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How to Grow Lobelia Plants

Annuals and Perennials, Lobelia

Lobelias flowers are profuse bloomers, producing a rainbow of color from late spring up to frost. These cool weather flowers are a favorite among home gardeners. The plants are an easy to grow flower. It is native to North and South America.

While there are a couple hundred varieties of Lobelia, 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 three feet tall. 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 are great flowers for hanging baskets, too.

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

Plant Height: most grow 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 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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