Caring for Columbine

January 3, 2023
Adams Fairacre Farms

The perennial columbine blooms from mid-spring to early summer. Here’s how to plant and grow columbine flowers in your garden!

Columbines, also known as Granny’s Bonnet, are known for their bell-shaped, spurred flowers, which range in color from light pastels to bright reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and bi-colors. There are over 70 species!

The leaves have a lacy appearance. While they look delicate, columbine are very hardy and resilient—being deer-resistant and drought-tolerant.

The flowers are very attractive to butterflies, bees, moths and hummingbirds!


  • Columbine grows in sun or light shade.
  • If planting a container plant, dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in.
  • Place the plant in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
  • Fill in around the plant and firm the soil gently.
  • Space mature plants 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety.
  • Water thoroughly.


  • Do not overwater.
  • Deadhead faded flowers and new buds will develop along the stems. The bloom season can be extended by as long as six weeks into mid summer.
  • Cut back foliage to the ground in the fall.
  • When the ground is frozen, mulch to protect plants.

Common Pests & Diseases

  • Powdery mildew
  • Leaf miner

Fun Facts

  • Columbine’s Latin name, Aquilegia, is derived from the Latin word for eagle, aquila. The long spurs that extend behind the flower petals resemble the claws of an eagle.
  • Native Americans used the crushed seeds as a love charm and for medicinal purposes.
  • The crushed roots and seeds were once used to treat headaches, heart problems and sore throats.

Information courtesy of