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FutureStarrA How to Grow Aquilegia Seeds
Aquilegia require very little attention and are not fussy about their growing conditions, making them a green wheelbarrow plant showing they are easy to grow. Aquilegia have attractive leaves at the base of the plant, with a long stem supporting delicate flowers as shown in the images. The image far left shows the Aquilegia 'Swan lavender' with variegated Euonymus, and a deciduous yellow rhododendron, R luteum (which is one of the few scented Rhododendrons,) which makes a lovely bright yellow spring combination.
Aquilegia are a versatile plant which can be grown in sun or semishade and grow best in a light soil, but this is not essential. There is little of note about their growing conditions because Aquilegia is an unfussy plant. The less there is to say about a plant, the easier the plant to grow; which means from this short description that Aquilegia is easy to grow, and a reliable garden plant flowering year after year. All varieties are fully hardy between H5- H7 which is hardy down to around -15 which covers most of the UK.Sow thinly on to moist compost in a seed tray between January and May. If seeds are slow to germinate, they may need stratification, in other words a cold - warm cycle to trick them into thinking they have been through a cold winter. Cover the seed tray with polythene and put in a fridge at 0-5°C for two to three weeks. Remove the tray and place in a greenhouse/windowsill at approx. 18-21°C. Remove the polythene when the seeds start to germinate (this may take 30-90 days). Transplant the seedlings into 7cm pots and grow on into sturdy plants. Plant out in the border about 45cm apart in groups of three for a more naturalistic look. The seed can also be sown direct outdoors in the border from April-June.
Aquilegias are an easy plant to grow and need little after care once they are established. In fact, they are so happy they will self-seed given the right conditions, although offspring are unlikely to look exactly like their parents. This might be just what you want if you are filling a new border. But if you are keen to maintain distinct varieties (aquilegias are notoriously promiscuous), and if you like a semblance of order in the garden, you can prevent this by cutting down the seed heads after flowering.Choosing which aquilegia to grow will largely depend on what you like the look of and what growing conditions your garden offers. Match these two and aquilegia are easy to grow. It's just worth remembering that these are not long-lived plants, so it's always worth buying or growing from seed a few extras each year to keep a good display going year after year. In most cases, though, you'll find they self-seed and you'll get a few extras courtesy of the plants themselves, though these are unlikely to be identical to thier parents. (Source: www.rhs.org.uk)