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Talkback: Growing aquilegias

One of my tasks at the Bristol Bot. Garden recently was to pot up Semiaquilegia adoxoides, three to pot for our plant sale. I was allowed t...

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One of my tasks at the Bristol Bot. Garden recently was to pot up Semiaquilegia adoxoides, three to pot for our plant sale. I was allowed to take home any odd ones so i was delighted when two were spare, as I too love aquilegias. Of course mine were given a pot each and now one has a bud. After my self-sown bluebells and forget-me-nots have finished their show in my garden the aquilegias, quaking grass, poppies and mileum aureum - the golden grass , take their place. The aquilegias are particularly fine this year with lots od white ones. I have no idea where they have come from.

i do not know either but i love them also.. my garden has them scattered all around.

I have these in my garden, I originally grew mine from seed and now they are scattered around the front garden. They look so delicate I really love them and they never disappoint.
3 years ago I was building an extension on the back of someone's house,In the garden was a dark blue Aquilegia the owner gave me some seed and I broadcast them on ground that had not grown Aquilegias before,The next year I had lots of pink flowered Aquilegias no blue at all, last year I had just one dark blue and this year I have just one come up all the others are pink again, just goes to show you don't know what expect from seed.

So..... how do you grow them?
Is it best to collect the seed and sow straight away or early next year?
Or wait for them to self seed and spread... or divide?
Disappointed that the title 'Growing Aquilegias' did not tell me how to grow them!



Mine just self seed with no help at all. However, they are the standard purpley pink ones. Any time I have bought and planted coloured varieties, they 'disappear' after a year or two.

april jones.. yes i thought the same.. but i tend to sow seeds when the plant would have natuaral finished flowering and self seeding so for aquilegias that is end of may middle of june.. otherwise i do not know.. but i have found better sucess with letting them self seed and digging up little ones when growing.. as seeds i have not had much luck with.. maybe 5 out of every 10 sown.. so happymarion how do you grow them as i love them.

Be careful what you wish for,I also loved aquilegias but now they are taking over my small front garden,they just pop and seed everywhere even in the cracks of paveing they seem to like my chalky soil.

Now that the warmer weather is with us in Yorkshire our aquilegias are getting ready to flower, albeit a little later than usual. however, in my mums garden, just on the other side othe the Pennines, hers are flowering their socks off. Also have some young aquilegia growing for next year, called sunshine.

Aqueligias are easy to grow and the seed can be collected and sown straight away on the surface of your potting compost and covered with grit, and left in cool shady spot. They are also good at self seeding everywhere, but I dont tend to have this as I deadhead the plant to keep flowing as long as possible then take any seed heads for sowing into trays. As for division, im not sure that you can with this plant, but I could be wrong.


@karen7.. thanky you veyr much for that information..


Also had some blow in's appear in my garden, never had them before or sown seed either. Love these types of self sown visitors.


Jean Genie

Will they grown in pots I've grown some from seed and put a few in a pot .

I'm fanatical about these easy-to-please plants, and hold the 2 National Plant Collections of them here in the UK. As James says, it was a late season this year, but they're making up for it with last weeks sunshine and warmth. My second collection centres around the breeding work that I am doing to introduce doubles with yellow in that are easy to grow and long-lived here in the UK (unlike many of the parent species)
Come and visit in the next couple of weeks to see more aquilegias than you ever dreamed possible! You will never forget the sight of so many flowering....and so many new ones! Touchwood Garden is in Swansea, about half an hour from the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
Alina W
jean riley wrote (see)

Will they grown in pots I've grown some from seed and put a few in a pot .

Yes, they'll grow anywhere. Give them a reasonably deep pot, as they have deep taproots.


My semi- aquilegia is flowering and so pretty,  I am posting a picture.  They really are very easy to grow from seed, but I have never seen so many in the hedgerows as this year  the native columbine seems to be hybridising with them.



All mine have collapsed from all the rain - they put on a growth spurt when the weather warmed up, but now in full flower they are prostate. Looking a bit sorry for themselves. Too late now, but next year I'll get some support. Anybody got any recommedations for type of supports to use (with pictures!!).

Hi Tim, I just use small (18 inch) canes and tie twine to the cane then loop it around the flowering stems.  Works fine - these just survived over 24h of rain and wind:


Look fantastic! Thank you!

Just what minw need too to keep the fox cubs from knocking them down with their games.


@carrie thomas.. i must tell you that the seeds i got off you last year have flowered gorgeous this year.. some wonderful colours.. thank you..

have harvested seeds to see what comes of them next year.