Growing heirloom columbine seeds in your garden
- Easy to grow perennial
- Pollinator attractor
- Thrives in bright, sunny areas or partial shade
- Symbolizes endurance and perseverance
The best heirloom columbines for your pollinator garden
Heirloom columbines, also known as "Granny's Bonnet" or "Granny's Nightcap," are gorgeous bell-shaped flowers that attract pollinators such as hummingbirds. Heirloom columbine gets its name from the Latin word columba, which means "dove-like." This herbaceous perennial, native to Asia, Europe, and North America, has attractive clover-like foliage and is a delicate plant. The flowers come in a variety of colors and most feature spurs, which are long, narrow strips that run horizontally from the back of each bloom.
When to start heirloom columbine seeds
Sow your heirloom columbine seeds three to four weeks before the last spring frost if starting them outside. Sow about six weeks before the last frost if starting indoors. Heirloom columbines grow best in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils and enjoy full sun to partial shade. Place seeds in the refrigerator 24 hours before sowing to get the best results. Place seeds gently on top of soil, taking care not to cover them. Heirloom columbine seeds should be exposed to direct sunlight in order to germinate effectively. Germination takes 14 to 21 days on average.
How to Transplant heirloom columbines
If at all feasible, transplant heirloom columbine on a chilly, cloudy day. Heirloom columbine roots can easily settle in after a few cool days following transplantation. Seedlings can be hardened off and gently transplanted, or they can be sown directly in groups of three to four. Seed groupings or transplanted seedlings should be spaced about 16 inches apart, with transplanted seedlings thinned to the strongest plant. Before and after germination, keep the soil wet. If your plants' foliage begins to deteriorate, trim them back to the ground. Remember that heirloom columbine flowers normally appear in the second or third flowering season. To stimulate continuous growth, remove blooming stems once they have bloomed. Heirloom columbines are short-lived blossoms that self-seed profusely, resulting in enormous colonies of blooms.
Great companion plants for heirloom columbine
Allium, daylily, foxglove, iris, peony, and poppy flowers prefer to be planted alongside heirloom columbine blossoms. They'll do quite well in beds and borders, rock gardens, cottage gardens, and shade gardens!
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for heirloom columbine flower seed, see the Columbine Seeds Planting Guide.