How Do I Love These Lobelia cardinalis…let me count the ways

Aug 9, 2019 | Love This!

Name: Lobelia cardinalis aka cardinal flower

Type of Plant: A perennial native to North America that grows between 2 and 4 feet tall. This plant is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and has red flowers in late summer.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1. Hummingbirds are attracted to your flowers. 2. Bunnies and deer are not attracted to your leaves or flowers. 3. You are happy to grow in part shade. 4. You gently self-seed around the garden, popping up in random spots to form exclamation points of color. 5. You’re willing to grow in places that flood periodically.

A Word to the Wise: This isn’t a drought tolerant plant, although it doesn’t need constantly moist soil so a deep soaking once a week when it’s growing in part-shade is perfect. Learn what the young plants look like since they closely resemble common weeds.

These bright red flowers brighten up shady gardens.

Even if you don’t normally put red flowers in your garden, consider these in a shady spot. Since most shade gardens are filled with green foliage, red (a complimentary color to green) is the perfect accent.


  1. JoAnne Brown

    Thanks CL! My son is on the Appalachian Trail and sent me a photo of this, asking for an ID. Now he continues to believe that I know EVERYTHING

    • CL Fornari

      Always happy to help fellow moms keep up the illusion!


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