The Lobelia most of us will recognise is Lobelia erinus. Originating in South Africa and since its arrival in the UK centuries ago, it has been one of our top container and edging plants. These trailing lobelia types last all summer forming thick carpets resistant to rain and wind damage. 'Crystal Palace' is deep blue covered in a mass of flowers, very traditional in colour.
Suttons offers Lobelia garden ready plants in various sizes of plug plants. Often grown side by side with red pelargoniums (or as you may know them as geraniums), a real reminder of mass municipal bedding at seasides and along promenades. 'Cambridge Blue' is a light sky blue - pretty as a picture and great alongside Alyssum. For a mix of colours, 'String of Pearls' offers blues, whites and purples 10cm in height with a spread of up to 20cm.
Happiest in full sun, they do like damp feet so a moist soil is ideal. Of course when using in hanging baskets or terracotta pots which dry out quickly, regular watering is a must in hot weather.
For Lobelia on a grand scale, the perennial Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' from North America in origin looks impressive in a border of mixed perennials or works well as a marginal pond plant due to its penchant for a rich moist soil. Supposedly named cardinalis by the wife of Charles I as the rich red colour of the flowers reminded her of a cardinal's robe. The tall summer flowering spikes reach up to 90cm and make a real statement.
Small or tall, there's a Lobelia for all.
Where to grow Lobelia plants?
- Full sun or light shade
- Any reasonable soil although rich moist soil is preferred
How to grow Lobelia plants?
- Water regularly and in dry weather give a thorough soaking
- Feed occasionally
- To encourage the Lobelia plants to be bushy pinch out the tips when they are young
Is lobelia a perennial plant?
Lobelia has around 370 types of Lobelia annuals and Lobelia perennials, but they are all basically perennials, but some are treated as annuals.