Aquilegia caerulea

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Rocky Mountain Columbine is planted for its beautiful blue and white flowers. Native to the higher elevations of the intermountain West, is best suited to mountain gardens and areas of the West with cool nights.
Zones3 - 8
Advantages
Attract Hummingbirds
Attract Birds
Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Native
Fragrant
Good For Cut Flowers
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Light Requirements
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Full Shade
Annual Rainfall
10 to 20"
20 to 30"
30 to 40"
Mature Height18" tall
Mature Spread15" wide
Bloom TimeLate spring to early summer
ShippingNo longer available this season. Learn More…
SizePlant - 5" Pot
SKUHC014442

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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SKU
HC014442

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Details
18" tall x 15" wide (seed propagated). Rocky Mountain Columbine is the state flower of Colorado and is treasured for its big blue and white flowers. A must for mountain gardeners, this plant is at its best in cool, higher altitude areas of the West. At lower elevations, place in cool shady beds that receive regular watering. Not recommended for hot, humid climates. Campanula rotundifolia makes a fine companion plant.
More Information
SKUHC014442
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Pot
Common Name
Rocky Mountain Columbine
Botanical Name
Aquilegia caerulea
Zones
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade, Full Shade
Flower Color
Blue, White
Mature Height
18" tall
Mature Spread
15" wide
Bloom Time
Late spring to early summer
Ships As
Potted Plant
Soil Type
Compost Enriched Garden Loam Soil
Soil Moisture
Average
Amount Of Rain
10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40"
Advantages
Attract Hummingbirds, Attract Birds, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Native, Fragrant, Good For Cut Flowers, Multiplies / Naturalizes
Ideal Region
West, Western Only, Suitable Above 7000 ft
Planting Time
Spring / Summer, Fall
Native To
North America
Item Unit Of Measure
Plant
Ships To Canada
No
Planting Guides
Growing Aquilegia (Columbine)
Aquilegia (Columbine) are native, shade loving perennials that provide ample nectar for hummingbirds. They are resistant to browsing rabbits and deer.

    Preferred growing conditions
  • These perennials grow best in compost enriched garden loam and dislike clay.
  • Should be mulched in dry climates with most types of common mulch materials.
  • Prefer regular watering to keep the soil moderately moist, but too much water makes them floppy.
  • Plant in part sun (morning sun/afternoon shade) or dappled shade, although at high elevation (above 7,000 ft.) they will do fine in full sun with regular irrigation. Aquilegia chrysantha and A. desertorum are the most sun tolerant.
  • Prepare the soil with good quality compost (not bagged manure, it’s too salty) and Yum Yum Mix.
    • Special comments
    • Deadhead plants to prolong bloom, but leave some flowers to set seed.
    • Individual Columbine plants can be short lived (3 to 4 years), but they will colonize areas of the garden where they will live for many years.
    • Columbine propagate themselves by re-seeding. To keep them re-seeding true-to-type, it's best to plant each species separate from other species (at least 100 ft. apart or on other sides of your house) to keep the hummingbirds from cross-pollinating them to any great extent.
      • Garden care:
      • Fertilize Aquilegia once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II.
      • Leave plants standing over the winter and cut back to 1-2" inches above the soil in mid-spring when the plants begin to wake up.
      • If the foliage becomes damaged from leaf miners or becomes straggly during the heat of summer, cut the foliage back hard (2-3" above the ground) and the plants will re-grow fresh, clean foliage in late summer/early fall.

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
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