When To Transplant Columbine? [And How To!]

Knowing when it's time to move your plants can be a challenge sometimes. Do you want to transplant your columbine but don't know whether it's ready for a new spot? Well, we've done our research and have the answer for you. Let's discuss.

Generally, you should transplant your columbine in the early spring so its roots have time to develop. Columbine will do best if you transplant them on an overcast day, ideally with rain in the upcoming forecast. Of course, this is not necessary, but milder weather will allow your plant's roots to settle into their new soil the fastest.

As we begin, we will cover all things columbine and tag some helpful related products. Whether you are new to this plant or have a few growing, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

"Taken near Red Mountain Pass, Colorado.". - When To Transplant Columbine? [And How To!]

When Can You Move Columbine?

You want to move your columbine just before its spring growing season and once it has developed enough to survive a new location. Smaller columbine tends not to transplant well, so we recommend waiting until your plant is around six months old.

Gorgeous purple columbine flowers blooming outside on a sunny day

That said, you also want to make sure the weather is nice when you move your plant because its roots will be especially sensitive during their first few weeks in their new soil. Ideally, you should transplant columbine before it rains, but watering your plant yourself will also work.

Can You Transplant Columbine In The Fall?

It's fine to transplant columbine in the fall. As long as it isn't super hot outside, you are safe to move your columbine to a new location.

That said, we don't recommend waiting to transplant your columbine too late in the fall because its roots won't develop enough to survive colder winter weather. Regardless of whether you choose to transplant during the spring or fall, make sure it isn't too warm out.

How Do You Move Columbine?

Moving columbine isn't too complicated. Follow these steps:

  1. Dig around your current plant, making sure to keep its roots in one clump
  2. Once your columbine is out of the ground, gently shake it and divide its roots into smaller sections
  3. Prune off any dead areas from your plant
  4. Dig a new hole for your columbine, keeping it around eight to ten inches deep
  5. Place your plant into its new spot and fill it in with fresh soil
  6. Thoroughly water your columbine and keep its soil moist for the next few weeks

Does Columbine Have Deep Roots?

Columbine along Spring Creek trail in Routt National Forest in Colorado.

Columbine will have a deeper root system, which can make transplanting difficult. Typically, columbine's roots will go down about six inches, although this depends on how mature your plant is.

According to American Meadows, you should dig as deep as possible around your columbine's root clump to avoid damaging it during the transplanting process. Furthermore, you want to keep a columbine's root ball in one piece, so try to be careful while digging/moving it.

How Fast Does Columbine Grow?

Columbine will usually grow pretty fast, reaching around 1.3 feet in their first year. These plants are also fast growers from seed and will emerge from their soil 22 to 30 days after being planted.

Columbine will self-seed, and if you have different varieties, they might also even cross-pollinate with each other.

Outsidepride Columbine Flower Seed Plant Mix

These columbine seeds are mixed colors, grow in USDA zones 3-9, and come in a pack of 1,000 or 2,000.

Seeds Perennial Aquilegia Caerulea

Follow this link to view them on Amazon.

Do Columbine Spread?

Yes, columbine will naturally spread as they drop their seeds onto the ground nearby. Columbine, in particular, is fast spreading and will fill out the area around it if you let them grow wild.

Like we covered above, columbines are self-seeding, so if you want a plant that will add plenty of color to your garden, we recommend planting a few.

How Often Should You Water Columbines?

Columbine flower

Ideally, you want to water a columbine thoroughly once per week. Especially if you've recently transplanted your columbine, keeping its soil moist is essential for its roots to settle into their new location.

Burpee recommends keeping the top inch of your columbine's soil moist and trying to water it during the early morning so it has time to dry throughout the day. Generally, it's better to let your plant's soil dry out rather than having it sit in a pool of water to prevent root rot.

Can You Overwater Columbine?

Although it is important to keep your columbine well-watered, it is possible to overdo it. Typically, an overwatered columbine will start to lose its leaves, wilt, and even stop producing flowers, so try to take it easy with your watering.

On top of that, overwatering a columbine can cause its roots to rot, eventually killing your plant altogether.

Does Columbine Do Well In Containers?

Purple and pink colored columbine flowers in a terra cotta pot

If you don't want to grow your columbine in-ground, you can certainly plant it in a container. Columbine thrives in containers and will attract plenty of hummingbirds if you keep them outside.

For soil, try to find a nutrient-rich potting mix that will retain enough moisture to keep your columbine healthy but not enough that its roots rot. It's also a good idea to use soil that contains a bit of fertilizer, so your newly transplanted columbine can get a boost of much-needed energy.

Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix

This potting soil works for flowers, fertilizes for up to six months, protects against over/under watering, and comes in a few bag sizes.

Moisture Control Potting MixView this soil on Amazon here.

Can You Grow Columbine Inside?

Yellow and Red Columbines with small white flowers.

For anyone wanting to grow their columbine indoors, this might not be the best idea. Columbine tends to grow in woodland environments, so planting them inside can affect their growth.

Even in a warm, bright window, a columbine won't be able to live as long as it would outdoors and might never bloom. That said, if you have a porch or patio and you want to grow your columbine in a container, we think this is a good idea.

Does Columbine Need Sun Or Shade?

A Colorado Blue Columbine flower with blurred forested hills in the background.

Depending on the climate where you plant them, columbine does well in partial shade and full sun. Typically, if you live somewhere that gets warmer during the spring and summer months, you want to plant your columbine in partial shade.

If your columbine is somewhere with moderate springs and summers, this is when a full sun location is ideal.

How Many Hours Of Sun Does Columbine Need Per Day?

Regardless of where you live, a columbine should get between five and six hours of sun per day. Early morning sunshine is better for columbine versus full afternoon exposure, so keep that in mind.

Columbine doesn't like to sit in water, so giving your plant enough sun to avoid this is important.

How Long Do Columbines Live?

A beautiful pink colored columbine flower photographed up close

Generally, a columbine will live between three and four years. These charming flowers don't live long, especially if they aren't able to self-seed, so it's better to plant a bunch if you want your flowers to repopulate.

You can also divide your columbines every few years to keep them from dying off, but this can be a tedious process. That said, not all columbines have the same lifespan, so your flower might surprise you.

Is Columbine Easy To Care For?

Columbine is relatively easy to grow and maintain, making them a popular perennial option. Like we mentioned previously, as long as your columbine gets enough water and sunlight, it should stay healthy, which isn't difficult to manage.

Columbines will also repopulate on their own, which is a bonus and makes them perfect for a wildflower garden.

To Wrap Things Up

Whether you have a columbine growing in your garden or want to get one, it can be tricky to know when it's time to transplant. From what we found, you should transplant columbine during the early spring once they are mature enough to handle a new location.

Generally, you want to wait to do this until rain is in the forecast and it's cool out, but you should be okay as long as the temperature isn't too high. Process-wise, you want to dig as deep as your columbine's root system, avoiding damage to its current root clump. Nevertheless, make sure your columbine gets enough sunlight, and try not to water it more than once or twice per week.

Want some more flower guidance? Check out these helpful garden posts below!

What Is Eating My Hydrangea? [And How To Stop Them]

How To Overwinter Gardenia - In Pots And In Ground

What To Do With Freesia Bulbs After Flowering?

One comment

  1. Hello, I have grown Columbine from small plugs,they are still in their pots waiting to be planted out, some of them have started to come into bud, should I pinch these off or leave them be ? Thank you Susie

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