Lobelia cardinalis syn. L. fulgens, L. x cardinalis
Electric red summer flowers are an outstanding source of nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. Easy to grow in full sun, part sun, or filtered shade.
CARDINAL FLOWER Lobelia Lobelia cardinalis
These upright growing, 2-4 foot tall perennials produce spikes of brilliant flame red 1.5 inch flowers in late summer. Hummingbirds love them beyond compare. A bog plant in nature, it needs moist, rich soil. Prefers part or filtered shade where summers are hot. Self-sows. Winter hardy to zone 3.
QUEEN VICTORIA Lobelia Lobelia x cardinalis
Upright 3-4 foot plants with bright scarlet flowers, set against mahogany-red foliage, bloom in late summer and fall. They are superb in containers, and are a striking addition to borders. Hummingbirds love them! Winter hardy to zone 7, possibly to zone 6 with protection. Because they flower the first year when started early, plants can be grown as an annuals everywhere.
How to Plant Lobelia Seeds
Sow seeds in cell packs or two inch pots, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 75°F., germination is usually within 4-5 weeks. If not, put container inside a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for 4 weeks. Then return to 75°F. until germination occurs.
Growing Perennial Lobelia: Full sun in cool climates, part sun in most areas, filtered shade in hottest climates. Ample water, rich soil. Tolerates average soil and boggy conditions. Probably the brightest red wildflower, hummingbirds love them, especially Ruby-Throated hummingbirds. The nectar-rich flowers also attract Swallowtail, Sulphur and a host of other butterflies. Cut flowers look great in the vase with Goldenrods and New York Asters. Plants are deer and rabbit resistant.