Cardinal Flower

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Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first. Learn More…

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 will thrive in shady spots in the garden. (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, Up to 36" wide
Bloom Time Mid to late summer
SKU 3LOBG
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 Up to 36" 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 begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first.

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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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsCardinal Flower
 
2.3

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

43%

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)

Reviewed by 8 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-8

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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

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        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

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              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 1-8

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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).

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