How to Maintain Columbine Flowers

Overview

Columbine flowers are herbaceous perennials native to temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The plants are commonly grown for their bright, ornamental flowers that can be a wide variety of colors, depending on the variety. Columbine flowers typically reach about 3 feet in height and bloom during late spring and early summer. They are an easy way to add a splash of color to any lawn or garden.

Step 1

Plant columbine during early spring in a location that receives bright morning sun and partial afternoon shade. Spread a 1-inch layer of organic compost over the planting site and till into the soil to increase fertility and drainage. Space columbine flowers 12 inches apart.

Step 2

Water columbine flowers once per week throughout the growing season to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Reduce frequency to once every two weeks during winter, when the plant is not actively growing.

Step 3

Feed columbine flowers once per month using a 5-10-5 NPK fertilizer. Apply following the directions provided by the manufacturer for proper dosage. Water immediately after applying to release the nutrients into the soil.

Step 4

Remove dead or faded columbine flowers as soon as possible to prevent them from turning to seed. Pinch off the flowers as close to the stem as possible to minimize damage to the columbine plant, and new flowers will form shortly after to replace them.

Step 5

Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch over columbine flowers after they have died back during late fall to provide winter protection. Remove the mulch in early spring, just before new growth begins to allow the plant to resume normal growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never consume columbine flowers. They are extremely toxic and consumption may result in serious illness or death.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch

References

  • Cornell University Flower Growing Guides: Columbine, Hybrid
  • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet: Columbine Production and Consumer Care
  • "Georgia Gardener's Guide;" Erica Glasener and Walter Reeves; 2004
Keywords: columbine flowers, columbine, plant columbine

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.