Lobelia Care Free Tips

Lobelia Plant: Tips To Grow And Care For Annual and Perennial Lobelias

Lobelia Blue lobelias grown in a hanging basketBlue Lobelia or Lobelia Siphilitica is an herbaceous perennial plant belonging to Campanulaceae family. Lobelia species are available in different varieties. These plants are easy to grow and grow well in cool weather conditions. The plant blooms during the summer time and it is excellent for planting in rows in front of flower beds and garden borders. The plant grows from a dwarf height of 6-12 inches and extends to a width of 1 foot. The flower colour varieties varies from blue, white, red or pink. The most common among them are the bluish violet flowers. The flowers are bell shaped with three fan lower lips. They form good ground cover and can be grown on slopes to prevent soil erosion. The trailing varieties are good in containers near the window planted in window boxes or for hanging baskets. Here is an example of trailing lobelia offering captivating combinations grown in cool blue tones in a hanging basket in my garden photo. The mixed combos are regatta sapphire, description below to view. This is planted with sky blue lobelia erinus and white palace but you must admit, one of each colour scheme makes it a great combination and is a sure winner.

How to grow Lobelia?

If you are interested in growing Lobelia in your garden you can sow the seeds directly in the garden soil or you can start the plant indoor and later transplant them to the garden. Though these plants can grow in any condition, they prefer areas which receive good sun or partial shade. They need moist and nutrient rich soil. When starting the plants indoors sow the seeds at least 10-12 weeks before the last frost. Just spread the seeds on the soil and do not cover them with soil. Place them in a warm area with moderate sunlight. The seedlings start to appear within a few weeks. You can thin the seedlings at this time. When the plants become 3-5 inches in length and after the frost is over transplant them to the required location in the garden. Provide spacing of 4-6 inches between the plants.

How to care for Lobelia?

Lobelia is a plant which requires the least maintenance once it gets established. However, during hot dry spells, the plant requires frequent watering. The watering needed is more frequent for potted or container plants. You can feed these plants with a general purpose liquid fertiliser once in a month or every 5-6 weeks if needed. Flowering starts from midsummer and can continue until the first frost appears. Deadheading the plant will help in maintaining a good appearance.

The perennial varieties if you want them to bloom again, they need to be cut back, not far off ground level, once the initial blooming period is over. When extreme summer causes cessation of blooming, shear back the plant in the vicinity to half its length. When cooler weather resumes, the plant will bloom again.

Varieties of Lobelia

Lobelia has numerous varieties. However, a few are commonly used by gardeners.

  1. Lobelia Erinus or Regatta Sapphire is a trailing variety and has clear blue flowers with a white centre.
  2. Lobelia Cardinalis or Cardinal flower is native to North America and grows to a height of 2-3 feet. This plant bears red coloured flowers
  3. Lobelia Pratioides or Poison Lobelia is a prostrate plant, native to Australia and bears light blue or lilac flowers.
  4. Lobelia Tenuior or Blue Wings is a mounding plant which is perfect for growing in hanging baskets. This plant bears large blue flowers. The plant grows to a height of 10 inches.


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