Cardinal Flower

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This hummingbird favorite puts on a show in late summer with tall, vivid red flower spikes that add bold color to the late-season garden. Native to North America, it thrives in shady spots. (Lobelia cardinalis)

Zones 3 - 9
Advantages
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Attract Butterflies
Attract Butterflies
Attract Hummingbirds
Attract Hummingbirds
Cut Flowers
Cut Flowers
Native
Native
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade
Half Sun / Half Shade
Mature Plant Size 30-36" tall, 10-18" wide
Bloom Time Mid to late summer
SKU 3LOBG

Plant Information

The stunning Cardinal Flower is one of our most famous native plants, and usually called Americas most vivid native flower. Each summer, brilliant red Cardinal Flower lights up the August woods all over the east, and new generations of hikers are always thrilled when they come across it in our forests. Of course, the fact that it does not bloom in spring, but adds color later, makes it of huge value in a wild garden.

This famous plant is native all the way from Quebec and Minnesota south to Florida and Texas. It is so beautiful it is over picked and now quite rare in some areas. However, if conditions are right (wet, mostly) it will grow easily, even in full sun, but is usually found as a woodland beauty along streambanks or near ponds where the soil is always moist. It is even happy growing right in the shallow water of small creeks and brooks.

This tells you that you must supply constant moisture for Cardinal Flower, and if you do, the rewards are spectacular.

Growing Lobelia cardinalis Allen Armitage, the famous perennial expert writes in his Armitages Native Plants that Cardinal Flower is a short lived perennial but if...(conditions are good)... it will return many years. This is correct. It is not difficult to grow at all; it is simply difficult to maintain a clump of plants over the years, unless you are attentive. Armitage tells us he believes the plants do best in full sun. I found the opposite growing them in Vermont. But sun or shade, the most important item is the moisture. The roots should never really dry out. We had many growing along a small brook in the middle of a wooded garden (See photo above). All went well, and the plants performed with bigger and bigger flower spikes each year, until.....we had a spring flood one year. The brook raged out of its banks, and the rushing water uprooted all the plants and swept them away. So that year, we had to start over with new plants. They have very shallow roots, and come out of the mud easily.

This wild beauty is one that you must watch, and you'll learn to love it. It grows quickly and easily, but it has two very powerful enemies--people who love to pick it, destroying the display, and either too little or too much (rushing) water.

Associated SKUs
3LOBG
3FLOB3 (Bag of 3) - Out of stock.
3FLOB1 (Plant - 3.5" pot) - Out of stock.
Common Name Cardinal Flower
Botanical Name Lobelia cardinalis
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Half Sun / Half Shade
Flower Color Red
Mature Height 30-36" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 10-18" wide
Bloom Time Mid to late summer
Planting Depth Plant so that the top of the root is 1" below the soil line.
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Time Fall
Soil Type Clay Soil, Loamy Soil, Moist/Wet Soil
Soil Moisture Average, Moist/Wet, Well Draining
Advantages Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Cut Flowers, Native
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Shipping

Now shipping within 5 business days.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Fall bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial orders may arrive separately from bulbs and seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

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Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsCardinal Flower
 
2.8

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

56%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Stunning Red

Make sure to take basal plantlets from parent in Fall & following Spring to keep your stock viable.

Make sure to take basal plantlets from parent in Fall & following Spring to keep your stock viable.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

No Luck

I planted these last fall and was anxious to see them
this summer. I have waited until the end of July, and
not one has come up. My neighbors have grown these...Read complete review

I planted these last fall and was anxious to see them
this summer. I have waited until the end of July, and
not one has come up. My neighbors have grown these successfully, so I am disappointed.

Reviewed by 10 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

 
5.0

STRIKING FLOWER

By 

from CHATTANOOGA TN

About Me Avid Gardener

Pros

  • Healthy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • IN RUN OFF DITCH BY MAIL BOX VERY STRIKING

    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

    VERY NICE ADDITION TO FLOWER BED

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A very hardy plant

    By 

    from Glenville, NY

    About Me Master Gardener

    Pros

    • Attractive

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

    My cardinal plants were planted early in the spring, and despite it being very cold, they are both doing well!

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
     
    3.0

    only one of three came up--but a beauty

    By 

    from suburban Philadelphia

    Verified Reviewer

    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

    As I said, only one of these came up--I ordered a total of 9, some blue, some red, planted in two groups in two different growing conditions (more or less light), and none of the blue came up, only one of the red

     
    1.0

    No Luck

    By 

    from NC Mountains

    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

    I planted these last fall and was anxious to see them
    this summer. I have waited until the end of July, and
    not one has come up. My neighbors have grown these successfully, so I am disappointed.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    1.0

    waste of money

    By 

    from Tallassee tn

    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

    planted either 3 or 6 of each varity (dutchmans britches,white bleeding heart, pink bleeding heart, blue, and red cardinal flower) Only got about 5 sprouts. Mostly pink bleeding heart.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    1.0

    Cardinal Flower

    By 

    from New York, NY

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Did Not Survive The Winte

      Best Uses

        Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

        Did not survive the winter

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        1.0

        Sorry, it was a no show

        By 

        from Pasadena, MD

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Never grew
          • Planted According To Inst

          Best Uses

            Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

            Though I followed all planting instructions, none of the three plants grew. However, they are being replaced this Fall; hopefully there will be a better outcome next Spring.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Thumbs down on Cardinal flower bulbs

            By 

            from Long Island, NY

            Pros

              Cons

              • Bulbs have not germinated

              Best Uses

                Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

                Planted cardinal flower bulbs in fall, followed directions provided. No sign of germination/growth, unless still too early? Live on Long Island, New York.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Stunning Red

                By 

                from New City, NY

                Pros

                • Hummer magnet

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

                    Make sure to take basal plantlets from parent in Fall & following Spring to keep your stock viable.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Hummer city!

                    By 

                    from New City, NY

                    Comments about American Meadows Cardinal Flower:

                    Keep comin' back every year=Great investment!!
                    Keeps the hummers in the backyard!

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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                    USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

                    To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

                    • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
                    • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

                    Find Your Planting Zone:

                    Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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