Transplanting Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

shadara(5b-6a)May 14, 2010

So I saw a patch of wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) growing in back of property and decided to transplant a couple to a container the other day and see what happens. They were locally growing in a woodland setting in a semi-dry location under a white pine. I remember last year that only one was visually present with flowers outside of the pine's dripline but forgot location once it seeded and foliage died back due to a bout of 'dry times'.

I'm hoping they make it in container enough to goto seed for collection and planting (previous location very dry and too far to remember who and where). They were not in dormant stage, but I was careful not to bruise or damage the root corms.

With all said, is there anything I can do to make this transplant more successful? They haven't done a wilt/shock thing and seemed to like the full rain we had earlier today. They are in full shade right now, with permanent place in part-full shade later on.

Whatcha think?Thanks for any and all input!!!

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gardenbench(zone 6 CT)

I have transplanted this wild Columbine into my garden and they have done even better than they do in the wild around my home. I would suggest planting them right where you want them to grow; pots tend to dry out and stress plants more quickly. They tend to wilt soon after transplanting if they are going to at all so the fact that yours haven't is a good sign. Typically, the smaller the plant is the better it will transplant because there are fewer roots to disturb so if you transplant any more I would recommend taking baby ones. Also, transplanting ones that are or were in flower may stress them too much for them to finish setting seeds, just an idea because I don't know. Now that mine are established and flowering I let them go to seed the babies grow around the parents by themselves. Then you can transplant them the following spring if you want them elsewhere. Mine are growing in full shade but I think that they would probably do even better in part-full shade like you are planning on. So take courage, I think you're doing fine and you should be enjoying lovely columbines in your garden next spring!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 9:59AM
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I am maybe the worst gardener in the world, but I successfully transplanted four columbine plants (of various sizes) about 6 weeks ago and they're doing great.
Literally all I did was take a spade and dig up a 8 to 10" diameter chunk of dirt around the plant. Then I took them to where I wanted to plant them and dug a hole about the same size and plopped them into the hole and soaked them pretty good. They've probably doubled in size since I moved them.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 1:19AM
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I live in East Tennessee and this is just about the easiest thing I have ever planted that "actually" grows...everywhere! I bought one single plant last Spring (2012), and planted it in a huge pot out in my front flower bed. It bloomed all Spring and Summer and into the early Fall. It died back and came back up in the pot the following Spring 2013. Now it is all over my flower bed, growing out of cracks in the sidewalks and in the front yard, which sadly get cut down when the grass gets cut...but they are all doing really, really, really well, so I would not worry about where you plant them or how much light or water they get...they seem to grow just about any where!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Shad, what gardenbench (and others) said. It will do better in the ground, is an easy thing to transplant, likes dry shade, seeds itself like crazy........did I leave anything out? Best to just put it in the ground where you would like it-and many more just like it-to grow permanently. Part shade to full shade is correct. Even quite a bit of sun-not a fussy plant at all.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:21AM
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