Transplanting Columbine plants of the Ranunculaceae family is often necessary and important for the growth and health of beautiful plants. Many people find this to be difficult because they don’t know the right way to do it.

Transplanting Columbine 1

Find out how to successfully transplant Columbine of the Aquilegia genus with the tips and tricks provided in this expert guide.

How to Transplant Columbine

Thinning the plant out and placing them in healthy soil are essential steps to transplanting Columbine plants. You can transplant both the seedlings of the Columbine plant or a grown plant with well-established roots in new soil. Transplant is basically a process by which you move a plant from one spot to another.

Transplanting Columbine is the process by which you take the established Columbine plant or its seedlings out of their current soil and replant them someplace new. It is a technique-sensitive procedure that needs to be performed with care and expertise lest you end up damaging the plant.

– Seedlings

You can transport young columbine seedlings when they grow a couple of inches long to a garden where they can grow freely. Find out the step-by-step process below.

– Thin the Seedlings Out

When the seedlings of the Columbine plant that you have been growing reach a height of about 2 to 4 inches, then it is time for them to be transplanted outside in a garden or to a larger pot. Don’t forget to thin them out first using sharp gardening scissors.

– Plant Them Outdoors

Now take them out of their seedling tray and plant them in a garden bed at a distance of at least 12 to 18 inches from each other. This much distance is necessary because these plants are known for producing long roots. A suitable distance will prevent these roots from becoming entangled.

– Provide Adequate Care

Young plants are much more sensitive than established ones and take a pretty long time to adjust to their new home. Ensure you take very good care of your newly-transplanted seedlings by providing proper shade, water and fertilizer. Regularly remove weeds and deadhead flowers to free nutrients for the plant.

– Established Plants

Columbine plants 1

A plant that is already established in one place needs to be dug out of its old soil and planted in a hole in the new one. Read about this process in extensive detail below.

– Use a Spade To Dig the Plant Out

A spade is the best tool in your garden shed for digging already established plants out. Using a clean spade, dig deep into the soil a few inches from where the roots of the plant are.

Rock the spade in a back and forth motion until the roots become loose from that side. Now dig the spade in another location around the plant and again perform the back and forth rocking. Carry on doing this around the circumference of the plant until the whole plant is loose and ready to come out.

Now, very carefully lift the plant up from the soil. Take care to take all its roots out as well. Columbine plants have long roots and it would be best to take as much of them out as intact as possible.

– Place the Uprooted Plant Appropriately

Because these plants have long, delicate roots that are prone to damage, we suggest you place it on a piece of cardboard or tarp after digging it out. This would make it much easier to move the plant around. Take this opportunity to shake loose some soil from the roots. Inspect if there are any dead parts of the plant that need pruning or cutting.

If you want to wait for a while before replanting Columbine, then you should wrap the roots in a moist burlap sack to keep them from drying out. Store the whole plant in a cool area until it’s time to transplant it.

– Dig a Hole for Planting Columbine

Now the next step would be to dig a hole in the new site in order to transplant Columbine in.

This hole should be as deep as the length of your dug-out plant, whereas its diameter should be twice as wide. Again, a spade or shovel will come in handy while digging.

– Transplant Columbine Plant in the Hole

Transplant Columbine Plant in the Hole

Taking great care, lift your whole Columbine plant up and place it carefully inside this hole. The plant part where the stem meets the roots should be slightly above the level of the ground.

Fill the rest of the hole with soil about two-thirds of its diameter. Follow this by watering the hole and allowing the water to drain out completely. Then finish filling the rest of the hole with the remaining soil.

– Fertilize and Mulch Right Away

In order to prevent your precious plant from undergoing transplant shock, you must fertilize it right after transplanting. We always have had great success using a water-soluble fertilizer.

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulching material around the base of the plant for protection and moisture retention. You can use pine needles, grass clippings or pieces of bark as effective mulching materials.


When to Transplant 

Transplant the Columbine plant when it is at least 6 months old at the time of year when the soil is cool.

– When Your Plant Is the Right Age

Your plant should be at least six months old in order to survive being transplanted. A plant younger than this will not have roots that are established enough to survive being moved from one place to another.

– When It Is the Right Season

Season for Transplanting Columbine Plant

The most appropriate season for transplanting Columbine plant is the early springtime before the weather warms for the summer. Your plant needs to be kept in slightly cool soil until it adjusts to its new home.

You can also transplant the Columbine plant in the fall as temperatures also cool down at this time of year. Take care that you carry out this process in the early fall. In late fall, the roots will not be able to survive the frost that will immediately follow the transplantation.

– Perfect Day for Transplanting

Choose a cool and breezy day for moving the Columbine plant from one place to another. It would be even better if you do this right after it has rained. Not only will the soil be cool enough after a rainy day for the sensitive roots, but you will also find it easier to dig the plant out of its soil in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do you have some burning questions in your mind regarding the Columbine plant? Continue reading as we try to answer them all.

– What Is Transplant Shock?

Transplant shock is a condition in which the plant replanted in new soil undergoes a number of stresses and fails to establish roots properly.

Such a plant often suffers from nutrient deficiency and its leaves start showing brown or yellow discoloration. In severe cases, the flowers and leaves also start dropping off at an alarming rate.

– Is Columbine a Fast Grower?

Yes, the Columbine plant typically grows fast. It can grow up to 1.5 feet tall in its first year alone. Its seedlings also tend to germinate and start producing shoots within 30 days of being planted.

– What Type of Soil Is Best for the Columbine Plant?

The soil that is best for transplanting and growing the Columbine plant is one that is sandy, loomy, and doesn’t contain a very large amount of clay in it. The good thing about this plant is that it is not very choosy about the type of soil that it is grown in and will take roots in all types of ground.

– Can Columbine Be Grown as an Indoor Plant?

Columbine Be Grown as an Indoor Plant

Yes, Columbine plants can be grown indoors, but although it is possible to do this, it is not such a good idea. Your plant might never bloom inside the house no matter how near the window you place it.

It can grow reasonably well in pots or containers if you keep them outside in a patio or a garden. Otherwise, the best option is to plant it in garden soil and grow it there as well.


Today you learn how to safely transplant the Columbine plant from one location to another. Let’s quickly recap everything to make sure we haven’t missed anything important.

  • Columbine is a plant that should ideally be transplanted when it is at least 6 months old. A younger plant than this will not be able to tolerate the shock and might die.
  • Use a spade to dig out the entire plant from the soil. Dig a hole at the transplant site that is as deep as the plant is long but twice as wide.
  • Carefully put the adult plant into this hole and cover it with soil. Also, place mulching material around the base of the plant to keep it cool.
  • The best time to transplant Columbine is during early spring or early fall when the earth is cool.
  • Plant transplanting is the process of uprooting a plant from one place and then replanting it someplace else.

The next time you need to transplant this plant, you can now do so with knowledge and confidence!

5/5 - (17 votes)