The Q&A Archives: Columbine Proliferation

Question: Columbine flowers have suddenly overtaken my garden and walkways. They are difficult to pull out. They are in a stepped garden terrain smothering azalea shrubs and other small-sized shrubs. How can I get rid of all of it. (I'm a senior woman who loves gardening but I need to get it under control permanently!)
Please H E L P. Thank you.

Answer: There are two approaches to avoiding the problem in the future. One is to deadhead the columbines when their blooms fade so that they can't set seed and reproduce. You could also top up the mulch after the plants have dropped their seeds in an effort to smother any old remaining seeds and any small seedlings before they have time to get big.

The other method would be to remove the plants. You may be able to remove the unwanted plants by wiping them carefully with an herbicide containing glyphosate. (Read and follow the label instructions and avoid contacting other plants with it.) Another possibility would be to contact a garden club or similar organization and offer them the plants if they would come and remove them.

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