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