Columbine Flower

Columbine Flowers for Shade Areas in the Garden

Columbine flower is an herbaceous perennial plant and it is easy to grow in a garden.

Being easy to grow and having attractive showy flowers, makes the Columbine plant a realpopular choice.

Depending on the variety, the flowers can be different colors that include blue, pink, purple, maroon, yellow and white.

The flowering period typically lasts three to four weeks in late spring and early summer.

A Columbine plant will usually reach up to three feet in height, and it will brighten up your garden with a variety of colors to choose from. You can see from the image just how beautiful these flowers are for shady gardens.


Choose a location in your garden that is open to morning sunlight and partially shaded around the middle of the day.

Columbine flower should be planted in early spring into a well drained and moderately fertilized soil. The space between plants should be around ten inches.

Cover the soil with a layer of organic compost, approximately one inch thick, and dig it in.

After Columbines are planted, add 5-10-5 NPK fertilizer once a month to provide all the necessary components to improve growth.

Make sure not to overdo the fertilizer, it's important to read the instructions carefully. For best effect water the plants at once, so the nutrients will mix with the soil.

How to Grow

While growing, Columbine flowers need to be watered once every six or seven days. Try to avoid letting the soil go completely dry as this will cause the plants to droop very quickly.

Once the flowers are grown, the frequency of watering can be reduced.

The procedure of “deadheading” should be performed very carefully, cutting the faded flowers off without damaging the plant. Try to cut the “dead heads” before the flowers start seeding.

New flowers will not take long to appear to replace old flowers once you have removed them.

For winter protection, cover the Columbine plants that have died off with four inches of mulch. It is better to start mulching in late fall, before the winter frosts start.

Mulch should be removed at the beginning of spring so the plant can start growing again.

Columbine Varieties

Important Note to Remember

The flowers of Columbine plants are poisonous and are not to be consumed under any circumstances.

Avoid mixing them with food products and children should be provided with proper Columbine flowers information if they are likely to be playing in areas where they are growing.

Consuming the flowers might have fatal consequences, or at the very least serious illness.


Columbine plants are propagated by sowing seeds in early spring. Do not forget to keep an approximate 10 inches distance between plants.

Dealing with Insects

Columbine are attractive to all kinds of unpleasant insects..

Among these pests are caterpillars, aphids, and leaf miners.

On a more positive side, Columbine flowers are also extremely attractive to butterflies.

Columbine Seeds

Columbine flower is one of the easiest shade flowers to grow. They bloom late Spring to early Summer. Their blooms are blue, maroon, pink purple, white or yellow and will last 3 to 4 weeks. Dead heading will keep the flowers coming through the season.

Leave some flowers to go to seed so they can self seed for next year or propagate by sowing seed in early spring.

Generally this is a flower for shade gardens that will grow 2 to 3 feet tall depending on which species you buy. They do their best in humus rich soil that is well drained. Light shade is best over all.

That's the good news! I must tell you this before I end with some more good news. There are a variety of insects that will wreck havoc. For more information about these insects please see my page dedicated to Garden Pests. Leaf miners, caterpillars and aphids will all show up to feast. The way to handle this is to pick them off, cut the plant to the ground after the blooms have faded or at the first sign of these critters. There might be a new flush of growth or they could go into dormancy. Next year they will re-appear for a new season of beautiful flowers.

As promised, better news. This is a terrific flower for attracting butterflies and humming birds, it could have been designed for them!