Cardinal Flower Seedlings Sprouted
This is an update to my original post and video about how to grow Cardinal Flowers from seed. The Cardinal Flower seedlings sprouted. However, germination rates were better than I ever would have expected. Apparently Cardinal flowers are fairly easy to germinate from seed.
Cardinal Flower Seedlings Germinated
I looked at the tray about 10 days after sowing the seeds. There were a bunch of green specks covering the top of the seed starting mix. Without magnification you could barely see the leaves but it was clear that my Cardinal Flower seedlings sprouted.
I had followed the instruction from the website of a fellow gardener when I sowed the seeds. The advice was to scatter the Cardinal Flower seeds on a small tray of seed starting mix then pick out the sprouts later. This would have been ideal if the germination rate was low. It seemed that nearly every seed I had sown germinated. This left the seedling tray severely overcrowded.
It came down to survival of the fittest. Some of the Cardinal Flower sprouts had matured faster than others. As such I removed all the smallest sprouts. This left me with about a dozen Cardinal Flower seedlings after thinning.
Cardinal Flower Seedlings Transplanted
Once again, I thinned out the sprouted Cardinal Flower seedlings. Using a mix of potting soil and a small amount of coconut coir I transplanted the remaining six seedlings into a cell pack. I was very cautious when transplanting the fragile seedlings, the roots were still very tiny.
They’ve been in the cell pack for a couple of weeks now and they’re doing fantastic. I am looking forward to planting them in the garden. Perhaps I’ll put a couple near the little pond I built last year.
What Would I Do Different?
In hindsight, had I known the germinate rate would be so high, I would have used a six-cell pack from the start and put only a few of the Cardinal Flower seeds in each cell.
6 thoughts on “Cardinal Flower Seedlings Sprouted”
Were the seed stratified? What temp was your mini humidity dome kept in? And did you use a heat mat? Thanks.
I didn’t stratify the seeds. They were just placed under my grow lights for warmth in my basement.
What season should seeds be started and then when can the plants be transplanted into the ground?
I started mine over the winter under grow lights, around January. They sprouted quickly but are slow growers. By spring they were little rosettes of leaves only a 2-3 inches in diameter. I put them in the ground once threats of frost passed. Keep them well watered, Cardinal Flowers can tolerate moist soil and don’t like dry soil. They only grew foliage and got a fairly sizable base but never flowered the first year. The plants were likely just setting good roots the first season with not much action above ground. I think the foliage was only about 6-8″ in diameter by the end of the first season. This year (second season) they grew multiple big tall stalks of flowers from the base. Sometime soon I plan to make a post on updates (with pics) to show how the Cardinal Flowers I grew from seed are doing so check back. Hope this helps!
Thank you for this update. I am getting ready to try germinating them for the first time. I am going to try the cell method and the tray and cross my fingers.
You’re welcome! I’ve started more since I published this article. The cell packs are definitely a better way to go!