Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
Soil Moisture: Wet, Medium-wet
Soil Type: Moist to wet, humus-rich soil. Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Clay
Bloom Time: July, August, September
Bloom Color: red
Resistant: Deer, rabbit
Pollinator benefit: hummingbirds, butterflies, bees
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Hummingbirds love Cardinal flowers!
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is named for its beautiful scarlet red flowers which are an important nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. Cardinal flower relies on hummingbirds for its own pollination. Lobelias produce a secondary compound known as "lobeline," which deters herbivores like deer. The flowering spikes open from the bottom to the top and bloom for several weeks. They grow best in moist, rich soils from full sun to partial shade. Cardinal flower is a showy plant great for garden or wetland planting. Parent plants will not persist for more than a few years, but it is a prolific self-seeder and fast grower. Allowing the seeds to make good seed to soil contact will give the opportunity for the plant colony to continually replenish itself with new offspring. Its blossoms also make excellent cut flowers.
Allowing your cardinal flowers to reseed themselves is ideal. This ensures that they will continue to come back every year full and beautiful. Dividing your plants every two to three years will also help prolong life and create more plants.
Info from www.prairiemoon.com and www.wildflowers.org