Latin Name:Aquilegia caerulea Goldfinch
Part of the Songbird series that was bred for huge flowers and compact habit. Charming 3″ wide, sunny yellow, long spurred flowers are upturned, rather than facing down. Excellent, long lasting cut flower.
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Hybridized for their compact habit and large, long spurred flowers, members of the "Songbird Series" are among the most showy of all columbines.
Sowing Columbine Seed Indoors
- Columbine will germinate best if sown in seed trays or pots and chilled (refrigerated) at 40 degrees F for 3 to 4 weeks.
- Sow indoors using a seed starting kit
- Just cover the seeds lightly with seed starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 65-70 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 22-30 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Columbine seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Before planting in the garden, columbine seedling plants need to be “hardened off." Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Sowing Columbines Directly in the Garden
- Columbine will germinate best if seed is pre-chilled for 3-4 weeks at 40 degrees F.
- Choose a location in full sun or part shade with moist, organic soil. Sow in spring to early summer.
- Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Sow evenly and thinly cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
- Firm the soil lightly and keep it evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 22-30 days.
- Thin to 10 inches apart.