Red Lobelia - Blooming Age Plants
- Latin Name- Lobelia Cardinalis Hardy Planting Zones- 4-9 Sun or Shade – Sun and Part Shade Mature Height - 24-36" Mature Width- 12-16"
Red cardinal flower - Lobelia cardinalis
It is easy to see why the red lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis) is nicknamed the cardinal flower because of its bright red blooms. This relatively short-lived clump-forming perennial rise in terminal spikes to be between two and three feet tall. Very infrequently, this plant stands up to four feet tall. This plant will often spread between 10 and 14 inches.
The bright red flowers are tubular with the upper lip having two lobes while the bottom lip has three. Despite its name, this plant is not attractive to cardinals, but it is likely to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your landscaping. It is named after the red robes that Roman Catholic cardinals wear. The flowers often form a spiral pointing towards the ground. Expect the flowers to appear in early summer and last through early autumn. After the flowers fade, a blue-green seed pod will appear.
This plant loves to be wet all the time, and it will tolerate brief periods of flooding. Many mulches around this plant to help the soil retain moisture. In cooler climates, this showy flower prefers full sun while in warmer climates, it prefers some shade during the heat of the day. This plant prefers to grow in clay soil. It will, however, tolerate alkaline or acidic soils.
Red lobelias often make a good backdrop to other plants in a natural or rain garden. It also does well in one gallon or larger containers. The stalks on these plants are extremely stocky. The bottom of the stem has lance-shaped leaves on alternating sides of the stem.
These plants will self-seed in the fall making it easy for them to come back the next year. It can also be easily divided in the early spring. This plant accepts deadheading after it blooms if you do not want it to go to seed.
The Red cardinal flower is an American wildflower local to the midwestern region, as well as Michigan and Wisconsin. Tall spikes of beautiful red, trumpet-formed blooms transcend the dull green foliage. Each flower has three spreading lower petals and two upper petals, all assembled into a tube at the base. Erect green stems, frequently in groups, with racemes of blossoms looking like flaring red spires. Red cardinal flowers add a beautiful bright touch of color to any landscape or floral garden. Their deer and rabbit resistant, yet they are beautiful with butterflies and hummingbirds. Developing cardinal blossoms sprout amid summer and in some cases into fall. Many insects have a hard time following the long necks of the trumpet-formed blooms, so cardinal blossoms rely upon hummingbirds for preparation. They also require a moist, ripe soil and perform best considering that organic matter is incorporated into the dirt before planting. Red cardinal flower seeds must be started indoors, 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost in late winter. You can transfer the red cardinal blossom seedlings outside four weeks after you planted them in the fitting plate, picking a zone with full sun or incomplete shade and fertile, loamy and ideally wet soil. For best results, place a 2-to 3-inch layer of natural mulch around the blossoms and water consistently, keeping the dirt always sodden for the bloom amid the developing season. The red cardinal flower is not dry season tolerant and performs best with continuously wet soil.