Cutting back Columbine

happygardener_2006June 14, 2011

Have had great large columbines for years and never did anything to them after blooming except to harvest seed.

Started a woodland garden 3 years ago with lots of columbine. They are huge and crowding out other plants.

Can I cut them back, if so how far. I love them and don't want to lose them. Have transplanted some still in bloom, but they are so big I'm afraid of injuring the taproot.

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hepatica_z7

I don't know if this will solve your problem, but many gardeners cut them back after bloom, nearly to the ground. They send up fresh leaves that usually look better than the weather beaten ones from the winter. That clump is more compact too, so maybe your other plants will have more light. Sounds beautiful: a woodland garden with lots of huge columbines!

Hepatica

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 6:37PM
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ditas

i don't think you'll ever really get rid of them. I keep them around as they provide the colors & like Faerie ballerinas decorate the surround while waiting for the flashy bloomers to put on their show!

I do cut most of them severely back after blooms are winding down ~ some to the ground to send back their lovely foliage, that I love, around where I allow them! Dead heading can be tedious!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:51PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I don't hesitate to cut mine back to the ground. Within a couple of weeks they have regrown with fresh new foliage. (I'm guessing that in zone 5 they are a dieback plant in the winter as they are in zone 4.)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:57PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Believe me, they'll come back next year. I plan to cut mine back next week. I've just started gathering the seeds two days ago. There's one variety that I can't find the seeds..clementine variety.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:43AM
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