What is Aquilegia?
Aquilegia (Aquilegia vulgaris) also known as Granny’s Bonnets or Columbine is a herbaceous perennial. It belongs to the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family and originated in Europe. Aquilegia are a clump forming perennial with fine stemmed, often blue-green foliage that emerges from a woody rootstock. The leaves are divided into small fan shaped leaflets, often resembling fern fronds in shape. Above the foliage will grow the bell shaped flowers that are raised aloft by long stems. Flower colours range from an assortment of bi-coloured flowers in pinks, reds, blues, whites and yellows. Flowering happens during Summer. Aquilegia are frost hardy and prefer a partly shaded position in the garden with moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil.
Benefits of Growing Aquilegia
Aquilegia are very easy to grow. They are ideal for foreground plants, in pots or borders. Aquilegia are a must in any cottage gardens and make beautiful decorative cut flowers. Their flowers are nectar rich and attract small birds, butterflies and bees. These plants may self-sow.
How to Grow Aquilegia
Cool, temperate, arid, semi arid.
Height: 80cm, Width: 25cm
When To Plant Aquilegia
Plant in Winter if bare rooted, any time of year if supplied in pots, Autumn and Winter for seeds as they need a cold period.
Aquilegia like humus-rich, well-drained soil so dig through broken down manure or compost.
How To Plant Aquilegia
Plant in full sun to part shade however they do prefer part shade, 30-40cm apart with the plant crown at soil level.
Aquilegia Plant Care
Aquilegia will need to be pruned. Remove old flower stems after flowering. Also remove old foliage once its turned brown.
You can divide your Aquilegia. Try dividing larger clumps in early Spring before the new growth begins.
Aquilegia do require water during dry periods.
If overgrown they can be affected by powdery mildew. Remove the affected plant and improve air circulation by eliminating congested growth. Occasionally Thrip and aphids could be a problem. Watch out for snails and slugs around new growth.
Recommended Aquilegia Varieties
Aquilegia are beautiful plants with their long dainty flower swaying in the wind to their fern like foliage. These plants are a must in an cottage garden.