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A Growing Lobelia Cardinalis From Seed

A Growing Lobelia Cardinalis From Seed

Growing Lobelia Cardinalis From Seed

via GIPHY

As a gardener, I love planting wildflowers and attracting bees, but it’s not easy. Advancements in gardening tools, soil and pest controls have made it easier than ever. But, I still love to grow these flowers of ours from seed. It’s a true act of creation.The brilliant red spires of the Cardinal Flower can bloom for a month or longer and it is a nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. Occurring naturally in marshes and wooded stream banks, Lobelia cardinalis grows best in rich soils in full sun to partial shade. Short lived, it is a prolific self-seeder, so it will replenish itself to form large stands of red blossoms! Sowing: Direct sow cardinal flower seeds in late fall, planting on the surface of the soil since these seeds need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. To start indoors, sow the seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring and keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Transplant the seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost.Sowing: Direct sow cardinal flower seeds in late fall, planting on the surface of the soil since these seeds need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. To start indoors, sow the seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring and keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Transplant the seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost.

Cardinalis

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Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are short-lived native perennial plants that have a wide range in North and Central America. They can be found as far north as Canada and as far south as Columbia. That translates to growing zones 2 through 9. They are a woodland plant, preferring shade. They are also moisture lovers. You will find them growing in marshy areas and along stream banks. Another way to propagate cardinal flowers is by standard division. Like most perennials, cardinal flowers should be divided periodically. Because they are short-lived, division is usually done every 2 to 3 years instead of the usual 3 to 4 years. You can divide your plants in either the spring or the fall. Simply dig them up, carefully cut them into 2 or 3 pieces depending on the size of the crown and then replant the divisions, spacing them at least 12 inches apart.

Most cuttings are made from branches with growing tips on them. For cardinal flowers, you want to take stem cuttings. Stem cuttings are cuttings made from the stem of the plant, rather than a branch. Make sure that the stem has a growing tip on it so that it is actively growing. Cut off one or more stems of your cardinal flower plant, remove the bottom third of the leaves, dip the cutting in rooting hormone and then place it in a pot filled with sterile potting soil. You will know that your cutting has rooted when you see new growth on the top of the plant. Transplant the red cardinal flower seedlings outdoors four weeks after you planted them in the plug tray, choosing an area with full sun or partial shade and rich, loamy and preferably wet soil. Dig a hole twice the width of the plug and to a depth the same height as the plug. Mix compost with the soil until you have an equal mix of soil and compost. Place the flower upright in the middle of the hole, add the mix around its roots and tamp down around the flower. Space flowers 8 to 12 inches apart. Water deeply, gently soaking the soil around the flowers. (Source: homeguides.sfgate.com)

 

 

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