How to Propagate and Grow Aquilegia ?

Aquilegia, Columbine, are native to many areas of the northern hemisphere and are a genus of clump forming perennial gardening plants.

There are around seventy species within the genus.

Leaves are attractive, fern like and delicate, and can be rounded or lobed.

Flowers are an attractive bell shape, hook spurred and single or in groups on a single slender stem.

These perennial plants have a short flowering period, but their distinctive attractive foliage and their abundant flowers make up for this.

They usually take a year to get well established and may not flower much in their first year. But they will will make up for it in the following years with their profuse flowering.

Essential info

Genus: Aquilegia
Family: Ranunculaceae
Species: Vulgaris
Common Names: Columbine, Granny’s Bonnet
Classification: Perennial.
Height: 90cm (36inches).
Flowering: Through spring to summer.

Where to Plant ?

These gardening plants are suitable for many garden settings especially in English Country Gardens, cottage gardens and wildlife gardens.

Usage: Ideal in mixed beds and borders.

Columbine will happily grow in containers and with their colourful flowers will liven up any patio.

Site: They prefer full sun, they thrive in it!

They will also do well in light shade.

Soil: A free draining but moisture retentive soil is required.

Adding well rotted garden compost or manure before planting will help to modify your soil, making it perfect for growing Columbine.

Propagation info

  • By seed in spring or mid summer.
  • Best germination temperature: 40 deg F.
  • Time from sowing to germination: several weeks to several months and can be very sparodic, so be patient.

How to sow seeds ?

  • Columbine readily self seed so take advantage of this natural habit and use the seedlings.
  • Transplant them to other areas of your garden where you want them to grow and mature.
  • Or transplant them into 75mm (3inch) pots using a peat free potting compost and grow them on in a cold frame, they will be ready to plant out next season.
  • Or propagate by division in spring or autumn.