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Columbine, Blue Star

Short Description

Remarkably beautiful star effect.

Full Description

White petals are framed by a layer of blue sepals, creating a star effect. A remarkably beautiful, superb domesticated wildflower for the shady garden in spring to early summer. Very special for its fancy-lobed, dusky blue-green leaves and unusual, spurred flowers. Highly attractive to hummingbirds for the nectar.
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12-18 inches

Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.

Spring, Summer

Resistant To Adverse garden conditions, such as heat or frost, deer or rabbits, that this product can tolerate well.

Deer, Disease, Pests, Rabbit

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Introduction to Perennials
Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
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Perennials Tour #1
Perennials Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Shasta Daisy, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Echinacea and Hydrangea.
Watch video
  • Columbine

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Mar-07 - Last Date: Mar-21
    First Date: Mar-28 - Last Date: May-16
    First Date: Sep-17 - Last Date: Oct-29

Columbine may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden, or grown from potted plants.

Sowing Columbine Seed Indoors

  • Columbine will germinate best if sown in seed trays or pots and chilled (refrigerated) at 40 degrees F for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Sow indoors using a seed starting kit
  • Just cover the seeds lightly with seed starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 65-70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 22-30 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Columbine seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Before planting in the garden, columbine seedling plants need to be “hardened off." Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Columbines Directly in the Garden

  • Giant, mixed colors columbine flowersColumbine will germinate best if seed is pre-chilled for 3-4 weeks at 40 degrees F.
  • Choose a location in full sun or part shade with moist, organic soil. Sow in spring to early summer.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Sow evenly and thinly cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
  • Firm the soil lightly and keep it evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 22-30 days.
  • Thin to 10 inches apart.

Planting Potted Columbine Plants in the Garden

  • Select a location in full sun or part shade with good rich moist organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole, approximately 10 inches apart, for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

Seed Quick Start Gardening Guide

How to Grow Columbine Perennials

  • Keep weeds under control during the columbine growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time.  Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry.  One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary.  Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Do not deadhead unless you want to eliminate self-sown coumbine seedlings.

Columbine Growing Tips

  • Taller cultivars may need staking.
  • Columbines are lovely for borders and excellent for naturalizing woodlands.
  • The blooms make good cut flowers, and the seedpods make interesting additions to dried arrangements.
  • Compact cultivars may be grown in containers.
Full Sun, Part Sun
24 inches
12-18 inches
Bloom Season
Spring, Summer
Resistant To
Deer, Disease, Pests, Rabbit
Ornamental Use
Borders, Cut Flowers
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Life Cycle
Columbine, Blue Star is rated 2.7 out of 5 by 9.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No germination Bought these in late summer and placed in the refrigerator for 2 weeks per customer service suggestion. Sowed in the ground after the two weeks and ZERO germination rate. Not just an issue from 4 years ago apparently. Want to try again as this is my favorite flower. But hesistant to do so again with Burpee.
Date published: 2019-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So beautiful Flowered after a year. I didn't do anything special but wait patiently. Last year, after they sprouted I planted them outside for the spring. This year, they started coming up again in February/March maybe? I was worried with the crazy temperature swings and late snow we had but they all did fine and the first few flowers are coming out now. It doesn't look like every plant will make flowers this year but we'll see! They are so so beautiful
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My new favorite flower. I started growing my columbines last year and am looking forward to them blooming this year. I got the Blu Star and William Guinness because blue is my favorite color. I know they're not true blue but close enough for me. It's disheartening to read so many terrible reviews because I've always had a great experience with all the seeds I've bought from Burpee. Heck, even the pansies I bought for last year's season germinated this year. Columbines aren't as easy to grow as one might think. They take a lot of care to get started. Chilling the seeds certainly helps but 2 months is far too long. Just a couple of weeks is all they need. Using a high quality seedling mix is very important when sowing columbines indoors and compost is equally important if sowing outdoors. I highly recommend reading up on how to properly grow columbines to avoid disappointment and wasted time, energy, and money. I've read several articles and while some give contradicting advice given how the climate and soil is for when each individual author lives, you can rest assured that there's constants in each. Also, every author tends to have different tips to offer that you may or may not find helpful, you just gotta try each one to find out what works best for you. I hope you'll give columbines another try as they really are beautiful and I've also heard that they cross breed so depending on how many different shades/varieties you plant, you could end up with a spectacular array of columbines in your garden. Happy growing all!
Date published: 2018-04-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of money I planted the seeds and absolutely nothing grew, not even one small stem. I had to select a star but I can't even select one star because I have nothing but dirt.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from so far I chilled for a few weeks, then planted the 60 seeds. 2/3 of them germinated in a few weeks. I am not expecting the remaining 20 to germinate, although last year I did the red and white origami variety and germination number was higher for those; I did note that 3 of the 20 origami germinated way later than the others, so I am holding out hope for the 20 remaining bluestar. These are not hard to grow, you just need to follow instructions. I don't believe they will bloom this year, based on my experience with the origami. These are SLOW GROWERS. You must have patience!
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from slow to germinate and no flowers first year I planted 6 Columbine start pods (3-5 plants per pod) and all 6 germinated. 1 pod of seedlings rotted out so I'm left with 5 seedling pods. The columbine may not bloom the first year (my coneflower didn't when I grew several from seed in 2015) but I'm looking forward to their second year once they've had time to establish. I'm unsure if the cooling method mentioned above works, I put my starter tray in the window with a plastic, flimsy cover and they sprouted within a 15 days. I started in mid-January and placed them in a sunny window. Hope that helps!
Date published: 2016-04-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Germination I bought this variety of Columbine in November 2014. I planted them in a seedling kit in the Spring of this year (2015). Only two germinated. For all of the seeds, I used cold stratification before planting to promote germination, which involves mixing the seed with vermiculite, dampening the mixture, putting it in a plastic bad, and storing it in the refrigerator for two months. This treatment was recommended to me by a friend who told me that the seeds of native wildflowers (particularly ones from the north) need this simulation of being out all winter under the snow in order to germinate. I started this treatment in February 2015. Even when the two germinated, they struggled to get going, so I could not plant them in the ground in May. I had to keep them in planters. As of August, they haven't produced flowers. My plan now is to transplant them into the ground this October and hope that they produce flowers next year. Perhaps I'll update this review at some point.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from no germination again, failed seeds from burpee this year.
Date published: 2015-04-14
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