Columbine not well

by Vikki
This columbine had a beautiful bloom and then went south . Any ideas of what happened? Insects? Should I dig it up, cut it back?
  17 answers
  • Nancy Elson Nancy Elson on Jul 05, 2015
    Cut it down to the ground (to rid the plant of whatever is attacking it). Bag and dispose of the 'bad' parts. The columbine will begin to recover, you'll see the difference in the new growth.
  • Sheri B Sheri B on Jul 05, 2015
    cutting to the ground is not the answer. you need to look at the total environment, temperature, moisture, light, was it recently planted? It could be something attacking the roots causing it to die. were there any bugs on it before it died. Did it die overnight or take several days? To many questions to answer first before can give a reason as to why it died.
    • Vikki Vikki on Jul 05, 2015
      @Sheri B It was planted last year - came back beautifully . First one seemed to die very quickly and then the other, Did not see any obvious signd of insects - bu t we hadv many catepillers in our area at the time.
  • Decar Decar on Jul 05, 2015
    I cut mine back each fall, but this year the blooming was very short lived this year - anyone have any ideas?
  • Margaret Hely Watkins Margaret Hely Watkins on Jul 05, 2015
    I would cut it back too.
  • Luette Messersmith Luette Messersmith on Jul 05, 2015
    I have several types of columbines in some pretty poor soil, but I water them frequently , use miracle grow and they seem to flourish-they re seed profusely and multiply here in the Pacific North West.
  • Mickie Mickie on Jul 06, 2015
    slugs ate mine to the ground, but it is coming up again.
    • Becca Becca on Jul 06, 2015
      @Mickie Scatter some broken egg shells around the plant. Slugs hate to crawl on egg shells.
  • Beth Lautenschlager Beth Lautenschlager on Jul 06, 2015
    Mine get like this from leaf minor. Just cut it back. Mine always come back nicely!
  • Donna Hagen Donna Hagen on Jul 06, 2015
    I just finished cutting my back and took the clipping to another shady area as there are many seed in those left over pods. Mine are the wild orange ones from Minnesota I never have more season of blooms but the plant is still nice and lush
  • Carol Houde Carol Houde on Jul 06, 2015
    Columbine seeds itself. Are there seed pods? You can collect the seed and disperse where you would like. If it died back before seed pods formed, it may have root damage from insect larva. Although my Columbine returns every late Spring (New England) is may not be a true perennial, so your plant is lost. If it is a perennial (look it up) it may return. Good Luck!
  • Dee Dee on Jul 06, 2015
    Mine have also been eaten by slugs this year. All the rain has really allowed the slugs to thrive. I cut them down, and they do come back, but it will happened again if the slugs are still around. Try sprinkling crushed egg shells around them after cutting back. It really helps keep the slugs away.
  • Pam1418628 Pam1418628 on Jul 06, 2015
    Sprinkle coffee grounds around them. Slugs hate crawling over those!!!!!
  • Need more information but first thing you need to do is cut off the seed pods and then you can pull up the plant and sprinkle the seeds for next year. Columbine (aquilegia) have short lifespans of about 3 years. The seeds will be viable. Leafminers leave a really cool pattern on the leaves but do not cause any real damage. I have never found slugs on mine but there can be so many things it could be. Have you had a lot of rain? how old are the plants? pull up the plant and check the roots to see if they rotted. just some other things t check for
  • Loretta Loretta on Jul 07, 2015
    try airaiding the soil around and give it some plant food like miracle gro. also crush up some egg shells and put them in water overnight then give all the water to your plant. also make a compost of fresh dirt with the miraclegro egg shells and add some used coffee grinds. pack this around the base of your plant. it should come back to life in 3 days to a week.
  • Cam Nordstrom Cam Nordstrom on Jul 07, 2015
    Two years in a row columbine sawfly larvae have demolished our plants. Don't bother with them anymore, nor do our neighbours. The insects seem to strike almost overnight. I am sure there are ways to fight the insect invasions, but I just couldn't be bothered.
  • Sherri Hendricks Sherri Hendricks on Jul 07, 2015
    looks like the life cycle to me I have about 50 of them they bloom awhile then stay green a short time afterwards till the seed pods form then the whole plant dies back. mine do this every year, they have short life span green 1 yr flower 1 maybe 2 yrs and then die back
  • Judy Judy on Jul 08, 2015
    Sorry....looks like it's a goner. Did it live long enough to reseed? If so do not disturb the surrounding soil. Columbine seed must remain on the surface in order to sprout & grow new plants. I learned this the hard way with a beautiful, lavender double columbine once......
  • Aleta Aleta on Oct 09, 2015
    Same thing happened to my columbines while plant next to it was fine. I sprayed insecticidal soap on it and the foliage grew back. Good luck!