Native To Know: Columbine

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This native to know is a gorgeous bloomer with unique flowers unlike anything else you’ll find. A few varieties of the Aquilegia family are able to withstand full sun, but they are better known as shade loving plants, and make great additions to those hard to fill spots in low lit areas.

What You’ll Love:

  • Columbine are easy care perennials, and self seeders.
  • They are April and early May bloomers, that can be encouraged into flowering through the summer by plucking off the spent blooms.
  • They are insect hardy, and although leaf miners occasionally mar the leaves with doodle-like designs, tunneling through the soft tissue, the insects don’t cause harm to the plant.
  • Columbine come in every color variation from the tie-dyed shades of orange, to purple, yellow, red, white and any number of color combinations that will suit your garden’s theme hues.
  • The type of garden soil that Columbine will grow in can be anything but the absolute poorest, and while the plant does appreciate rich soil, it’s primary need is that of good drainage.

What It Does For Your Yard:

  • Columbine is well known for attracting butterflies to the garden, and encourages them to feed at close range. This is a must have for butterfly aficionados!
  • Columbine is toxic in moderate quantities, despite it’s use in homeopathic remedies, so it is not a plant that mammals will be tempted to eat. ¬†Add this plant to borders for deer proof blooms.

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Mix Columbine in with other shade tolerant plants that won’t completely overwhelm them like Liriope, Variegated Boxwood, Bleeding Heart, and Primroses. They grow to be 1-2 feet tall when flowering, with the Aquilegia chrysantha of the Southwest¬†reliably grows to 3 feet in height.

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