Aquilegia - How to cure and cultivate your Aquilegia



Note 2

The Aquilegia they are splendid plants often used to decorate gardens thanks to their colorful flowers and their characteristic shape and their great rusticity that allows them to live even in quite extreme conditions.






: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Aquilegia of the family of Ranuncolaceae it includes evergreen herbaceous plants that are found in all temperate zones of Europe, Asia and America up to 2000 m of altitude.

They are plants that form beautiful bushes rich in leaves and colorful flowers and for this reason they are often used as borders to give a touch of color to gardens.

The plants have mostly leaves carried by long petioles, trefoil, deeply incised, of a beautiful not too intense green color.

The flowers are hermaphroditic (the male and female reproductive organs are on the same flower) with a pentamer-like radial symmetry. The flower is in fact formed by a chalice consisting of five sepals that enclose a corolla formed by five petals, each of which forms a characteristic protuberance at the base spur which, depending on the species, can be more or less developed and in plants with pendulous flowers it remains facing upwards. Here are some examples of floral structures of some species:

A. canadensis

A. chrysantha

A. vulgaris

The fruits are follicles.


The genre Aquilegia it includes about seventy species, over an incalculable quantity of hybrids thanks to the fact that these plants hybridize spontaneously with great ease. Below we report the most common species:


There Aquilegia vulgaris it is a plant native to Europe. It is characterized by branched stems, with blue or purple pendulous flowers, up to 4 cm wide with the classic spurs. It blooms in late spring - early summer.

Note 1

There are numerous varieties among which we remember: the varietyWilliam guinneswhich has a dark blue-violet corolla tinged with pink and white; the varietySunrise with white flowers; the variety Pink Cascade with light pink flowers, just to name a few.

On the market it is also possible to find hybrids with a particularly long spur, blue, yellow, white or red, truly spectacular.

The plant is known in English-speaking countries as European Columbine.


There Columbine flabellata it is a species native to Japan characterized by a compact shape and a fairly small size. It forms flowers with a white corolla and light blue sepals, with a drooping appearance. It is a species widely used for breeding in pots.

It blooms during the spring-summer period (April - July).

There are numerous varieties among which we remember: the Nana alba with white flowers; there Pumila which has pink or deep blue flowers and numerous others.


There Aquilegia canadensis is a delightful plant native to North America that reaches a height of up to 50 cm with drooping flowers, yellow with red pearls.

It blooms from late spring to mid-summer (May - July).

In the English language this plant is known as Eastern red columbine orWild red columbine.


There Aquilegia caerulea is a plant native to North America and precisely to the areas of the Rocky Mountains. It can reach a height of about 40-80 cm, and is characterized by glaucous green leaves and by flowers with white petals sometimes tinged with blue-pink and blue-pink sepalids much larger than the petals.

Note 2

There are numerous varieties that differ from each other for the different color of the flowers: yellow and red, yellow and white, blue and white, etc.

In English-speaking countries this plant is known as Colorado Blue Columbine.


There Aquilegia flavescens it is a small plant that reaches 70 cm in height, very branched, with deeply engraved leaves and with rounded and floral tips provided with yellow sepals as well as the petals also pale yellow each with a long thin spur.

Note 3

It blooms in the summer period (June-August).
In English-speaking countries it is known as Yellow columbine.


There Columbine alpina it is found spontaneously in the Western Alps and in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (Italy).

Note 1

It is characterized by the fact that the leaves are very engraved and the flowers are very intense blue, up to 5 cm wide.
There are also numerous varieties of this species with white and blue-violet flowers.


There Aquilegia chrysantha it is a plant native to Central America with light green leaves and flowers up to 7 cm wide, with yellow petals and sepalids with red streaks, provided with evident spurs.

It blooms from the end of spring - late summer (May - August) and can grow up to 1 m in height.

Also of this species there are numerous varieties among which we remember the varietyYellow queen with leaves reminiscent of those of a fern and golden yellow flowers, turned upwards and with particularly long and slightly curved spurs.

In English-speaking countries it is known as Golden columbine.


All sorts of Aquilegia they are rustic plants that do not require particular cultivation measures and adapt quite well to different pedoclimatic situations.

As far as exposure is concerned, they can easily stand even in a sunny position even if the most beautiful blooms occur with a partial shade exposure.They do not have major temperature problems as they can resist even at different degrees below zero as well as at high temperatures.

They are plants that do not have a very long vegetative duration as within a few years they lose their vigor and beauty and must be renewed.


The Aquilegia they are plants that do not require particularly abundant watering but should be irrigated with great moderation, frequently but administering small quantities of water.

They tolerate short periods of drought without major problems.


The Aquilegia they are plants that are repotted in spring (March) usually every two years to be grown in pots and in apartments. For plants that must be grown as an outdoor border, they must be planted outdoors either at the end of summer (September) or early spring (March).

In general, they should be repotted using a soil that is rich in organic substance mixed with a good soil of leaves even if they are plants that adapt well to any type of soil. The only important feature is that the cultivation substrate must perfectly drain the irrigation water. It will therefore be advisable, whatever the soil you use, to be careful to add a little coarse sand to facilitate water drainage.

To create a beautiful rich and colorful bush, 3-4 seedlings can be planted together in a pot of about 20-25 cm in diameter.


The Aquilegia they are fertilized from spring to mid-summer (April - July) every two weeks by diluting the fertilizer in the irrigation water.

It is advisable to use a complete fertilizer that contains not only macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (mg) all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.

Decrease the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package as they are always excessive.


The flowering periods are variable depending on the species but in most of them occurs between late spring - late summer.


The multiplication of plants occurs mainly by seed. Sowing can be done at different times of the year: in early spring, and in this case the new seedlings will be ready to be transplanted in autumn (in this case it is advisable to leave them for 3- 4 weeks in the refrigerator - winterization - at about 4 ° C). It is also possible to sow in autumn (October) and the new seedlings will emerge in spring.

When multiplying by seed, it must be borne in mind that by subduing genetic variability, there is no certainty of obtaining plants that are perfectly identical to the mother plant, especially if you use certified (self-harvested) seed.

It is possible to multiply the Aquilegia also by division of the plant (photo on the side) at the beginning of spring, then arranging each portion in single vases.


Presence of small whitish insects on the plant

Small mobile insects, usually light in color, can be aphids or as commonly called lice.

Remedies: it is necessary to intervene using specific aficides that can be easily checked at specialized gardening centers.

Presence of clear lines on the leaves

The leaves have light colored lines compared to the green of the leaves which are nothing more than the tunnels dug by the larvae of an insect (a dipterus) inside the mesophyll of the leaves.

Remedies: the miners mostly fight each other using specific pesticides with endotherapeutic action even if there are methods of biological control using other insect antagonists or chromotropic traps.

Small necrotic, circular reddish-brown spots

This symptomatology could indicate the presence of a rust attack, that is to say of a very harmful fungus that must be immediately fought when the symptoms appear.In fact, if it is neglected, the small spots gradually flow together until the whole leaf dries up. Furthermore, on the underside of the leaves, in correspondence with the spots, small sphericidal bodies are formed a few millimeters tenaciously inserted in the tissues which are nothing more than the propagation organs of the fungus.

Remedies: it is good to intervene with specific chemical products available at centers specialized in gardening.


L'A. caerulea is the official state flower of Colorado (USA).

It has been observed that some species are very important for the study of evolution, ecology and development thanks to its evolutionary history which would represent a fundamental point for phylogenetics (Note 6).


You see: "The language of flowers and plants».


To know the medicinal properties of this plant go to: "Medicinal plants.


In the genus there are two species that we find mentioned in the Red list of the IUNC Version 2009,2:

Aquilegia barbaricina(note 4) considered Critically Endangered (CE) ie in danger of extinction. It is a species that grows between 1,300-1,400 m of altitude and is found only in Sardinia (Italy) and is in fact a species that was identified only in 1977 and is thought to be an evolution of A. vulgaris which, however, is not present in Sardinia.

Aquilegia barbaricina (Note 5)

Aquilegia nuragica(note 4) this species is also considered Critically Endangered (CE) that is to say in danger of extinction. It is an endemic species of the Sardinian which lives in a very small space, about 50 m², in Dorgali in the Su Gorroppu area (province of NU). Only about fifteen specimens have been identified and it is thought that there is no hope of survival of the species as it lives in a particularly inaccessible and inaccessible area.

Aquilegia nuragica (Note 5)


(1) Image not subject to copyright
(2) Photo by Barnes, Dr. Thomas G. / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(3) Photo by Goldman, Luther / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(4) Evaluator Camarda I., Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority, 2006
(5) Image licensed under license

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic - Author: IUCN The World Conservation Union
(6) Kramer Elena M., (2009), Aquilegia: A New Model for Plant Development, Ecology, and EvolutionAnnual Review of Plant Biology, Vol. 60

How to cure columbine in the garden

The spring season allows us to admire splendid floral proposals in our garden and therefore, why not take advantage of this extraordinary power of nature to color your green space?

Columbine, a perennial herb with a decorative utility, allows us to obtain a splendid garden plant with engraved leaves, similar to those of parsley, and flowers formed by five petals and five sepals of different colors, according to the species we have chosen. to cultivate.

This plant needs to be placed in a well-lit area of ​​the garden, so that it can receive a lot of sunlight, and regular watering, especially during the summer, while avoiding stagnation. As for fertilization, then, it will be useful to purchase a liquid fertilizer to be diluted with the water from the irrigation. With these little and good tips, you can get a beautiful plant in the garden!

The spring season allows us to admire splendid floral proposals in our garden and therefore, why not take advantage of this extraordinary power of nature to color your green space?

Columbine, a perennial herb with a decorative utility, allows us to obtain a splendid garden plant with engraved leaves, similar to those of parsley, and flowers formed by five petals and five sepals of different colors, according to the species we have chosen. to cultivate.

This plant needs to be placed in a well-lit area of ​​the garden, so that.

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Aquilegie, stoic and romantic

Columbines are among the romantic plants

Columbines are among the romantic plants. Perfect for recreating English-style flower borders, they have the advantage of being tenacious enough to withstand, with stoic elegance and without hesitation, late frosts, sunshine and short periods of drought. Columbines belong to the Ranuncoloceae family and the genus includes about a hundred species. Some grow spontaneously in woods, meadows and rocky areas, especially limestone, up to 2000 meters, including Aquilegia vulgaris, widespread throughout the European continent. The ease of cultivation has contributed to the success of this plant, but even more so its flowers, so different from all the others that when you learn to recognize them you never forget them.

The corollas formed by five horn-shaped petals extend into hollow and hooked spurs and are reminiscent of the claws of an eagle, hence the name Aquilegia, and the consequent popular belief that judged these plants capable of making eyesight as acute as that of a bird of prey. . According to others, the name derives instead from the Latin "aquilegium" (water container) for the cavities of the spurs. The flowers, supported by long and thin stems, rise from cushions of jagged or rounded leaves, similar to those of the clover, decorative even at the end of flowering and until late autumn, when the plant disappears under the ground to re-sprout the following spring. Columbines have no special needs: they are grown in full sun or partial shade in cool, deep soils and are watered regularly in the warmer months. They multiply by division of the tufts or by seed, in spring or late summer, but in this case, being biennial plants, you will have to wait two years for flowering.

They can be grown in pots or in the ground, together with other herbaceous plants for a “mixed border” with flowers in pure English style or on a dark background of evergreen plants to enhance the pastel colors of the flowers.

Primula: characteristics

Although some Perennial primroses they are pot plants of great aesthetic impact, in most cases these flowers are treated as annual specimens to be eliminated after flowering.

There sowing of primroses in summer it occurs for those grown in the garden. However, to extend the life of primroses they must be kept in a cool, bright and airy place until the next season.
All the variety of primrose they have circular flowers gathered in umbrellas or in whorls composed of 6-10 units that develop from erect stems that sprout from the low tufts of leaves.

Primrose cultivation

Once they have been sown, the sprout of primroses occurs at the end of the following winter or early spring.
These plants need a lot of light, especially in the morning and in the evening. Temperatures above 16 ° C shorten the life of the flowers, so you need to increase the humidity level. For example, potted specimens should be placed on top layers of damp gravel and sprayed daily.

Primula: watering and fertilizing

To get colorful and abundant flowers you need water the Primroses abundantly, however, the amount of water must be dosed to maintain the moist soil and avoid water stagnation that cause plants to rot. Sowing takes place in loose ground, rich in nutrients, or in a mixture based on common soil.
To favor the appearance of the flowers, the specimens are fertilized for the entire flowering period, using a liquid fertilizer every two weeks: proceed as soon as the flower stems.


To cultivate the Nigella choose a sunny position in the garden. It also grows in partial shade but blooms more if it receives at least six hours of sun a day. Beware of late frosts because it fears the cold. Depending on the climate in your area, transplant the Nigella in the garden in April or May, when we are sure we have overcome the risk of spring frosts.

In case of sowing in a flower bed, we suggest you repeat the operation after a few weeks, in order to have flowering plants throughout the summer.

At the time of transplanting (or sowing) it is good to prepare the soil, chopping the soil and adding a slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants.

There Nigella it tolerates drought well but it is good to respect a regular irrigation cycle to always leave the soil moist near the plant, especially in the hottest months. Beware of excesses and water stagnation that could cause root rot.

To prolong the flowering of the Nigella it is advisable to remove the withered flowers by cutting the branches that carry the capsules with the seeds. This way the plant will focus on new blooms rather than seed production.

Video: Aquilegia Care, How to Grow Grannys Bonnet Columbines: 4 of 30, my month of perennials

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