Columbine will spread naturally through seeds usually scattered around the base of the plant – as well as popping up in other places in the garden. The clumps grow bigger with time and can be divided with great care.
Planting: Plant in early spring or in early fall for flowers next season.
How to Grow Columbine Throughout the Season
Growth Habit: Depending on species, Columbine will grow from 1-3’ tall, and about 18” wide. Plants form a soft, mounding clump of bluish-green, deeply-lobed foliage that emerges in early spring. The fascinating, spurred flowers come in a huge array of colors and are often bi-colored. They are borne above the foliage from the center of the plant. After flowering, foliage can be cut back to encourage new, fresh foliage clumps to emerge. In areas with hot summers, especially in a full-sun position, foliage often remains dormant and reemerges in the fall. Seedlings can also seed themselves into the cracks between rocks or walls and remain green throughout a mild winter.
Staking: No staking is necessary, unless plants are grown in exceedingly rich soil.
Watering: Keep soil evenly moist and do not allow Columbine to dry out significantly during its first year in the ground. As they become established, Columbine are more drought tolerant, with deep tap roots that can access moister soil deeper down.
Fertilizing: A top dressing of compost or well-rotted manure is sufficient to keep Columbine blooming well and not becoming overly leggy.
Mulching: Mulching is a good idea for Columbine, as it thrives in an evenly moist environment.