Return to the Minnesota Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Columbine - Aquilegia

Posted by AachenElf z5 MN (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 9, 04 at 6:23

I was curious what other people's experience has been with this plant? Most of the books say it can be a short lived perennial. Some of my plants behave that way, others have been around for ages. For some reason, every singe one of my A. chrysantha Yellow Star decided to croak this year. grrrrrrrrrrr!!

I had to move some old plants this spring (McKana Giant) and was amazed at the huge thick roots they had. I divided them in the process and was wondering if this will shorten or possibly lengthen their livespan. Thanks.

Kevin


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

They self-seed so prolifically, it turns into a long life, but not the same plant.
Sally


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Kevin, I haven't heard of dividing shortening the life of a plant (as long as it doesn't kill said plant!), but it could be possible. Generally, dividing perennials has somewhat of a rejuvenating effect.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Thanks leaveswave, that's what I was kind of wondering and thinking when I did this. You don't hear very much about people dividing columbine. So far, they're still kickin'.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

I would guess that hybrids in general will be more long lived and robust over the species.

How did you like your chrysantha Yellow Star? I think I got some seed from YS from the NARGS seed exchange but never got around to planting it.

Rick


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Rick,

Yellow Star is one of my favorites. I've been growing it for years. It blooms late for me and also for a very long time. It's a nice way to extend the columbine season. I just hope I saved some seed from last year. I thought it was really strange that all my YS plants died at the same time. I've never had that happen before.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

AachenElf - The reference "Growing Perennials in Cold Climates" (Mike Heger & Whitman) says dividing Columbine "can serve as a way of rejuvenating an old plant".
Jan


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Thanks Jan, that's what I wanted to hear.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Yep.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

I've been beating mine back with sticks! I have the "wild" scarlet columbine - would you like some seeds?? Or some small starts? They are considered a native species here in MN. It's a lovely color, though by this time of year there is no foliage left - something dearly loves eating it practically overnight - so I always interplant with annuals in spring for just this.

-Marie


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Thanks Marie, but I do grow that species in my wild garden. You are right, it is prolific. Even with that one, I've noticed that individual plants seem to die within a few years.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Excuse me for joining in from so far away. Accepted wisdom is that Aquilegias dislike root disturbance so I think you might be taking a risk if you divide. I have never divided but I have attempted to transplant elsewhere with mixed success. Small plants have done better than mature ones. I always grow seeds in plugs so that I can transplant where I want without disturbing them too much. If you divide I think you will need to be very carefuland gentle and prepare for possible failure.
Regards from UK
Malcolm


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Malcolm, thanks for your reply. It's always nice to hear from people anywhere. Since I did divide these plants a few months ago, most have lived, one did die. The true test will be to see if they make it through the winter. I always save seed and do start new plants every year, so it won't be a terrible loss if they don't make it.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Hi Kevin.. In general Columbines are short lived. Some will make it a good number of years but others may only live 2 or 3 years. I have been growing them for years and they are my favorite. I never buy crosses and hybrids. They look good but are weak in the gene pool. I had the YS years ago when I started out but drifted away from them quickly when I discovered the beauty and need to grow only true varieties. A fine variety that works very well for me here in Oklahoma is called Desertorum. It comes from Arizona. I had one to cross with Chrysantha var.Hinklyana and it has been around now going on 3 years. It was covered in blooms last year. My preference is the smaller compact varieties. There are some very nice western varieties from the Colorado and Utah areas. Why waste time growing what some nursery produced by multiple crossings when their beauty doesn't compare to that of a natural wildflower?


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Kevin,

I grow a lot of columbines and have found that letting them set large amounts of seed will shorten their lifespan drastically. I only let a few seed heads develop per plant and only on plants I really want to collect seed from.

I grow all my seedling columbines in a nursery bed for a year and then move them where I want them in time for their first bloom (second year), and they don't miss a beat. I have moved them in full bloom with no problems.

I have read that the Biedermeier strain is very long lived, and I had a couple that flourished for 7 years.

ALSO, I have found that when a columbine suddenly starts to fail, root worms may be an issue. I have saved many plants by drenching their roots with a squirt of dishwashing detergent mixed in a quart of water.

Kate


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

I had a similar experience with my Yellow Star dying out - they were covered in caterpillars, but of all my Aquilegias, the caterpillars only chose the Yellow Star. I just hand picked them off. I have a problem with leafminers as well.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Kate - I agree deadheading religiously can extend their lives. I've had some McKanna Giants for longer than I can remember.

Cassiope - I too have the problem with leafminers on all my columbine. I think there is a way to treat them, but I've never bothered. Even the ones mentioned above get them and still have managed to survive for many, many years.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

as usual, what a treasure trove of knowledge emerges from this group!
Kate, thanks for the input about rootworms. I'd never heard about them.
Also, Kate and Kevin, thanks for the tip about deadheading.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

hello everyone,i recently purchased some biedermeier columbine seeds from ebay.i live in zone 8 we usually can plant outside on good friday march this year.i was just wondering if anyone knows when should i start these seeds indoors for the spring?please feel free to email me at mshgtvangel@aol.com.thanks for the help and happy gardening.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Actually if people would share how they start their columbine from seed, I'd appreciate this info too!


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

I've been using this method for years:

Sow the seed on moistened seed starting mix (don't cover the seed), cover with plastic wrap, put in refrig for 3 weeks, after you take them out, keep the temps around 65 degrees.

I grow lots of these every year.

Kevin


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Hurrah and thanks for the info. That's one of two ways that I'm trying this year. I started some seeds this way about a week ago. Hopefully, I haven't started the seeds way to early.


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Hi,

My problem is I planted a bere root in Fall 2003, and I only got to see the foliage last year.Can I do anything to ensure I get flowers this season?


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

The only way to treat leafminers is with a systemtic insecticide. It probably is not worth the trouble. As Kevin said, it doesn't seem to bother the plant.
Jan


 o
RE: Columbine - Aquilegia

Hi,

I planted columbine from roots that I got from a mail order nursery. They never came up. Any idea why?

Thanks, Lulu


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Minnesota Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here