Cardinal Flower

Availability: Out of stock

Power up your butterfly garden design with a charge from a bright red, native flower. The big and bold Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) draws your eye and adds a tremendous vertical accent to the garden!

In the wild, these natives grow near water, in ravines, stream banks, swamps, and low pastures. So you know they will do wonders in your landscape! The leafy green clumps form more and more spires with each passing year! Snip a few stems for your bouquets to add a vertical focal point indoors too!

Fabulous red flowers climb along a long spire from the bottom up, and act as beacons for jewel-toned hummingbirds and local butterflies! The long bloom time and rich nectar are quite showy! These wetland natives grow throughout USDA zones 3 to 9 and spread into 2-foot wide clumps of lush greenery with their tall spires full of long green foliage.

Planting and Application:

Outstanding back-of-the-border plants in the moist Cottage garden border or Rain Garden. Add another dimension to your garden by using them around your ponds and bogs adds another special dimension, where you can see the long red spears reflected in the water!

For the most powerful impact, we'd advise dedicating enough space to plant several of these in a gentle zig-zag or row, since groupings attract the attention! These are truly effective when massed together! Hummingbirds and pollinators love it, the bold red color pops and the strong vertical accent draws your eye. Win, win, win!

  • Attention-Grabbing Ruby Red Color
  • Long Bloom Season
  • Tidy & Tall Spreading Perennial Clumps
  • Attracts Butterflies & Hummingbirds
  • Dramatic Back of the Border, Specimens, Wetland Accents

#ProPlantTips for Care:

This is one of the showiest of all of our beloved North American prairie plants, and it tolerates moist soils. You don't even have to worry about the drainage of your soil as it tolerates moist living conditions beautifully. Plant in full sun for the strongest stems. These cold-hardy perennials will die back in the fall and need a good trim in the spring before new growth emerges. You can deadhead your plant to encourage new blooms all summer.

  • Full Sun
  • Grows Well in Moist Soils
  • Moderate Moisture Needs
  • Clean Mounds in Spring
  • Hardy Native Wetlands

Order the big bold blooms of the native Cardinal Flower and impress your pollinators and hummingbirds. Find these and other perennial showoffs at Nature Hills Nursery!

Because it's a native plant, it does a little "too well" in certain areas. Please know that Nature Hills uses Plant Sentry™ to ensure we follow all local, state and federal regulations for plants that can become invasive in your area. We've got you covered!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Cardinal Flower Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-9
Growing Zones 3-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Lobelia cardinalis
Type Perennial
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 18 - 24 inches
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained Moist
Moisture Moderate & Tolerates Wet Soil
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Ruby Red
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring
Fragrant No