Columbine Seeds require a “cold stratification” or cold treatment before they will germinate. To start seeds inside, mix the seeds into ½ cup of moist sand (or paper towel) and place in a sealed plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks before planting May-July. Alternatively, sow seeds outside in late summer, fall or early spring (before March 1st) so they are naturally exposed to the cold. Plant in full sun location. Prepare area by removing weeds and loosen soil surface with a rake. Hand broadcast (sow) seeds evenly over area. Water seeds with a light sprinkle after sowing. From seed, these plants can take 1-3 years to become established and large enough to flower. We also recommend sowing annual plant seeds to fill in the area until the native plants get established. Try Blanket Flower, Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, Dyer’s Coreopsis, Calendula, or Cosmos. If transplanting, seed indoors 8–10 weeks before the last frost (March). Barely cover the seed, as light aids in germination. Keep seeds moist until plants emerge. Days to germiation: 21-28. Transplant into larger containers or cell packs when first true leaves appear. Transplant into the field after the last frost (late May). Space plants 10– 15” apart.
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Once seed heads are tan and dry, shake them upside down to release seeds.
Our Recommendations with Wild Columbine Wildflower