Lobelia is a genus of perennial and annual semi-shrubs, shrubs and herbaceous plants in the Bellflower family, although some scientists refer them to the Lobelia family of the same name. Lobelia was named after Matthias de L’obel, a Dutch botanist who was the director of the royal botanical gardens under King James I. Lobelia flowers grow in almost all parts of the world, but are the most common in the subtropics and slightly less so in temperate zones. In all, today there are about 300 species of lobelia. Some of them are used as raw materials in the production of drugs for lung diseases. Cultivation uses about 20 species of lobelia. It won’t be hard to grow and look after, so do not hesitate to buy seeds and decorate your garden with this pretty and unassuming plant.
Is lobelia an indoor plant?
Where does lobelia grow best? In our gardens, lobelia is usually grown as an annual, a globular, compact bush 10-20 cm in height, although there are species and varieties that reach the height of one and a half metres. Stems of lobelia are slender, branched at the base, densely covered with alternate, entire lanceolate leaves. The axillary, bipartite flowers on short pedicels are two centimetres in diameter, coloured white, purple, deep blue, violet or blue, depending on the variety. Flowering usually starts in June and continues until September, leaving abundant fruit in the form of multi-seeded capsules. Seeds of lobelia germinate up to three years.
It is not difficult to grow lobelia, just follow the right rules and do everything carefully and carefully. Although lobelia is native to Africa, however, it is quite cold hardy. It will be able to cope with both spring and autumn frosts and will bloom right through through to the bitter cold. Lobelia is very thirsty and needs watering during the dry summer otherwise it will flower poorly. Lobelia is undemanding to the light: it perfectly grows in bright sunshine, but in the penumbra and even in strong shade continues to bloom. This quality makes it indispensable in shady flowerbeds of annuals.
Lobelia flower watering irrigation Lobelia likes a lot of humidity and therefore needs to be watered regularly but only moderately. Daily watering is sufficient, adjust the frequency of watering according to the weather conditions. In hot weather, it may be necessary to water twice a day.
Lobelia flower lighting Since lobelia prefers bright but diffused light, the planting location should be semi-shaded. Direct sunlight in the morning or evening in small amounts is acceptable, but shade from midday rays is required. Lobelia will therefore do well on western and eastern balconies. Northern balconies – open and bright – are also suitable.
Lobelia flower soil preparation Lobelia is grown in a variety of soils, the main qualities of these should be soil looseness. Peat is used for seedlings. The open soil can be divided equally between river sand and mulch. In terms of acidity, lobelia is preferred slightly acidic or neutral soils.
Should the soil of the lobelia flower be moist? If you want to sow lobelia directly into the ground, do it in late winter, under the snow that has not yet melted. Prepare the area and place the seeds mixed with sand in the snow; the melting snow will provide them with moisture. The seeds will have been germinating for about 2 weeks. You should spray them now until they are firmly established.
Does lobelia flower like the sun? As for temperature, lobelia germinate in room conditions – between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. For lobelia, it is necessary to ventilate the seedlings regularly, remove the foil or glass and maintain a stable substrate humidity by gently sprinkling the surface.
The basic rules of the lobella care are as follows:
- Minimum direct sunlight, maximum bright diffused light.
- Water abundantly, but without water stagnation at the roots.
- Periodic fertilisation with a flowering fertiliser.
- In midsummer, prune dramatically for a second wave of flowering.
How to reproduce lobelia flower
Lobelia is most commonly propagated by seeds. Therefore, cultivation begins by sowing seeds into the soil. It will only take 8 to 10 weeks from the time of sowing before the young plants start to bloom. Gardeners prefer to grow it as a seedling and sow it in early February. How to keep lobelia blooming all summer >>
Diseases of Lobelia: Mostly unaffected by the pests. The pests are rarely caterpillars, scales, aphids, whiteflies and red spider mites. If the plant is not cared properly, it will probably develop a grey rot.