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How to Grow Lobelia Plants

Annual, Lobelia

Lobelias flowers are profuse summertime bloomers. As a matter of fact, these cool weather flowers will bloom all the way to frost. They are a popular, easy to grow annual flower, native to a wide range of North and South America.

There are a couple hundred varieties of Lobelia. Only a few varieties are commonly grown in the home garden. Some types of Lobelia are annuals, and some are perennials. Even the perennial varieties are often grown in the home garden as annuals.

Most Lobelia plant varieties are compact, only growing 3 to 5 inches tall. Some varieties will grow three feet. Colors include white, blue, purple, pink, and crimson. Blue is the most popular.

Try these compact plants as border edging, along creek beds, in containers, or in windowsill planters. They look great in hanging baskets, too.

Medicinally, Lobelia plants have been used as a treatment for Asthma, Bronchitis, and coughs.

Plant Height: 4" to 6"

Other names: Indian Tobacco, Gagroot, Bladderpod, Pukeweed

Plant Propagation:

Lobelia plants are grown from tiny seeds. Lobelia seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later.  Seeds need two to three weeks to germinate. We recommend planting Lobelias in pots and containers indoors, then transplanting them outdoors.

For outdoors starts, sow lobelia seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once.

Transplant Lobelias into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Spacing depends upon varieties, with miniature varieties spaced four to six inches apart.

Under ideal conditions, Lobelia will reseed itself.

Days to Germination: 4 -7 days

How to Grow Lobelia Plants:

Lobelia plants like full sun to partial shade. Plants prefer cool weather. Lobelias like rich, wet soil. Plants will thrive in moist to wet soil along creek beds and streams, or in natural wetlands.

Established plants need little attention. Keep soil moist to wet. Water frequently during during dry spells.  For peak performance, add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

Around mid-summer, your plants will begin to produce flowers, and will continue to do so up to the first frost. You do not need remove dead flower blooms, except for appearance.

Flowers Bloom: Summer

Insect and Disease:

Insects and disease problems are infrequent. Apply insecticides or fungicides only as needed.

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