Sow February to June or September to October on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots or trays. Do not cover the seed. Keep at a temperature of between 15-20C (59-68F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination can take 1-3 months.
When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3 inch)pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise young plants to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 23-30cm (9 to 12 inches) apart.
Columbines hybridize readily. If seedlings are not wanted, deadhead faded aquilegia flowers to prevent them self seeding. Aquilegias dislike disturbance but overcrowded clumps may be lifted and divided in spring when necessary. Caution: Contact with aquilegia sap may irritate the skin. Harmful if eaten.
1 packet (80 aquilegia seeds)