How to Grow Lobelia Flowers

Lobelia Flowers

About Growing Lobelia Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Are you growing Lobelia flowers yet? They are a favorite among home gardeners. Maybe it’s because they are easy to grow. Or, perhaps gardeners love Lobelias flowers for the profuse blooms they produce in a rainbow of colors. Lobelia plants are cool-weather flowers. It is native to cooler regions of North and South America.

While there are a couple of hundred varieties of Lobelia plants. But, only a few varieties are commonly grown in the home garden. There are annual and perennial varieties of Lobelia. Even the perennial varieties are often grown in the home garden as annuals.

Most Lobelia plant varieties are compact, only growing 3 to 6 inches tall. However, some varieties will grow several feet tall.

Grow these compact plants as border edging, along creek beds, in containers, or in windowsill planters. They are great flowers for hanging baskets, too.

Lobelia plants have been used medicinally to treat Asthma, Bronchitis, and coughs.

Flowers Bloom: Mid Summer to frost.

Flower Colors: Colors include white, blue, purple, pink, and crimson. Blue is the most popular

Plant Height: most grow 4″ to 6″. Dwarf varieties grow just 3 to 6 inches tall.

Other names: Indian Tobacco, Gagroot, Bladderpod, Pukeweed

Annuals and Perennials, Lobelia

Lobelia Plant Propagation

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

Garden Tip: Use heated germination mats to speed seed germination and increase the germination rate.

For outdoors starts, sow lobelia seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. Make sure to mark the planting site, for these slow to sprout seeds.

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:  15 – 21 days.

How to Grow Lobelia Flower Plants

Lobelia plants like full sun to partial shade. Plants prefer cool weather. In hotter regions, grow them in partial shade, or an area where they are shaded during the hottest part of the day. 

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 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 to remove dead flower blooms, except for appearance.

The plants are susceptible to frost. Plan to cover them up in the spring if a late frost is expected. Also, cover them up if an early fall frost arrives while the plant is still blooming.

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5.

Insects and Plant Disease

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

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