Cardinal Flower Lobelia

eigdeh(z6 NJ)May 1, 2010

I bought a few Cardinal flower plants this year and the leaves on all but one are a nice deep red brown. On one plant the leaves are turning brown. All the plants are less than 5 inches tall and consist of only basal leaves at the moment. Do the leaves turn green or is this plant diseased or something?

Thanks!

Ken

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hummersteve

Ken

From what I have read some cardinal flower leaves are different colors, the ones on the seedlings I have are greenish. I understand the folliage of this guy to be low set if yours are 5inches tall you must have pretty good sized plants. It is the nature of folliage to be rather low slung and then the stems shoot up witch contain the flowers later on. I seem to have difficulty getting these guys to full growth , time will tell.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:43AM
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hummersteve

Ken

Ok today I was visiting a plant farm near me and I found something that must be like what you have its lobelia queen victoria cardinal flower. It is about 6inches tall the outer leaves are a reddish green but in the center are small green leaves. Awww what the heck let me post a pic and you tell me if its the same as what you have. They also had the same looking plant with blue flowers did not get that one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 6:41PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Hi Steve,

Those are what I have, and I also have some that are called 'Fan Deep Red.'

Not sure what the flowers will look like, but so far I like the queen victoria's better. The tags that came with both plants show green leaves next to the flowers, so I have a feeling they all will be green soon. To bad, I liked the deep brown leaves.

Ken

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 11:45PM
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ctnchpr

eigdeh,

Your plants are a lobelia hybrid, not the native Lobelia cardinalis. I think if you give them lots of sunlight, they'll retain their colors. L. cardinalis leaves stay green, even under ice...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:15PM
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hummersteve

Yes those are a hybrid but I also have the lobelia cardinalis the ones with green leaves but they are not as healthy as they need to be as yet.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 11:35PM
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tacotac(5a)

It is my 3rd year growing Cardinal Flowers in my hummingbird gardens, and the variety I have is the Queen Victoria that has the brownish/burgundy leaves. The hummers love them!! Some I end up having to replace, and a couple others have survived, so they can be a bit tender I suppose.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:11AM
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hummersteve

I can tell my queen victoria have grown since Ive had them and I can almost imagine I see something growing out of the center of them but Im sure its way too early for that.

IM also babying along some lobelia cardinalis seedlings which Im hoping some make it thru.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:09PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Ctpchr why is your Lobelia under ice??

I love that Queen Victoria and will look for the next time at a nursery. I've got lots of the regular species and my oldest plants have come back for the 3rd year as well as made lots of seedlings here and there through the back garden.

I read in William Cullina's wildflower book, that it's beneficial to pamper them a little in the fall, as well as deadhead the seed heads, so that they put their energy into making healthy offsets that will make it over the winter.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 7:52PM
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