Pull back the mulch and see if anything is eating at it. If not, it may be too much rain and not good enough drainage. If it doesn't perk up after things dry out, move it and it will recover, maybe not this year, but next for sure.
How long ago did you plant it? It could be planted too low. There are a multitude of problems it could have like crown and collar "wilt" or columbine aphid, etc. You may need to do some more investigating. You could try to replant it in another spot. I think it's early enough to try that. Mine are doing well and are in lots of mulch in a fairly sunny area (indirect afternoon light). Good luck!
Crowding probably isn't the problem. I've had columbine grow in sidewalk cracks and in very over-grown gardens. But I'm no expert! :-) Good luck.
Well, I tried to dig it up only to find that the roots had all gone to pulp - didn't really see bugs or anything - do you all think it was all the extra rain? We do have a drainage problem in our backyard - we need to install french drains from the gutters to the middle of the yard - and this little guy was planted somewhat near one of the problem gutters. :(
Yes, I think it was drainage. Columbines do fine with water, but almost all plants need drainage. Never heard of this happening to a columbine though. You may try replanting it somewhere else and try some raised beds. It may regenerate. Plants are good at that. Good luck!
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