En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Columbines for September wedding in CO.

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Loveland, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Columbines for September wedding in CO.
Answered by: Amy Johnson

QUESTION:

My daughter is planning a September 2010 wedding in Colorado. Is there any way for me to buy Columbines in the spring and keep them cool so that the pots all bloom in September for the wedding? Also, are columbines good cutting flowers for bouquets? Thanks, Mom

ANSWER:

Dear Mom,

There are most likely nurseries or florists in your area who would be willing to "force" columbines to bloom in the fall for you.  This forcing will indeed involve keeping them cooler as you had mentioned in your question, probably in the range of 55-68 degrees Fahrenheit, in which case they would most likely bloom in somewhere from 4-9 weeks.  Since this can be a tricky process requiring facilities with strict light (about 16 hours) and temperature control as well as the room to store enough of them for the wedding, I imagine you'd have the best luck finding someone to do it for you, as opposed to attempting to do it yourself.  However, you may be one of those most fortunate souls with one or more roomy greenhouses in your backyard, so if you want to try, best of luck to you!  Then again, since it is your daughter's wedding, you may want to leave little room for error and leave it to the professionals.  You can look up some of your local nurseries at this link:  http://www.wildflower.org/suppliers/

Columbines are often not the best cut flowers, but there are some being grown in order to enhance that quality in them.  There are some cultivars of the Rocky Mountain Columbine or Aquilegia caerulea (Colorado blue columbine) being grown which are called the Song Bird Series, and the blue one of these is called Aquilegia 'Blue Jay' or the Blue Jay Columbine.  These look much like the original native Colorado Blue Columbine, are meant to keep their color longer, and have slightly more erect stems.  Since we are dealing with Mother Nature though, you may want to consider mixing them with some greens or other filler that can help support them, and possibly even think about keeping some in decorative pots, maybe as accents down the aisle for example.  Being in soil in the pots will help support them better than many vases will.  You could arrange some moss around the tops of the pots for an extra flourish.  Whatever you decide, I hope that you are able to have the beautiful flowers you had hoped for in your daughter's wedding!


Aquilegia caerulea

Aquilegia caerulea

Aquilegia caerulea

Aquilegia caerulea

 

 

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Where to buy wildflower seeds
March 20, 2004 - Where can I buy wildflower seeds?
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Star plant from Bastrop LA
June 10, 2010 - Please tell me where I can get a Texas Star plant?
view the full question and answer

Sources of native grasses and forbs seeds for Hidalgo and Maverick Cos.
October 31, 2003 - I work for TPWD and am working with some irrigation districts in South Texas, trying to get them to plant native grasses and forbs in their ROWs rather than exotic grasses recommended by TxDOT. Can y...
view the full question and answer

Height of tree to block sun on deck in Arlington MA
May 12, 2009 - I am trying to figure out how tall a tree I should buy in order to make sure to block out the sun on my deck
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center