Lobelia: growing from seeds in the open field, planting and care, photo
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Despite the fact that lobelia is native to the subtropical belt of the Earth, today it is distributed almost throughout the world. In the middle lane, lobelia is cultivated mainly as an annual, but in warmer regions it can also be grown in a perennial culture.
Lobelia has not only visual appeal, but also healing properties, which are used for choking, poisoning and heatstroke, as well as for the treatment of pulmonary diseases.
About what types and varieties of lobelia are represented in gardening, how you can grow this crop from seeds, how to care for it in the open field, you can learn from the material posted on our website.
Planting and caring for lobelia
- Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings in early February, planting seedlings in the ground in 8-10 weeks, in mid-May.
- Bloom: from May to September.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- The soil: loose, not too fertile, loamy or sandy loam.
- Watering: frequent, especially in the heat. Ampel lobelia is watered twice a day.
- Top dressing: complex mineral fertilizer for flowering plants: the first time - 2 weeks after planting, the second and third - during the flowering period. It is undesirable to introduce organic matter.
- Reproduction: seeds, dividing roots, terry varieties - only by cuttings.
- Pests: spider mites, aphids, slugs.
- Diseases: white mold, rust, leaf and stem bacteriosis, leaf bronzing virus.
Read more about growing lobelia below.
Lobelia (lat.Lobelia) - a genus of perennial and annual dwarf shrubs, shrubs and herbaceous plants of the Kolokolchikovye family, although some scientists attribute them to the family of the same name - Lobelievye. The lobelia plant was named after the botanist from the Netherlands Matthias de L'Aubel, who was the director of the Royal Botanic Garden under Jacob I. Lobelia flowers grow in almost all parts of the world, but most of them are in the subtropics and slightly less in temperate zones. In total, today there are about 300 types of lobelia. Some of them are raw materials for the production of drugs used in lung diseases. In culture, about 20 types of lobelia are used. Growing and caring for lobelia won't exhaust you, so feel free to buy seeds and decorate your garden with these cute and unassuming flowers.
Lobelia perennial in our gardens is usually grown as an annual plant, which is a spherical compact bush 10-20 cm tall, although there are species and varieties that reach a height of one and a half meters. Lobelia's stems are thin, branching from the very base, densely covered with alternate whole lanceolate leaves. Axillary double-lipped flowers on short stalks of two centimeters in diameter, depending on the variety, are painted in white, purple, dark blue, violet or blue. Flowering usually begins in June and continues through September, leaving abundant fruits in the form of polyspermous bolls. Lobelia seeds remain viable for up to three years. The plant has been cultivated since 1861.
Growing lobelia from seeds
Cultivation of lobelia begins with sowing seeds, since the main method of reproduction of this plant is by seed. Lobelia blooms from the moment of sowing in 8-10 weeks. Seedling method of seed propagation is usually used. In early February, in a cassette for seedlings with a cell depth of 5 cm, lay a layer of drainage (expanded clay or pieces of bark), then pour a layer of light, well-crushed soil mixed with coconut fiber and river sand on top, pour the soil so that it is saturated with moisture, let it to settle and sow seeds mixed with sand on it. You do not need to plant the seeds in the ground, since they may not emerge from under the soil, you should only lightly sprinkle them with a thin layer of sand so that moisture does not evaporate from the soil so quickly. Cover the cassette with plastic or glass and place it where it will be exposed to bright, diffused light.
Lobelia seedlings are not afraid of excessive moisture, dry, too warm air and dry soil are much more dangerous for them - the sprouts become thinner and die. Therefore, do not leave the cassette without film if the room is 22 ºC or more, and carefully observe the watering schedule. If you are afraid of catching a cold or flooding your seedlings, water them in the tray of the seedling cassette. A cool environment will not kill your seedlings, as they can withstand temperatures down to -2 ºC.
The first month the seedlings will grow very slowly, almost imperceptibly to the eye, but then the growth will accelerate. As soon as the seedlings grow up to 3-4 cm in height (and this will happen about two months after sowing), dive them 3-4 pieces into a disposable 100-gram cup, and when they reach a height of 6-7 cm, pinch the seedlings to stimulate branching. Lobelia begins to bloom even in seedlings.
Planting lobelia in the ground is usually carried out in the second half of May, after the threat of night frosts has passed. The site should be sunny, and the soil is loose and not too fertile - sandy loam or loamy. When preparing the soil for planting, do not overuse the introduction of nitrogen, otherwise you will get beautiful greens, but you will not see lobelia flowers. In each hole, the contents of one glass are planted by transferring - 3-4 small lobelias, and the distance between the holes is 10-15 cm.
In the photo: Blossoming blue lobelia
Growing ampelous lobelia also begins with sowing seeds for seedlings and is carried out in the same order, only the grown seedlings are planted not in the garden plot, but in hanging pots or baskets. Ampel lobelia is used at home to decorate indoor and outdoor spaces, balconies and loggias and windows from the outside of the house.
How can you grow lobelia differently without using the seed method of propagation? Some growers dig up lobelia in the fall and leave it to winter in cold greenhouses, thus turning it into a perennial. They also bring their favorite varieties of lobelia into the house for winter storage: on the eve of spring, lobelia bushes that have wintered in a cool, bright room are disassembled into cuttings and planted for rooting in different containers. Once rooting occurs, you can plant the lobelia in the ground.
A vegetative propagation method is used if there is no confidence that lobelia grown from seeds will retain its varietal characteristics.
Caring for lobelia is simple, and the most important point is watering the plant, since the soil must be kept in a slightly moist state all the time, especially in hot weather. Ampel lobelia requires watering twice a day. The second important point in lobelia care is pruning, which is advisable at the end of the first flowering. The stems are cut at a height of 5 cm from the ground, after which the exuberant growth of new shoots begins and repeated, often more abundant, flowering. Lobelia is fed with complex mineral fertilizer two or three times during the summer.
Photo: Growing lobelia in the garden
Lobelia after flowering
When the lobelia has completely bloomed, you can do with it as with an annual - get rid of the remnants by collecting seeds if necessary. Or you can leave this work in the spring, but keep in mind that lobelia easily propagates by self-sowing, and with such an unorganized reproduction, it will bloom later than seedlings planted in spring. Better to collect the seeds and sow them according to our recommendations. Collect the seeds like this: cut a lobelia bush, shake it well over a newspaper, and sift what remains on it through a sieve, place it in a matchbox and, having signed it, put it in storage.
Types and varieties
There are types of lobelia that are grown only as annuals:
Or lobelia border, or lobelia black, or blue lobelia... This species has five forms: spreading, dwarf, climbing, erect and compact. Popular varieties: Reggata Rose and Reggata Blue - pink and blue lobelia, respectively, Riviera Sky Blue lobelia - sky-blue flowers.
In the photo: Lobelia erinus
In appearance, it is similar to the compact form of lobelia erinus, only slightly coarser: the stems are more powerful, and the leaves are juicier, and the flowers are also larger purple or blue with a white spot in the center.
In the photo: Lobelia valida
Lobelia ampelous Ricardi larger and rougher than climbing varieties of Erinus, it is a hybrid variation and propagates only by cuttings.
It is 25-35 cm high, flowers up to 2 cm in diameter are blue, white or lilac.
As an annual and as a perennial the species is grown lobelia is beautiful.
In the photo: Lobelia speciosa
Lobelia perennial represented by the following types:
Lobelia brilliant (Lobelia fulgens)
Or fire lobelia - grows up to 75 cm high, the leaves, depending on the variety, are green or red. The best variety of this species is considered to be Queen Victoria up to 1.5 m high with scarlet flowers.
In the photo: Lobelia fulgens
Endangered species listed in the Red Book. It grows at a depth of 60-80 cm on a clean sandy bottom in coastal areas. Bell-shaped flowers are usually bluish, sometimes white or dark red.
In the photo: Lobelia Dortmanna
Withstands frost down to -29 ºC, grows up to 125 cm in height, flowers are collected in a spike-shaped inflorescence. The most famous variety is Vedrariensis.
In the photo: Lobelia gerardii
Lobelia purple (Lobelia cardinalis)
Or lobelia purple, or lobelia cardinal, reaching a meter in height, is named so for the color of the flowers, which the English queen Henrietta Maria caused an association with the color of the stockings of Cardinal Richelieu.
In the photo: Lobelia purple (Lobelia cardinalis)
In poisonous sessile lobelia, blue or lilac flowers are collected in a rare apical one-sided raceme. The species is winter-hardy, but in too cold or snowless winters, it is better to mulch the site.
In the photo: Lobelia blue (Lobelia siphilitica)
Lobelia blue (Lobelia siphilitica)
Or lobelia syphilitic, brought to Europe from America. Blue-violet flowers of this species are collected in dense spike-shaped inflorescences. The name of the species comes from the word "syphilis", since it was believed that the plant cures this disease, although over time we had to make sure that this is not true. The very type of distribution in the Old World did not receive, but was one of the parents of a group of popular hybrids, for example, such as Compliment, which was the result of crossing blue, purple and shiny lobelias.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of family Bellflower
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Information about Garden Plants
- Information about Herbaceous plants
- Shrub Information
- Information about the Shrub
Sections: Garden plants Herbaceous Flowering Shrubs Bellflower Semi-shrubs Plants on L
The ornamental deciduous plant Kokhia is part of the Marevye family. This plant is native to Africa and East Asia. It is widely cultivated in almost every corner of the planet Earth. Kohia is also popularly called bassia, annual cypress, prutnyak, summer cyprus, izen and broom grass.
Cochia is a dense, slender and low bush that can decorate any garden plot with its unusual appearance. It is used to decorate borders, fences and flower beds. And the fact that this plant is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and undemanding care makes it even more popular among gardeners.
Description of the plant
Lobelia (Lobelia) is a genus of plants of the Bellflower family, includes 414-415 species. They are found mainly in tropical and warm temperate climates in southern North and South America, in sub-Saharan Africa. Several species grow in moderately cool climates, two in Europe, one in Australia and the nearby islands.
In Western and Eastern Europe, the only wild-growing representative of the genus is Lobelia dortmanna, listed in the Red Book in Russia. Plants live in different places - in meadows, lakes, rocky shores, thickets, light forests, mountains. Typically, wild lobelias prefer moist, shady locations.
Many species are grown as ornamental plants, some are used in herbal medicine (eg Lobelia L. inflata).
These are annual plants or perennials, from small, creeping, up to 2 m in height, and tree-like shrubs 4 m high. The flower cup consists of 5 parts. There are 5 stamens, their anthers grow together into a tube around the bent neck of the pistil.
When does lobelia bloom? It blooms from early April until autumn. Depending on the variety, it has a different color of flowers: white, pink, red, purple, blue.
In gardens, perennial garden lobelia or erinus is most often grown. But there are other, less common species that can be successfully grown on the balcony, flower beds. Balcony potted lobelia can be used for a variety of taller or leafy plants, or those that bloom early and lose their appeal. It looks beautiful when planted in large groups in the corners of square boxes and pots, or when it fills containers completely. Some species and varieties can grow in water. Then they have slightly different requirements.
Perennial lobelias are characterized by beautiful flowers. These perennials can be used as garden decorations, cut flowers, or non-trivial decorations displayed on a balcony or terrace. Let's find out how the species differ and what conditions are necessary for growing these interesting plants.
Bloated or Indian tobacco
Lobelia inflanta, native to North America, is also called Indian tobacco. Under natural conditions, it grows up to 30 centimeters in height. It is an annual plant that smells like tobacco. It has a reddish, angular stem. Leaves obovate, oblong, pubescent and serrated at the edges. This species blooms from June to September. The plant seduces with small, bluish flowers, arranged singly or folded into small, loose clusters. The fruit is a two-chambered, swollen sac with small brown seeds.
Lobelia inflanta is grown for decorative purposes. However, it is highly toxic, contains up to a dozen alkaloids, so care requires special care. The plant also contains glycosides and essential oil. The alkaloids contained in the inflanta species act on the nervous system and the circulatory system. In animals, it causes paralysis of the respiratory center, convulsions, shortness of breath.
Purple or cardinal
Popular in our climate flower perennial lobelia purple or blood-red, cardinal (Lobelia cardinalis). This flower grows up to 90 centimeters in height, grows into huge bushes. A plant native to the eastern regions of North America, the winter hardiness of purple lobelia is high, very hardy to frost, withstands -40 degrees Celsius. It is intended primarily for above-water and bog plantations. Requires a large dose of light and permeable, humic, fertile, moist soil. The species reproduces from seeds or by division.
The flower of the plant, which appears in July and persists until September, is especially decorative. Flowers are located on a long stem, reaching up to 1 meter in height.This species blooms in red bunches. They are collected in the form of a large inflorescence and have an intense scarlet color, hence the name of the plant. The perennial has narrow, oblong, green leaves with a tinge of purple.
Photo. Variety "Cardinal Flower"
There is the popular Lobelia cardinalis, specially designed for aquariums, and Lobelia cardinalis mini, which grows up to 15 cm. This aquarium plant has beautifully colored light green leaves. In open aquariums, it can grow above the water line, producing red flowers.
Photo. Lobelia cardinal "Mini"
Lobelie gerardi (Lobelie gerardi) - tall perennials, growing up to 1 meter in height, forming wide bushes. This species forms inflorescences in the shape of a blue panicle, about 4 centimeters in length. The species is frost-resistant, withstands -30 degrees. In cultivation, Lobelia gerardi of the vedrariensis variety is known.
Lobelie siphilitica comes from the eastern regions of the United States. Its cultivation dates back to the 17th century. These perennials reach a height of 90 centimeters. The flower panicles of the species are 2 centimeters long and bloom all summer. Lobelia siphilitica is frost-resistant up to 30 degrees. The species loves sandy-humus and sandy-clayey soils, has great requirements for nutrients. These plants should be pruned in late fall or early spring.
Lobelia dortmanna is quite toxic. It is an aquatic perennial plant that grows up to 70 centimeters in height. The leaves immersed in water are grouped into dense roses and contain milky juice. The plant blooms in July-August with white, drooping, unbranched, bunchy inflorescences. The species contains numerous alkaloids and is toxic, especially to animals.
Cultivated species include the lobelia speciosa, which grows vertically upward, such as the fan burgundy variety. In America, this flower grows up to 90 centimeters in height, in our climate it reaches half a meter. Lobelia speciosa has flowers of red, purple or pink color, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, from which bouquets can be folded. Some perennial varieties do not tolerate very severe frosts, others should be covered for the winter. The species grows well in acidic soil, loves moisture very much.
Sadovaya or Erinus
Lobelia Sadovaya (Lobelia erinus) has been cultivated in Europe since the end of the 17th century. In our climate, it is an annual plant. It is a short flower, highly branched, with small leaves. Small flowers are collected in small bunches, ears or panicles and planted on thin peduncles. The fruit is a small sac filled with small dark brown seeds. At home (South Africa) it is found as a perennial plant.
There are known varieties with simple or double flowers. Usually grown on a balcony or open window in a house. Usually, garden lobelia flowers are blue, but there are white, purple, red (for example, Rosamunde), pink, pink-red (Miranda and Magentarot varieties), with an eye. Blooms from June to late autumn. The Sapphire variety has shoots forty centimeters long and dark blue flowers with a white eye.
There are three groups of garden lobelia varieties:
- Pumila is a group of lobelias growing up to 10 centimeters in height. It includes the most popular varieties: light blue "Cambridge blue", purple "Rosamunde", pink-red "Magentarot", white "Shnebol" and "White Lady".
- Compact - includes varieties with a height of more than 20 centimeters.
- Pendula - ampelous varieties, for example, Pendula sophie Lobelia with blue-blue flowers with a white eye.
Ampel lobelia is characterized by long, drooping shoots. It is native to South Africa, where several hundred varieties are known. Low varieties are used as garden flowers, and varieties with overhanging shoots are used as decoration for a balcony or terrace. In mid-June, small flowers appear at the ends of the shoots, abundantly shedding the plant. Their colors range from white to pink, purple, various shades of blue. Flowering continues until October.
The content of the lobelia is surprisingly modest, so the measures for its care will hardly seem burdensome to you:
- The main requirement of the plant is systematic abundant watering, especially in dry hot weather. The soil under the plants must be kept moist at all times. It is recommended to water pot lobelia at least 2 times a day.
- Another significant point in caring for a pet is pruning bushes. The procedure is recommended at the end of the first wave of flowering. All lobelia stems are shortened to 5–5.5 cm, which stimulates the active growth of young lateral shoots. Thanks to pruning, the second lobelia bloom will be much more lush and longer than the first.
- The unpretentious beauty is fed 2-3 times a season with full mineral fertilizer for flowering crops.
It is customary to grow perennial lobelia in middle latitudes as an annual, but many growers who do not want to part with their pet dig out the strongest, healthiest bushes and leave them to winter in a greenhouse. Potted lobelia can be brought into the house and placed on a cool veranda. At the end of winter, the remaining bushes must be disassembled into cuttings and planted in separate pots for rooting. With the onset of warmth, young plants will be ready for planting in the ground. This method of propagation is especially suitable for hybrids, since growing them from seeds of their own collection does not guarantee the preservation of varietal characteristics.
Sowing lobelia seeds
The optimal sowing dates for lobelias are considered to be March and early April, but for earlier flowering, many gardeners begin to sow lobelias as early as February. The "deadline" for sowing lobelia is mid-April. This summer plant blooms 2-2.5 months after sowing.
Lobelia seeds are very small, they must be mixed with sand before sowing. An alternative way is to plant 3-5 seeds, hooked onto a moistened tip of a toothpick. But this option of sowing takes much more time. Sowing in the snow is problematic due to hypothermia, and it is inconvenient to work with tweezers. Granulated seeds can be manually poured into individual small cups or cassette cells one at a time.
Sowing technique of lobelia seedlings:
- Fill the seed containers with soil without compacting it.
- Do not water the soil before sowing.
- Spread the seeds together with the sand evenly over the surface of the soil, trying to sow them not too thickly (or spread the seeds by hand).
- Spray the surface with a spray gun. You do not need to cover the seeds with soil from above.
- Immediately after sowing, cover the container with lobelia with foil or glass. They need to be removed every day for ventilation.
Shrub lobelia is a heat-loving plant, so you need to make sure that the soil is constantly slightly moist. In extreme heat, plants can be watered twice a day. Growing rules include periodic loosening of the soil and removing weeds.
Shoots are pruned at the end of August if it is necessary for the plant to bloom again.
Since April, the flower needs to be fed with liquid fertilizer intended for flowering plants. At the beginning of flowering, potash compounds must be added under the plants. It is advisable to feed the flowers with complex mineral fertilizers 2 times per season.
When using the preparations, you must follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid excessive concentration of the soil solution. In the case of excessive feeding, brown spots appear on the leaves.
Diseases and pests
The perennial is resistant to diseases and pests, especially if planting and care in the open field are carried out correctly. Sometimes plants infect:
- powdery mildew,
- root rot,
It is necessary to regularly check the plants, remove damaged leaves and bushes; in case of extensive lesions, fungicides, for example, Topaz, will help.
To combat slugs, special traps or chemicals are used, you can pour eggshells or slaked lime around the bush. Other pests can be eliminated with insecticides.
For wintering, it is better to transfer plants to a house or greenhouse. In order for the flowers to be preserved, this must be done before frost. A pot with a lobelia bush transplanted into it can be stored on a windowsill. It is noteworthy that the plant transferred to the house will delight its inhabitants with flowering for several more months.
Lobelia is an unusual and unique plant. This very decorative flower impresses with its shape and lush bloom. Grown on a balcony or terrace, it attracts the eyes of passers-by. The plant can grow on land and water. If you understand the peculiarities of growing, planting from seeds and cuttings and the intricacies of caring for it, then a beautiful decoration for a personal plot or house will delight the owners and their guests every year.