Views: 399, Replies: 12 » Jump to the end
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Mar 18, 2016 10:03 AM CST
Does anyone have good luck with columbines? I love the long spurred varieties, but they are pretty short lived for me. I get perhaps 2-3 seasons from a plant, then the mother plant disappears and the seedling babies typically are a very blah short spurred lavender granny bonnet. I've tried McKana's Giants, a couple from the Origami line, and my favorite was Remembrance, which was a tribute to the Columbine victims. I assume these are all hybrids which explains why the seedlings are plain janes, but am wondering if perhaps there is a hardier cultivar?

My sister did give me a start of A. formosa which is our native, and I will see if that is longer lived. This will just be my second year for that one, and I presume its seedlings will come true. While it is not as dramatic as the cultivars, I wouldn't mind scattering these all around my gardens (also works well with my desire to add more natives).

Remembrance:
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Mar 18, 2016 10:40 AM CST
I also love the columbine but they are problematic for me also. Songbird Cardinal is my longest lasting - maybe five years now. Planted behind my garage it only gets morning sun and stays pretty moist. It fronts bleeding heart, ferns with little short blue and white (I think they are called) to the side. And of course ample trimming with chickweed. I have some White ones (tall McKana's I think) that have lasted and of course the Barlow series seem okay. They are attacked every year by those darned worms that make the leaves disappear. Doesn't kill the plant but they look like sticks. I pick them off and if they get ahead of me I trim the plant to a few inches and it regrows nicely. I understand that the worm only feeds on columbine and that if I were to not plant there a years or so the worms would leave/die. They don't seem to bother the Songbird as much as the Barlow plants. Oh, that's right. The little guys who are all but invasive are the Winky series. Self seeding to beat the band and I scatter the seeds where I want short filler with early flowers. Not terrible gorgeous but they serve their purpose. I keep trying the Origami and McKanna's with rather indifferent results otherwise.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Mar 18, 2016 1:35 PM CST
A. formosa can't seem to get a grip here, but I keep trying. Also A. formosa, A. caerulea, A.flabellata

I had such good luck in Poulsbo with various hybrid A. vulgaris, on sand, then here in Lake Stevens on beach sand, then when I moved here they became hard. I attributed it to my clay soil, then I found one almost defoliated, leaves skeletonized, I watched, this happened repeatedly, finally they gave up and died. I read about the Columbine Sawfly and it has made an appearance here, so maybe this is it.

Anyway, I have had good luck with A. chrysantha, both the species and 'Denver Gold, these become perennials, flowers are yellow. Also with A. alpina, a species with blue flowers. I have grown them from seeds I saved, planted out last summer and every one survived and looks fine now.

Could this be because they are seed grown? Or have the hybrids become less vigorous?
I am not sure. My sister used to garden up near Mt Baker, she had terrific A. vulgaris, they seeded about almost to the point of invasiveness. She had good soil, a more midwest climate (cold winters, hotter summers).
Anyway, for yellow, try A. crysantha and for blue try A. alpina
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Mar 18, 2016 2:04 PM CST
Thanks, I will note those on my nursery 'wish list'. The A. formosa I have is from the top of Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Pass and does well for my sister on the east side. She gave me a start last spring, which I haven't yet seen emerge so perhaps it likes the cold/dry side better than over here. I really don't mind buying new columbines each season, although they are kind of spendy as annuals... Such beautiful flowers though.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
Image
springcolor
Mar 20, 2016 10:15 AM CST
I'm not a fan of this perennial. About 10 years ago I started some from seed and they did well. Now I have those things popping up all over. Never seen any bloom because when I see them they get shovel pruning.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Linda
Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a)
Image
In2art
Apr 15, 2016 2:33 PM CST
I have had 'Songbird Dove' in the same spot for as long as I can remember. I can't recall if the little worms have ever devoured that one or not, but all of them seem to recover from that - I know I have had it happen in another bed. I have 'music mix' propagating itself all over my yard...it seems to be very prolific...if you ever want a start, let me know. These stayed pretty much evergreen through the winter (zone 8a) and are now coming on with a vengeance. I have been weeding them out of the paths, and where they are cropping up in cracks. I also have some seedlings of 'Ruby Port' heirloom. Music mix and Ruby Port both have the shorter spurs, so you may not be interested in them.

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 16, 2016 8:20 AM CST
I have a few of the Barlow series like Pink Barlow which are like Ruby Port. Actually I think RP is one of the Barlow series? At any rate similar. I like them for edging but the worms like them also. Lost Ruby Port. Also a white one with the similar small 'bunchy' blooms and shorter. The Winky Series is about the shortest and like your Music Mix tends to spread everywhere. But it is fairly easy to contain and I like it in the front of the borders as it is fairly prolific with blooms if not terribly exciting in color. I would love a couple of Ruby Port. If you D mail me I will give you my address and will pay postage either with PayPal or by check. Thanks Mary
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

lawndawg78
Apr 28, 2016 1:24 PM CST
I would look around in your area in other peoples yards. You may not be able to get the named varieties, but you should be able to get some seed that is good for your area. I often check out other peoples landscapes and even commercial building landscapes and collect seed. I have been very successful with California poppy in the different colors and columbine (from my own yard) and a few other plants. The seed seems to be more reliable and vigorous she I collect locally and just scatter where I want it.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
May 9, 2016 5:56 PM CST
I had one columbine almost-volunteer. I had tried a few seed packets here and there very early in my gardening career, and didn't see anything (through the weeds, sometimes).

A few years later, this columbine made himself obvious, and has come back for around 3 years since then. (I do have a few other columbine survivors, maybe "giants", with very prissy and delicate pale blooms. I like this chocolate-purple one better.)

It has dusky purple-chocolate blooms, in kind of a two-tier format. First a "top-knot" of blooms appear on some stalks that stick up above the foliage (2-3 feet tall?) Then, a few weeks or a month later, more blooms appear down-low.

I'm fairly sure it came from Burpee's "Harlequin" Mixed colors, C. vulgaris. I may have seeds from prior years, but seem to recall losing them one year. I could save some from this year if anyone's interested in a mostly-no-ID Columbine.

Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
May 9, 2016 6:12 PM CST
I have two of the Barlow columbines, back barlow and blue barlow (which is purple, of course). I've had some buggy problems with the blue one, but Neem Oil seems to have taken care of that. The black one has not had bugs so far. They are in different spots so location may have something to do with the bugs, or proximity to other plants. For me, if a plant lasts more than three years I'm going to get bored with it, so shortgevity is a plus in my garden, except for the really expensive stuff. Mine are in containers but its hard to deadhead every day in time to stop them going to seed, so no telling where they may turn up in the future. Sighing! Its all an adventure in real life on real life's own terms, isn't it?
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
May 9, 2016 11:34 PM CST
I scattered seeds last year from the little blue and white winkies and lo and behold, they are everywhere. I have seeds I collected from the tall fellows. Not sure if I should bother to scatter those as I have preened the beds not that it seems to have stopped the chickweed. I guess I need to do a surface cultivation then reapply. I did put some of the seed in six paks to try to grow them that way. Haven't had much success with that method. Did manage to get some Golden Jubilee from saved seeds and some campanula.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
May 10, 2016 3:39 PM CST
I have had success with sprouting seeds on a bed I had already preened- I put a 1-2" layer of potting soil on top, put the seeds in that. It seemed to work.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
May 13, 2016 8:24 AM CST
Huh. So I could preen a layer, add a layer of soil, then plant seeds? The preen would prevent anything down below from germinating but not affect the seeds on top. That makes sense. Shoot. Wish I had thought of that before. I will try it anyway even if I don't get much from the top seeding just to see how it works here. Now if I could just find something to spread out there to kill the horse tail, then cover with new soil and plant on top. I would be absolutely thrilled.

Thank You! Thanks so much for the tip.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Pacific Northwest Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"