Fertilizer for Columbines - Knowledgebase Question

Channahon, IL
Avatar for gmtraverso
Question by gmtraverso
May 4, 1998
Do columbines need to be fertilized in order to bloom? When and how often?

Answer from NGA
May 4, 1998
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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