Aquilegia


 

Common names: Columbine / Granny's Bonnet.

 

A hardy herbaceous perennial, bearing long spurred flowers in a wide range of colours in May and June.

Plants can grow up to 900mm (36") tall, with delicate foliage spreading to 300-500mm (12"-18") in diameter, and topped with flowers up to 75mm (3") long.


It is a prolific self seeder and hybridizes quite easily hence the variation in flower colour, shape and size.

It is a useful plant for growing in containers and for cut flowers.


The seeds and roots are highly poisonous, and contain cardiogenic toxins which can cause severe gastroenteritis and or heart palpitations if ingested.





Cultivation


Week 25 -30:


Cut flower stems down to ground level after flowering.

If required for propagation, collect seed prior to disposing of tops.

Seeds gathered from collect seed may not come true to type.


Sow ripe seeds in boxes / trays and lightly cover then place in a cold frame.

Alternatively; wait until Week 10 the following year, and germinate at 16°-20°C (61°-68°F)

Germination should take around 2-3 weeks.

Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle (Week 28/16) into boxes or trays of potting compost, and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.


Week 33:


Now is a good time to lift and pot up self seeded seedlings.

These can be potted up into 70mm (3") pots and grown on in a coldframe to be planted out the following year.

Alternatively plant them out into borders where required.


Week 35-40:


Plant out 300mm. (12") apart in a sunny or partially shaded position in a moist, well-drained fertile soil.


Week 40:


Increase stock by dividing established plants now, or wait until around Week 15-18 the following year.


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