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Find out how to Develop Lobelia Vegetation & Care Ideas

How to Grow Lobelia Plants & Care Tips - Garden Design (1)

Laguna® Darkish Blue Lobelia erinus
Photograph by: Confirmed Winners

My favourite shade is blue, so I’m going completely giddy each spring when annual lobelia crops begin exhibiting up at my native nursery. Not solely do many types have true blue flowers, a rarity within the backyard world, many additionally love cool climate and are in full splendor throughout spring and fall. They’re vital for my spring containers, and anyplace else in my backyard the place I need to add a blast of blue.

They are not only a one-color surprise, nor are they at all times a young annual. There are greater than 400 species that embody upright and mounding lobelias, annuals, half-hardy annuals, perennials, and even shrubs and aquatic crops. And though cobalt blue could also be their signature hue, you’ll additionally discover lobelia flowers in scarlet purple, lilac, rose, and vibrant tropical colours.

On this web page: The Fundamentals | Varieties | Rising Ideas | Care and Upkeep | Footage | Design Concepts

On this web page:

  • BASICS
  • LOBELIA TYPES
  • GROWING LOBELIA
  • LOBELIA CARE AND MAINTENANCE
  • PICTURES
  • DESIGN IDEAS

BASICS

Hardiness:

Grown as an annual in most zones; perennials fluctuate by species

Peak:

Annuals attain a most peak of about 12 inches. Perennials can develop to be 4 ft excessive.

Publicity:

Full solar to partial shade.

Bloom time:

Varies by species. Most annuals will bloom from spring by way of fall, with a lull throughout midsummer.

Backyard makes use of:

Hummingbird havens, backyard borders and groundcovers, rain gardens, woodland gardens, spillers in container combos, pollinator gardens.

How uncommon are blue flowers?

Very! They make up lower than 10% of the plant kingdom. Blue lobelias are amongst this elite group, which additionally consists of blue sea holly (Eryngium planum), Siberian larkspur (Delphinium grandiflorum), Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus), Texas bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), blue daisy (Felicia amelloides), and blue hydrangeas. See extra of our favourite blue flowers in your backyard.

TYPES

Though there are tons of of lobelia varieties, these are the categories mostly grown within the dwelling backyard:

  • Edging lobelias (Lobelia erinus) and their hybrids are tender perennials grown as warm-weather backyard annuals. Usually grown as container and edging crops, they will have bushy or trailing habits. The tiny five-petaled flowers bloom in shades of blue, purple, rose, and white, with some accented by white eyes.
  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), named for its showy spikes of scarlet-red flowers, is the most well-liked perennial selection. Some varieties even have decorative reddish-bronze foliage. A North American wildflower native to moist areas, cardinal flower will be discovered rising in marshes, stream banks, and low woods.
  • Nice blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), additionally referred to as blue cardinal flower, is one other native perennial wildflower that bears long-lasting brilliant blue flowers.
  • Lobelia ×speciosa are in style backyard hybrids (often of L. cardinalis and L. siphilitica) with flowers in shades of blue, lavender, pink or purple and a protracted summer time bloom interval.

What about Lobelia inflata, generally referred to as Indian tobacco plant?

Because of severe poisonous results, L. inflata just isn’t generally grown as a backyard plant. It has, nevertheless, been used for medicinal functions for a few years.

GROWING LOBELIA

How to Grow Lobelia Plants & Care Tips - Garden Design (2)

Container mixture that includes Laguna® Sky Blue lobelia.
Photograph by: Confirmed Winners.

When to plant:

In spring, after the hazard of frost has handed.

The place to plant:

Most favor moist, hummus-rich, barely acidic soil. Some perennial varieties, similar to cardinal flower, favor boggy circumstances and may even be grown in standing water.

Mild necessities:

In midsummer, most will want some shade to maintain them blooming, excluding these with improved warmth tolerance.

Water necessities:

Water repeatedly to maintain the soil evenly moist, particularly throughout scorching, dry climate. Container-grown crops may have every day watering to take care of constant soil moisture.

Rising from seed:

Though annual varieties are extensively obtainable at backyard facilities within the spring, it’s also possible to begin your personal crops from seed, sown indoors 8 to 10 weeks earlier than the final spring frost date. Do not transplant seedlings open air till a number of weeks after the final frost date. Perennial lobelias will usually self-sow given the proper circumstances and often bloom the primary 12 months from seed.

Rising in containers:

Plant in a potting combine wealthy in natural matter. When utilizing them in combined container combos, make sure to staff them up with different moisture-loving shade-tolerant annuals and perennials, similar to violas, impatiens, and candy alyssum.

LOBELIA CARE AND MAINTENANCE

Fertilizing:

Perennial varieties can often get by with a yearly software of fertilizer or compost within the spring. For annuals, fertilize extra incessantly or apply a continuous-release fertilizer for flowering crops to maintain them all through the rising season.

Pruning and deadheading:

Most annual lobelias are self-cleaning, so that you don’t must deadhead them. If blooming slows through the warmth of summer time, one of the best ways to revive them is to chop them again by as a lot as one-half to two-thirds, adopted by common watering. This radical pruning will regenerate new progress, and by the point the cooler climate of fall arrives, your crops must be in full bloom once more. You may also pinch again crops at any time in the event you favor bushier progress.

Keep away from pruning again or deadheading cardinal flower and different perennials if you would like them to reseed naturally.

Propagating:

Perennials are usually short-lived, however the crops are simple to propagate by dividing them within the spring or fall or by taking stem cuttings after your crops end flowering. Except you propose to let your crops self-sow, divide them each two or three years to increase their lifespan.

Winter safety:

If perennials are coated with heavy mulch over the winter, the roots can rot, particularly in hotter southern climates. In case you sometimes mulch your perennial beds to forestall frost heaving and root injury, use a lightweight layer of mulch that received’t fully cowl the basal leaves.

LOBELIA PICTURES

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Laguna® Sky BluePurchase now from Confirmed Winners
L. erinus

Kind:

Annual; perennial in Zones Sept. 11.

Peak:

6 to 12 Inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 Inches

Bloom Time:

Spring till frost

This greatest vendor blooms all season and requires little to no upkeep. Bred to be extra warmth tolerant than different varieties.

Laguna® Cloud WhitePurchase now from Confirmed Winners
L. erinus

Kind:

Normally grown as an annual; perennial in Zones Sept. 11.

Peak:

6 to 12 Inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 Inches

Bloom Time:

Spring by way of late summer time

Massive, clear white flowers all season on cascading crops make this an attention grabbing spiller to make use of in containers and hanging baskets.

Laguna® Darkish BluePurchase now from Confirmed Winners
L. erinus

Kind:

Annual; perennial in Zones Sept. 11.

Peak:

6 to 12 Inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 Inches

Bloom Time:

Spring till frost

A uncommon true blue flower with improved warmth tolerance. Laguna varieties don’t love moist ft, so make sure to let the soil dry out earlier than watering.

Laguna® Ultraviolet™Purchase now from Confirmed Winners
L. erinus

Kind:

Annual; perennial in Zones Sept. 11.

Peak:

6 to 12 Inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 Inches

Bloom Time:

Spring till frost

Vibrant violet purple flowers add shade to hanging baskets, containers, and backyard borders. Bred to deal with summer time warmth.

Photograph by: Age Fotostock / Alamy Inventory Photograph

‘Crystal Palace’
L. erinus

Kind:

Perennial in zones 7-11

Peak:

4 to six inches

Unfold:

6 inches

Bloom Time:

Late spring by way of early autumn

This compact plant packs an enormous punch with its deep cobalt-blue flowers and shiny bronzed foliage. Tidy bloom-covered mounds are nice for borders, edging, or groundcover.

Photograph by RukiMedia / Shutterstock

Nice Blue Lobelia
L. siphilitica

Kind:

Perennial in zones 4-9

Peak:

2 to three ft

Unfold:

1 to 1½ ft

Bloom Time:

August by way of September

This blue cousin of the cardinal flower produces dense spikes of showy flowers which are magnets for hummingbirds and butterflies. It’s additionally a wetland native that thrives in moist backyard soils.

Photograph by: Walters Gardens

Cardinal Flower
L. cardinalis

Kind:

Perennial in zones 3-9

Peak:

3 to 4 ft

Unfold:

1 to 2 ft

Bloom Time:

July to September

Fiery purple flowers are a favourite supply of nectar for hummingbirds. Cardinal flowers crave water and are completely pleased rising in a water backyard or on the fringe of a stream or pond.

Additionally attempt: ‘Queen Victoria’ (darkish maroon foliage) and ‘Ruby Slippers’ (ruby flowers).

Photograph by: John Richmond / Alamy Inventory Photograph

Mexican Cardinal Flower
L. laxiflora

Kind:

Perennial in zones 7-11

Peak:

2 to three ft

Unfold:

5 ft or extra

Bloom Time:

Spring by way of fall; practically 12 months spherical in delicate climates.

This exotic-looking selection has trumpet-shaped salmon-red flowers with brilliant yellow and orange throats that dangle in clusters on skinny purple stems. A local of Mexico and southern Arizona.

Spreading, bushy progress behavior will be invasive.

‘Starship Deep Rose’Purchase now from Confirmed Winners
Lobelia ×speciosa

Kind:

Perennial in zones 6-10

Peak:

20 to 24 inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 inches

Bloom Time:

June by way of September

Rose-pink blooms are set off by darkish bronze foliage. This long-blooming hybrid thrives in moist circumstances. Use in containers, well-watered backyard beds, and aquatic gardens.

‘Starship Scarlet’
Lobelia ×speciosa

Kind:

Perennial in zones 6-10

Peak:

20 to 24 inches

Unfold:

12 to 24 inches

Bloom Time:

June by way of September

Scarlet purple flowers bloom on dense, upright spikes. A superb alternative for borders and beds with moist soil. Hummingbirds love the brilliant purple flowers.

DESIGN IDEAS

  • Cascading varieties make enticing spillers in hanging baskets and window packing containers.
  • Upright varieties work completely as a centerpiece (or ‘thriller’) in containers or alongside borders. Additionally they add peak to chop preparations.
  • Add in rock gardens, butterfly gardens, or in a deer-resistant landscaping design.

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