Aquilegia 'Blue Shades'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Columbine

Lovely short-spurred flowers in shades of solid blue appear atop tall mounds of foliage. This is an excellent color for "cooling off" other hot-colored plants in the garden and creating a tranquil space.

Aquilegia is especially lovely when allowed to naturalize in shady, woodland borders. They also have excellent potential as cut flowers, lasting up to 2 weeks in a vase.

Origin: Not Native to North America


  30 Inches
  18-24 Inches
Flower Color:
  Blue shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Average water needs
  Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
  Attracts hummingbirds
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Rabbit resistant
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
  Late spring
  Early summer
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:


Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Mass Planting
Specimen or focal point

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Columbine is easy to grow in loose, average to rich, well-drained soil. Heavy or soggy soils will hasten their demise. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade, though light shade will prolong the flowering time. In the fall, cut plants back to their basal foliage. In the spring, remove only the dead leaves.

Columbine is sometimes affected by leaf miners. If this happens, cut the foliage all the way back to the ground and discard it. Healthy, new growth will emerge quickly. Propagate by sowing named seed rather than by division; mature plants do not like to be disturbed.


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Both the flowers and the leaves of Columbine are reminiscent of doves (columba is Latin for "dove"). Columbines often represent the dove of peace in religious artwork.

While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.