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Grow Native Columbine for Hummingbirds and More

Bring the hummingbirds into your spring garden with a planting of our native columbine.

These North American native plants grow in full sun or partial shade and a wide range of well-draining soils. Plants growing in rich soils may develop weak stems and be short lived, while those in sandy soils tend to be more compact and longer lived.

The spurs on the downward facing yellow and red bell-shaped flowers are filled with nectar – perfect for hummingbirds and long tongued pollinators. Plus, deer and rabbits tend to leave them be.

Hardy in zones 3 to 8, columbines do reseed readily forming large colonies. Collect and replant extra seedlings or remove faded flowers to limit reseeding. Cut plants back to the ground as foliage declines to encourage fresh new growth.

Plant columbines with other perennials in woodland, shade, rock, cottage and naturalized gardens.

A bit more information: Newer hybrids are not as long-lasting as our native species. Extend their longevity by removing their faded flowers. This directs the energy into building roots instead of producing seeds.

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