fertilize container-grown plants once per month with a general purpose fertilizer until the blooms fade at the end of the season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Treat insect problems immediately with insecticide.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Containers
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer


  • Gardener's Net
  • West Coast Seeds
Keywords: growing columbine, hummingbird garden, perennial flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Laura Shreck: