Planting and Growing Lobelia in 3 Steps Planting and Growing Lobelia in 3 Steps
The Lobelia genus encompasses over 350 species of attractive annual and perennial flowering plants. Lobelia plants are fairly easy to grow and maintain once they are established. However, growing Lobelia from seed is a delicate process which requires patience and attention. This article provides instructions on how to plant and grow Lobelia plants from seed.
Purchase Lobelia Seeds:
Purchase your Lobelia seeds from a reputable nursery in your area. It is an excellent idea to purchase the seeds from a locally owned nursery for two reasons: firstly, your purchase will contribute to your local economy and secondly, you will be able to talk to a local expert who may have experience growing Lobelia. A local gardener will be able to answer questions such as what species grows best in your specific climate zone.
Sow the Seeds as Prescribed
After purchasing your seeds and gaining confidence from speaking with an experienced professional, it is time to prepare to plant the seeds. Since growing any plant from seed is such a vulnerable and delicate process you may consider starting your seeds in a container until the plant is established enough to survive in nature.
Raising your Lobelia in containers for the first year or two of their life will allow you to have complete control over every aspect of the growing process including sunlight exposure, watering, fertilization and temperature. However, you may decide to plant your seeds directly in the soil outside. This method is viable but it may produce a smaller yield of live plants.
Regardless of where you decide to plant your seeds, you should first consult the growing directions prescribed on the back of the seed package. Most Lobelia seed packets recommend sowing in early spring by spreading seeds directly onto the soil and then covering them with a thin layer of soil. Lobelia seeds generally take 2 or 3 weeks to germinate; do not worry if your seeds do not immediately sprout.
How to Grow and Sustain Lobelia
Due to the broad range of species encompassed within the Lobelia genus, it is difficult to generalize about how to care for all Lobelia. There are Lobelia that require full sun in order to flourish, while others may prefer partial shade.
Regardless, it is generally accepted that all Lobelia prefer colder weather and nutrient-packed wet soil. In Lobelia native lands, the plant is observed living along creek beds and deep within marsh lands. Therefore, it is imperative that you water Lobelia regularly to keep the soil wet; especially during dry spells if the plants live outside. Supplement your Lobelia with liquid or granular fertilizer once a month to ensure optimal health.
For the first year, seedlings must be kept moist or they will quickly expire. Try to water your seedlings a little bit every day, this way you will get in the habit of keeping the soil wet and prevent mass extinction due to dehydration.