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Indian pink is an easy-to-grow and often underappreciated North American native wildflower that deserves a place in more shaded yards. Gardeners who know the plant love it for its reliable show of flowers in late spring every year.
The colorful trumpet-shape blossoms are yellow inside and red outside. These blossoms stand out from across the yard and attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Indian pink is one of the few shade-loving wildflowers you can plant that reliably attracts hummingbirds. Though it attracts pollinators, it is also relatively deer- and rabbit-resistant.
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Planting Indian Pink
Enjoy this no-fuss wildflower in shaded beds and borders. It's eye-catching when planted by itself in mass plantings where it's practically guaranteed to attract hummingbirds. But it also pairs well with a wide variety of other woodland favorites, including lungwort, coralbells, and columbine.
Though it's a wildflower and lends itself to lush, causal plantings (like cottage gardens), you can also easily incorporate it into tropical-inspired gardens thanks to its festive red-and-yellow flowers. It's a natural for woodland gardens, as well. Don't forget to include Indian pink in your butterfly garden, too.
Indian Pink Care
Indian pink thrives in partial to full shade. It will tolerate some afternoon sun but can't be allowed to dry out, especially in hot summer weather. In sites with full shade or some morning sun with afternoon shade, Indian pink is somewhat drought-tolerant once it becomes established. This makes it an excellent choice for growing beneath large trees, such as oaks and maples.
It grows best in moist, well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter. If your ground has a high sand or clay content, amend liberally with organic matter—such as compost, coconut coir, or peat moss—at planting time. A 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the ground in summer also helps Indian pink thrive. Mulch helps keep the soil cool and moist, suppresses weeds, and encourages beneficial microorganisms, such as earthworms, that help build healthy soil.
Indian pink doesn't require pruning except to remove dead stems killed by frost. You can cut back Indian pink right away if you like your yard to have a clean look in winter or leave it standing to catch snow and provide winter interest. Either way is fine—it depends on which look you prefer.
Plant Indian pink with columbine if you want to attract hummingbirds. You can't go wrong with the combination of these two North American wildflowers. Coralbells and Indian pink are a natural combination in shade gardens. They like the same growing conditions and both attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Or plant with fragrant, spring-blooming woodland phlox, a colorful and similarly easy-care companion for Indian pink.