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How to Plant Columbine Seeds

By Traci Joy ; Updated September 21, 2017
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Columbines flowers are loved by gardeners for their soft colors, and by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds for their sweet nectar. Columbine seeds require a period of cold dormancy called stratification to germinate. To plant your columbine seeds directly into a garden, it must be done in the fall so they will germinate in the spring. To start columbine plants indoors, an artificial stratification process of placing them in a cold environment for several weeks will be necessary. Apart from stratification, planting columbine seeds indoors or outdoors is a fairly simple process.

Planting Columbine Seeds Indoors

Fill the plant pots or flats to the rim with a seed-starting potting soil mix.

Water the seed pots enough to naturally settle the potting mix.

Lay one to two Columbine seeds on top of the soil mix and cover lightly with additional soil.

Give the soil a mist of water from a spray bottle.

Cover the plant pots or trays with plastic wrap and place them on the bottom shelf of a refrigerator. Leave alone for 30 days.

Take the seed pots out of the refrigerator and place in front of a warm, sunny window until the seeds germinate, which can take up to four weeks. Continue to monitor the soil to make sure it is moist. Water when necessary.

Plant the seedlings outdoors in your garden when they are 3 inches tall.

Fertilize the columbine plants once a month with a basic fertilizer, but it is not necessary. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Direct Planting In Ground

Rake the planting area clear of all leaves, weeds and other debris.

Wet the soil to provide moisture.

Place the seeds on top of the moist soil and cover them lightly with soil. The seeds should begin to sprout in the spring.

Fertilize the columbine plants once a month with a basic fertilizer, but it is not necessary. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Things You Will Need

  • Seed trays or planting pots
  • Potting soil mix
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap


  • If refrigerator space is tight, place the seeds in a paper towel, fold it in half, wet the towel and place it in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for four weeks. After four weeks, remove the seeds, plant them in potting soil and place them in a warm, sunny window until they are 3 inches tall.


  • Do not plant the columbine in full sun, as they prefer partial shade and cooler temperatures.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."