The Q&A Archives: Fertilizer for Columbines

Question: Do columbines need to be fertilized in order to bloom? When and how often?

Answer: Like most perennials, columbines appreciate good fertility and will bloom more prolifically under optimum conditions. A soil test should give you a guideline as to the current nutrient levels in your soil and its suitability for perennials. However, if you feel that your plant is under-performing, a light side dressing of a balanced fertilizer such as 5-5-5 in the early spring followed by a second application in late spring should be sufficient. An annual topdressing of compost is also beneficial, as is a layer of organic mulch which will slowly break down and feed the soil. Just so you know, columbines are short-lived, so it's a good idea to start new seedlings every few years.

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