Alphabetical Plant Listing

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Cardinal Flower, Water Gladiole, Red Bay, Scarlet Lobelia, Slinkweed, Bog Sage, Hog's Physic, Indian Pink, Lobelia fulgens, Lobelia splendens


A top performer that is perfect for the late summer garden, Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) is a popular, upright, clump-forming perennial boasting a profusion of flower spikes densely packed with brilliant, cardinal red, two-lipped blossoms, 2 in. long (5 cm), from midsummer to early fall. Borne on erect, alternate-leafed stalks rising above a rosette of lance-shaped, glossy bright green leaves, this architectural plant adds vertical interest to the landscape. Extremely hardy, low care, and fairly pest and disease-free, Cardinal Flower tends to be short-lived, although it may self-seed in ideal growing conditions (without becoming invasive)!

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 1-2 ft. wide (30-60 cm).
  • Performs best in rich, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates some shade from hot afternoon sun and loves a lot of moisture. Tolerates damp soils and poor drainage.
  • A welcomed addition to beds and borders, wild gardens, butterfly gardens, cottage gardens and near ponds or streams.
  • A magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects, it is deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Deadhead for a neat appearance, to encourage rebloom or prevent any undesired reseeding. Pinch back for bushier and more compact plants. Cut back after flowering. Divide plants every 2-3 years.
  • Propagate by seed sown in gentle heat as soon as ripe, or by bud cuttings in late summer.
  • Native to North America.
  • Ingestion may cause discomfort

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lobelia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 24" (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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Great Plant Combination Ideas with Lobelia

Guides with Lobelia


Top picture is courtesy of Botanik Foto

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lobelia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 24" (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Lobelia

Guides with Lobelia

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