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The Aquilegia they are often used to beautify and decorate gardens because they form gods very colorful flowers and with a very particular shape. We can also find different species of them in Italian gardens, they are plants that adapt well even to climatic conditions that are not entirely favorable. We can definitely call them rustic plants.
Aquilegia: characteristics of the plant, leaves and flowers
Belonging to the family of Ranuncolaceae, this genus is composed of numerous species of evergreen herbaceous plants that form bushes rich in leaves and also in flowers of many colors. They are plants that can live safely up to 2000 meters above sea level, in all areas where there is a temperate climate, both in Europe, both in Asia and in America. Their beauty makes them suitable plants to decorate the borders and, in general, to give a touch of color to gardens.
The leaves of the Aquilegia they have a green color, not too strong, and are supported by long petioles and have three lobes.
THE flowers they have both male and female reproductive organs, and are therefore hermaphrodites. From the most aesthetic point of view it is observed that they present a radial symmetry of pentamer type, they consist of a chalice with five sepals which inside reveal a corolla in turn formed by five petals.
Each petal is characterized, in the part with which it attaches to the base, by one very strange bump, called spur. In some species it is larger than in others, in plants that have pendulous flowers it is even facing upwards. Each flower has many stamens, then the fruits are formed which are follicles.
Aquilegia: cultivation, exposure and watering
It is not at all difficult to cultivate Aquilegia because they are rustic plants. This applies to any species considered, they never require special precautions and can adapt to various types of climate, even the most hostile ones that other decorative plants cannot withstand.
However, there are some tips that are better to follow if we want to get some beautiful blooms and, consequently, a beautiful garden. We place first of all plants in the sun, not too direct, or in a semi-shaded area which is the best for getting beautiful flowers. For temperatures, there are not many limitations: the Aquilegia also hold up those below zero, but they don't have a very long vegetative duration. This means that they can last a few years, then it is better to renew them because they lose vigor.
The Aquilegia I'm plants that do not require particularly abundant watering but they should be irrigated very moderately, frequently but by administering small amounts of water. These plants are also good for those who are a little distracted, because they tolerate even short periods of drought without major problems, the important thing is not to take advantage of them because in the long run, they can be damaged or weakened and not bloom as we expect them to do.
Repotting of Aquilegia
Towards the beginning of the summer, between February and March, every two years we can repot these plants if we are keeping them in pots in the apartment. It is necessary to use a soil rich in organic substance mixed with a good soil of leaves, but the most important thing is the substrate which must absolutely be draining.
If we want to use these plants to create a border in the garden, we must plant them either at the end of summer (September) or at the beginning of spring (March), to obtain a soft, rich and colorful bush it takes at least 3 or 4 seedlings per 20 square centimeters of soil
Aquilegia of yellow color
Fertilization of Aquilegia
Always in spring it is time to fertilize the Aquilegia continuing to do so every two weeks until mid-summer. A liquid fertilizer is used that also contains microelements (iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (mg )) and dilute it in water for irrigation. In late spring, sometimes even in summer, the flowering period finally begins. Each species has its highlight.
In all the genre Aquilegia it has about seventy species to which hybrids must be added that increase year by year. Let's see some of the best known or particular ones. There Flabellata is originally from Japan, is small and has a compact shape. Its flowers have a white corolla and blue sepals, it is often found cultivated in pots, it blooms during the spring-summer period. Among the varieties of Flabellata we remember the Nana alba for its white flowers.
Vulgaris comes from Europe, has large branched stems and produces blue or purple pendulous flowers towards spring - early summer. There are numerous varieties of Vulgaris including the Alba variety and the Pink Cascade variety, the latter with light pink flowers.
There Caerulea comes from North America and reaches a height of about 40-80 centimeters, it has flowers with white petals tinged with blue-pink and blue-pink falls, larger than the petals.
There Canadensis it is native to North America, can measure up to 50 centimeters and produces drooping, yellow flowers with red spurs from late spring to mid-summer. We can move on to Flavescens, a small, very branched plant that produces flowers with yellow sepals and like i petals also yellow. In English-speaking countries it is known as the Yellow columbine.
Hybridization of aquilegia
L'hybridization of columbine plants it is quite simple to make and new plants generated from seeds of different species may have different characters from the original plants.
Aquilegia also has the ability to "self-seed": you just need to plant some varieties in your garden or terrace to see them spread spontaneously, presenting different colors.
An aquilegia flower in its most common color, purple
Aquilegia: parasites and diseases
L'columbine is a plant that is not very susceptible to attack by parasites, with the exception of a possible attack by aphids in the spring or bad white. In both cases, the leaves are attacked.
To keep away the aphids you can use a broad spectrum insecticide like the one proposed by COMPO you find on this page on Amazon.
The anti-mite insecticide spray proposed by COMPO for sale on Amazon
Aquilegia: meaning of the name
The name of the columbine plant derives from the Latin "aquilegium" which means "container for water" and was chosen because the shape of the corolla of the petals of the columbine flower is ideal for receiving and storing rainwater.