How to Grow Columbine


Columbine was a favorite in our grandmothers' gardens and it is just as popular today. It's easy to grow and the blooms come in a wide range of color combinations, from delicate lavenders and pinks to bright red and gold. Columbine is especially attractive in a natural garden or an old-fashioned cottage garden. The blooms are full of nectar and attract hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies.

Step 1

Visit a greenhouse or garden center and purchase columbine starts. If you have a friend or neighbor who grows columbine, they may share some starts with you. Columbine self-seeds, so it does better if it's thinned occasionally to keep it from becoming overcrowded.

Step 2

Plant the columbine starts about 2 feet apart in a partial-shade location. Water the starts immediately, but once the plants are established, cut back the amount of water and allow the soil to dry out. Columbine grows better in dry soil and only needs occasional watering.

Step 3

Remove the dead blossoms immediately to encourage prolonged blooming. Give the columbine plants a high-quality, all-purpose fertilizer twice during the growing season.


  • How to Grow Columbine Flowers
  • Guide to Growing Columbine in the Garden
  • Aquilegia (Columbine)
Keywords: columbine, rock garden, partial shade

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.