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Cardinal Flowers can be found growing naturally in marsh areas and along wooded stream banks in almost every state except in the Northwest.
The plant forms two foot clumps which produce many 2-3 foot, long lasting flower spikes in late summer.
Cardinal Flowers are easy to grow and care for, but unfortunately are rather short lived and will need to be replaced every 3-4 years.
They are hardy in USDA zones 3-9.
In most areas, Lobelia should be planted in full sun but in hot climates they will require partial shade.
The soil must be kept moist or wet at all times.
In colder climates, provide a good covering of mulch for winter.
Once established and actively growing, Cardinal Flowers should be fed monthly with a good all-purpose fertilizer.
Propagating Cardinal Flower Plants
Cardinal Flowers can be grown from seeds which should be planted in the garden in the fall.
They can also be propagated by division of the plant in early Spring,
or with softwood cuttings taken at mid-Summer.
NOTE: For Spring planting or starting indoors, the seeds of Lobelia cardinalis require a three month period of cold-moist stratification in the refrigerator prior to sowing.
After chilling, maintain a temperature of 70° within the growing medium.
Germination takes 15-20 days