Columbine is a hardy perennial that grows well in zones 3- 9. It will come back year after year and delight you with its delicate flowers that sit on stems that rise above the foliage.
Columbine: Deer Resistant and Attractive to Hummingbirds
Columbine is very easy to grow as long as it gets enough moisture. It can sometimes suffer a bit in the summer sun if you ignore it, here in my zone 7b NC garden.
I have it in semi sunny part of my front garden (bit of morning shade), and also in my test garden where it grows in full sunlight. The front plant definitely grows better.
To get the most out of your columbine, follow these tips:
- Give the plant 6 or more hours of sunlight each day in most areas of the country. In the southern USA, it likes a more shady spot.
- Space the plants about 18″ apart. It will grow 12 – 36″ tall and about 18″ wide
- It is somewhat deer resistant
- Remove the spent flowers or the plant will stop blooming, and send the energy to the seeds that form.
- Columbine flowers are prolific re-seeders, which will result in plenty of replacements. (this happens if you do not dead head the flowers.)
- They can be started indoors from seed.
- Soil needs to drain well and be rich in nutrients. Add organic matter when you first plant it. After the first year, it will grow in most types of soil.
- Even moisture and water a bit more if it gets too dry.
- Divide every few years by digging up the mother plant and separating it at the root. They will live about 5 years.
- The plant acts a bit like a biennial in that it blooms in second season, not the first.
Close up of a columbine flower:Columbines are muchy loved by hummingbirds, and make perfect cut flowers. They have a long season of bloom. The flowers are midsized and float above a rosette of compound leaves. There are varieties with single, double and even triple flowers.
No room in your garden but you want to grow both perennials and vegetables? See my article on combining both into one garden space.