Cardinal flowers, also known as Indian pink, are a member of the Bellflower family. Growing up to 6 feet tall, this perennial produces red blooms 2 to 8 inches long from late spring into fall. The fragrant blooms attract humming birds that help in the pollination process for the plant. Cardinal flowers can be transplanted in spring when danger of frost has past. Transplanted cardinal flowers usually do not bloom until the plant has been in the ground for two years.
Select a sunny to partial shade location to transplant cardinal flowers. The plant can tolerate most soil conditions but clay soil enhanced with organic matter can reduce packing. Cardinal flower prefers moist soil and can tolerate being in a continuously wet location, like near a pond or stream. If the plant has not already been removed from the ground for transplanting, then dig a few inches outside the base of the plant and down about 12 inches. The removed plant can be carried on the shovel to its new location.
Dig the hole for the transplant at least twice as wide and deep as the rootball. Add two handfuls of organic matter to the bottom of the hole. Up to 50 percent organic matter in the form of household compost, leaf mold or a commercial product can be added to clay soil.
Back fill the hole with enough soil so when the rootball is resting in the bottom of the hole, the crown (where the roots meet the foliage) is at ground level. Completely backfill the hole, pressing the soil down as you go to force out air pockets. Cut off any dead stems.
Water thoroughly and keep the soil moist, which could mean watering at least weekly if there is no saturating rain. Add 2 to 3 inches mulch. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer when blooms start to open.
Things You Will Need
- Organic matter
- All parts of the plant are toxic if eaten in large quantities.