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Aquilegia, commonly known as Columbine, is a genus of around 60-70 species of perennial plants known for their distinctive, spurred flowers. Columbines have delicate, fern-like foliage and are highly attractive to pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hardiness Zones: Aquilegia is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 3-9.

Height and Width

Height: Typically grows to a height of 1-3 feet (30-90 cm), although some species and cultivars may vary.

Width: Spreads to a width of about 1-2 feet (30-60 cm).


Ornamental: Valued for their unique, nodding flowers and delicate foliage, making them ideal for garden beds, borders, and woodland gardens.

Pollinator Gardens: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, making them excellent for wildlife gardens.

Cut Flowers: The flowers are suitable for floral arrangements due to their long-lasting blooms.

Native Range

Native to: The native range of Aquilegia species is broad, covering temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia. In North America, they are commonly found in meadows, woodlands, and mountainous regions.

Planting and Care

1. Site Selection: Choose a location with partial shade to full sun. In hotter climates, providing some afternoon shade is beneficial to prevent the plants from overheating.

2. Soil: Prefers well-draining, fertile soil. A slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0-7.0) is ideal. Adding compost can improve soil fertility and drainage.

3. Watering: Water regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. During dry spells, ensure the plants receive adequate water to prevent wilting.

4. Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring. Additional feeding during the growing season can promote better flowering and foliage growth.

5. Mulching: Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plants to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

6. Pruning: Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. In late fall, cut back the foliage to the ground to prepare for winter dormancy.

Pests and Diseases

Pests: Watch for common garden pests such as aphids, leaf miners, and sawfly larvae. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can be used to manage infestations.

Diseases: Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of foliar diseases.

Additional Tips

Self-Seeding: Columbines often self-seed, creating new plants around the garden. This can be beneficial for naturalizing areas, but unwanted seedlings can be removed to control spread.

Companion Planting: Pair Aquilegia with other shade-tolerant perennials like hostas, ferns, and astilbes for a lush, diverse garden display.



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