Aquilegia is a cottage garden favourite with many different varieties that are easy to grow and self-seed, making them perfect for a natural, wild garden.

About Granny’s Bonnet

What is Aquilegia?

Common name Columbine or Granny’s Bonnets, Aquilegia are self-seeding, herbaceous perennial plants with nectar-rich flowers that are perfect for pollinators.

Aquilegia are a cottage-garden favourite family of plants with some 60 to 70 species, some of which are even suited to rock or woodland gardens. The majority flower during late Spring and early Summer, producing beautiful two-tone flowers shaped like a bonnet (the hat variety), hence the familiar name often given of Granny’s Bonnet.

Aquilegia are great for late Spring and early Summer colour when other plants have given up or gone past their best, with later blooming varieties yet to fulfil their potential.

Growing Aquilegia

The best time to plant Aquilegia is in the Spring, although container-grown plants can be planted any time. Spring-planted Aquilegia will establish most effectively in most regions.

As long as the soil is well-drained and fertile, they are not too fussy about where they are planted and can tolerate most conditions.

Generally speaking, they prefer a bit of sun, so plant in an area that receives plenty for best results.

Aquilegia don’t generally need much watering once established other than if you cut them back. In this case a good watering will encourage a little further growth before season’s end.

If you want to keep the plants tidy, deadhead after flowering, if you want to produce more however, allow them to go to seed and then either collect up the seeds or allow them to drop naturally to enable further years of plants.

Aquilegia grown from seed rarely look like their parents, so if seeding you can expect to see a bit of variety from year to year.

Although fairly trouble-free, they can suffer from a few pests and diseases. Downy mildew is a common one, so are gail midges and sawfly, which can attack the leaves and stems of your plants.

Aquilegia create wild habitats

Aquilegia are a colourful perennial plant that comes in all different colours. Flowering in the Spring and early Summer they provide a wild look to any garden and if left to seed will produce new blooms every year that differ from the previous season.

Their plants produce great nectar which will attract pollinators right through the season, creating a haven for bees and birds throughout the Spring and early Summer months.

Enjoy Columbine

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