Columbines will give a beautiful, bright color to a moist, and semi-shaded spot in your garden.

Columbine’s Latin name is “Aquilegia” which translates to “dove,” and just one look at the elegant, spurred wingtips of the columbine flower will tell you why.

Columbines come in a range of colors and is one of the biggest attractions for gardeners. You can find hybrids such as a scarlet and white ‘Crimson Star,’ the stunning sky blue and white Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia Caerulea), or even the Golden Longspur Columbine (Aquilegia Longissima). There are also a variety of clematis-flowered types (Aquilegia Vulgaris Stellata) such as ‘Nora Barlow’ and ‘Black Barlow.’

The hotter the weather, the more shade Columbines will require. They are great at attracting hummingbirds and they make beautiful cutting flowers.

When planting allow spacing of 1-2 feet. Incorporate into the soil a combination of peat moss, compost such as Bumper Crop and a good fertilizer like Espoma Plant-Tone. This will help establish a healthy root system. Weekly feeding with a water soluble food like Miracle Gro will help promote lush leaves and many blooms. Columbines thrive in a moist soil. Mulching after you plant will help the soil retain moisture as well as keep weeds down. You should do regular deadheading (pruning off dead blossoms) to not only keep the plants looking fresh but this also promotes extra blooming.

Very few pests bother Columbine but they can occasionally get leaf-miner insects. If this happens spray with Bonide Systemic Insecticide and this will clear up the problem.