Lobelia (lobelia) belongs to the bell family. The plant prefers stony and wet soil. The main advantages of lobelia are that its small, gently blue or blue flowers are perfectly combined with other large and bright plants, making up a beautiful background in any flower arrangement. That is why it is common to use lobelia in landscape design.
There are three types of lobelia: lobelia is upright, ampelous and compact, where all plants differ in height and shape of the bush. Erect lobelia reaches a height of not more than 30 cm, sprigs of ampelous plants grow to a length of 40 cm, but the compact - does not grow above 15 cm. The lobelia flower is small and does not even reach 3 cm in diameter, but due to the fact that there are always many inflorescences, the flowering bush looks magnificent and solemn.
The plant pleases gardeners with flowers until the first frost and does not require special care. By the way, if you grow lobelia on the balcony, you can easily extend flowering in the winter. In order to send new shoots and lobelia again blossomed, bare bush needs to be cut, fed and watered. Here the main thing is to observe the temperature and not particularly zealous with watering. The fact is that lobelia is poorly tolerated by a strong excess of moisture and direct sunlight. Possessing good shade-tolerant properties, the plant blooms beautifully even on the northern balconies.
Due to the beautiful colors and airy appearance, Lobelia has long taken a worthy place in the hearts of gardeners and gardeners. It is not necessary to grow lobelia from seeds. If you want to decorate a loggia or decorate garden paths decoratively, you can buy a ready-made plant. But not all novice gardeners will be interested in buying Lobelia as a commodity. It is much more exciting to go through the whole process from planting seeds to the first flowering. And do not think that to grow a beautiful lobelia is a difficult task. Undoubtedly, the labor of the grower is a matter that does not tolerate haste, but the result is worth it!
Flowers of lobelia are often monochromatic, but they also come with a peephole. Depending on the variety, the flowers may be white, pink, purple or dark blue.
How to grow lobelia
Lobelia, like petunia, propagates by seed. Plant seeds in the soil should be planted at the end of winter, but can be planted at the beginning of March. It should be borne in mind that in this case lobelia develops slowly, so you need to think about seedlings as soon as possible. But sowing seeds in open ground can be no earlier than May.
For seedlings it is best to use a shallow container. If you do not have a flower pot of the desired shape and height, then feel free to use a plastic container for any sweets. Fill the prepared container with decontaminated soil, and fill with a thin layer of calcined sand on top. Since lobelia seeds are very small, it is convenient to plant them into the ground with a toothpick. To do this, pick up a few seeds on the tip of a wet toothpick and then transfer it to a wet ground. This method of landing may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, you can simply evenly scatter the seeds in the planting pot. From above you should not sprinkle with soil, as the seeds like to rise in the light.
If the container is put in a well-lit place, the first shoots will appear within a few weeks. You can speed up the process if you cover the seed container with a film, thereby creating a greenhouse effect. The next stage - the cultivation of seedlings. Your seedlings will be beautiful and healthy if you can provide it with the right care. To do this, carefully monitor the soil moisture. Do not lose sight of the lighting. For the seedlings to be strong, it should provide additional coverage on cloudy, rainy days and evenings. And the plant needs hardening, so it’s good to take seedlings out to the streets already in March. As an option, you can make seedlings on the balcony, if it is located on the sunny side.
Grown up seedlings should be swooped down and seated. By the way, you can even dive blooming lobelia, but it is more troublesome and lengthy process. The fact is that untangle long and thin stems is a rather painstaking work that not everyone will like.
Seedlings of lobelia can be fed complex fertilizer. Feeding can be done once or twice before the beginning of the flowering period.
Another method of flower propagation is cutting. To do this, you need to save an adult plant until spring, bringing it into the house. In the spring should be cut cuttings and root them in the ground. To make the lobelia better, the cuttings can be dipped into a growth stimulator and covered with a plastic bottle, thus creating a mini greenhouse. In this case, the greenhouse should be regularly ventilated and remove excess moisture from the walls. Watering the cutting should be only warm water. After the stalk has taken root, it can be given for planting in open ground.
Sometimes, powdery mildew and other fungal diseases attack plants in open ground. If folk remedies do not help, feel free to use topaz, otherwise the plant can be sick for a long time and lose its charming appearance.
In heavily fertilized soil, lobelia is less prone to flowering, so it should not be often fed. For better branching seedlings of lobelia, after a dive, you can pinch several times.
It should be mentioned that Lobelia was named after the botanist de l'Aubel, who lived in the 17th century. Today, lobelia is a collection of hundreds of varieties: “Rosamund”, “Crystal Palace”, “Red Cascade” and others. Even in the photo, lobelia flowers are striking in their tenderness, charm and pleasant pure color. That is why many gardeners are so fond of decorating a garden with beautiful lobelias.
A simple way to grow lobelia seedlings
author Anashina A. (www.podmoskovje.com), author photo
Lobelia is becoming more popular, it is widely used to decorate balconies and garden flower beds.
Of the many species of lobelia, lobelia is most common in floriculture; lobelia erinus, or lobelia garden (Lobelia erinus).
It is important that lobelia blooms early, blooms continuously and abundantly from early summer to mid-autumn.
Unfortunately, many gardeners are scared away by the most difficult period - growing lobelia seedlings from very small seeds.
You can avoid a number of problems with lobelia seedlings if you use this simplified method of growing seedlings, which I have been using for several years.
Favorite varieties of lobelia erinus
Bushes of Lobelia Erinus of different varieties are decorated with numerous white, blue, bright blue, purple, pink, crimson or reddish flowers.
Lobelia erinus with compact bushes planted in flower beds and alpine hills, in the borders.
Amphibian forms of lobelia look great in hanging baskets, balcony pots and window boxes. They are used even as a ground cover culture.
Lobelia varieties of domestic and foreign selection are sold a lot.
Here is a small list of those varieties of lobelia that seemed interesting and persistent to me:
- “Kaiser Wilhelm” - to the compact spherical bush (10–12 cm tall) of the lobelia of this variety is covered with bright blue flowers up to 1.5 cm in diameter,
- “Mrs. Klebrand” - forms 12 cm high compact flowers and is decorated with blue flowers,
- "Rosamund" - has to ustik height of 12 cm has crimson-red flowers,
- “White Lady” - to compact compact bush branch of this variety up to 15 cm in height with a lot of pure white flowers (up to 1.6 cm in diameter),
- “Schneebal” - to compact compact branchy bush (12-15 cm high) decorated with white flowers (up to 1.5 cm in diameter),
- “Blower Edelstein” - in the height of a bush with blue-cornflower flowers (up to 1.5 cm in diameter) about 18 cm,
- "String of Perls" ("string of pearls") - a mixture of several varieties of undersized lobelia, which form spherical pillows with flowers of different colors,
- “Sapphire” - this variety belongs to the ampelous with shoots up to 35 cm long, has bright blue flowers with a diameter of 1.7-2 cm with a white spot on the lower lip,
- “Mixed Cascade” is the most popular blend of ampel varieties with hanging shoots about 30 cm long, has a lot of flowers of pale blue, white, pink, mauve and red color.
Lobelia erinus - perennial, which in our climate is usually grown as an annual plant. If desired, you can save the lobelia in the house in the winter until the next garden season.
Sowing lobelia seeds in seedlings
Calculate the timing of sowing seeds of lobelia in seedlings is very simple: the beginning of flowering seedlings occurs 70-80 days after sowing.
Lobelia seeds are usually sown from February to the end of March (as a last resort, the beginning of April).
If there is no additional plant lighting in the house, then it is better to start sowing lobelia seeds for seedlings in March.
March lobelia seedlings often not only catch up with the February ones, but also turn out to be stronger. And April seedlings of lobelia bloom by mid-summer.
Growing lobelia seedlings in a simplified way
For several years now I have been using the simplified method of growing lobelia seedlings. The traditional variant (with sowing capacities like “boxes for growing seedlings”) has always been quite difficult for me. Often part of the seedlings of lobelia died from the "black leg". It was difficult to keep track of the normal condition of the soil: it was dry, it turned out to be too wet. Constantly had to shake off the condensate from the film (glass), to save seedlings from sunlight, etc. I had to pay so much attention to growing lobelia seedlings that for a while I had to give up this beautiful plant.
A simplified way of getting lobelia seedlings eliminates all these worries. It is so simple that even an inexperienced amateur florist or a very busy person can afford to take out seedlings of lobelia. The main thing is to stock up on several transparent packaging boxes (with holes on the lid and on the bottom) of red or yellow cherry tomatoes.
Recently, cherry tomatoes in flat packages with a triangular lid have appeared on sale; they are not suitable for seedlings of lobelia. Only the simplest (with rounded corners) boxes or their analogues are needed.
I start preparing for the sowing of lobelia by filling the container with loose soil mixture and moistening it the day before.
Before sowing, you can mix small, as dust, seeds of lobelia with calcined sand to avoid thickening of seedlings.
It is important to remember: seeds of lobelia are germinated in the light, they are not sprinkled with soil!
Then I pour a weak pink solution of potassium permanganate into the bottle and process the crops once with a spray.
Then I close the lobelia box with a transparent lid. Under it does not form condensate, the drops of which kill seedlings. Air vents designed to preserve cherry tomatoes, allow you to grow lobelia seedlings in a constant flow of fresh air.
Watering lobelia crops is also very simple: you need to put the box in any suitable pan (I use packing foam boxes) and pour water into them as needed. Through the transparent walls you can clearly see how water penetrates into the holes at the bottom of the box and begins to rise, moistening the soil.
When growing seedlings lobelia excess moisture can not be tolerated.
Before picking, lobeli seedlings grow in a bright warm place without direct rays of the sun. No problems with lobelia seedlings usually arise, even if they are “forgotten” about it. The lid of the package is not removed and not opened a whole time.
About a month after the emergence of shoots, the tops of the lobelia sprouts begin to rest against the transparent cover. So, the seedlings have grown enough to be able to swoop down.
I don’t even want to remember how much time I spent before - in order to pick up each seedling of lobelia with tweezers (or toothpicks) and transfer it to a new place. Now my tool becomes ... a teaspoon. She is very easy to get out of the box small lumps of soil with a handful of grown lobelia seedlings and place them in a new planting container. These can be individual pots or a common planting box, in which the “bunches” of lobelia seedlings are planted 3-5 cm apart from each other.
Pike lobelia seedlings need to be grown in a bright cool (16-18 degrees) place.
When the height of sprouting lobelia is about 5 cm, I pick up the scissors and coolly cut the tops of the seedlings. Such a "lawn mowing" provides compactness and pomp of lobelia bushes.
“Bundles” of grown seedlings (i.e., lobelia seedlings) are planted in a permanent place in the open ground in late May or early June. Cover lobelia saplings with lutrasil in case of returning spring frosts.
Caring for lobelia in the garden
Lobelia blooms profusely in a sunny place or in partial shade.
In those parts of the garden where water stagnates, before planting lobelia saplings it is necessary to arrange drainage.
For the cultivation of lobelia, a cultivated garden soil will be suitable if it is not overfed with organic matter. The abundance of food, like other adverse factors, leads to a lack of flowers - lobelia bushes grow to the detriment of flowering.
Lobelia watering is carried out as needed. Especially important for dry weather irrigation. I feed lobelia only with mineral mixtures with a small amount of nitrogen or wood ash. Contrary to all the rules, for a short time I introduce organic matter at the end of the summer in order to enhance the growth of green mass of lobeli. This technique leads to an active build-up of shoots that will bloom in the fall.
As soon as the flowering of lobelia becomes weaker, you need to cut off the ends of the stems. Such ruthless pruning is needed by these plants so that the bushes of Lobeli become more magnificent. They will bloom longer and more abundantly.
Methods of reproduction of lobelia and winter storage of plants
In the autumn, seeds are collected from non-double lobelia forms that can be used for planting seedlings for the next three years.
Terry lobelia and hybrid specimens are usually propagated by cuttings. Similarly, with lobelia bushes rare and valuable varieties.
Bushes with terry lobelia, bought in nurseries or garden centers, are transplanted from pots into open pots in the fall.
Before this, the plants are carefully inspected in order not to bring pests into the house (for example, the whitefly or its eggs).
Lobelia in a pot is stored in the winter on a bright, cool windowsill. It is possible to use the non-frozen greenhouse.
When and how is lobelia seed planted
Lobelia begins flowering only 70-80 days after planting seeds. It is possible to approximate the time of appearance on the bushes of pretty flowers only one way - to start growing seedlings as soon as possible. To enjoy the flowering of lobelia from the very beginning of summer, it is necessary to plant seeds in late February or early March. Some flower growers practice planting even in December or January.
For growing seedlings of lobelia, you can use a ready-made substrate for flowers or prepare a mixture of soil, peat and sand. Suitable soil can also be obtained by mixing soil and vermiculite. The prepared substrate is placed in a shallow tray with drainage holes and disinfected by treating with a fungicide solution, heating in an oven or pouring boiling water. A day before planting the seeds, the soil is well moistened and slightly tamped. Lobelia seeds are convenient to plant in peat tablets.
Sowing lobelia seeds
Since the seeds of lobelia are very small, some difficulties may arise during planting. In order for the sprouts not to grow too thick, which makes the thinning very difficult, one of the following methods is used for sowing seeds:
• mix them with sand and evenly disperse,
• place the seeds on a folded sheet of paper and spread it over the surface of the soil by lightly tapping the sheet,
• put a wet wooden toothpick in a bag with seeds and place the stuck seeds on the soil.
It is not recommended to sprinkle the seeds on top, as they germinate only in good light. Capacity must be covered with polyethylene or glass and placed under soft sunlight.
Growing Lobelia Sprouts: Highlights
Shoots should be expected no later than two weeks. Soil moisture under glass or film before and after the appearance of sprouts must be maintained with a sprayer.
Formed inside the greenhouse condensate must be removed, and the air under the film or glass daily ventilated. If the sunlight to the seeds or already sprouted sprouts gets a little, you need to provide good artificial lighting. It is better to remove the film or glass from seedlings gradually, and shortly before disembarking it should be taken out to a fresh place to a permanent place.
In order for the cultivation of lobelia from seeds to end safely, it is important that the soil under it does not have excessive moisture. Otherwise, it will destroy the disease called black foot. If some sprouts suffer a disease, they must be urgently removed, watering temporarily stopped, and sprinkle the soil with sand and spray it with a solution of potassium permanganate. От недостатка влаги листья молодых ростков лобелии начинают скручиваться.
Ростки лобелии чрезвычайно нежные
Если семена были посажены в лоток, после появления первых двух листочков следует произвести пикировку. При этом рассаду высаживают в отдельные горшочки или стаканчики группами по 3-7 штук. В случае если в открытом грунте планируется выращивание лобелии не группами, а единичными ростками, после появления четырех листиков производится повторная пикировка с разделением групп. After a painful procedure for the plant, it is necessary to water it and hide it from the sun for a couple of days. In the process of active growth, you can pinch the top, then lobelia will be better to bush.
The first picking is carried out after the appearance of the first two leaves.
Transplantation in open ground
To determine when lobelia sprouts can be transplanted to a permanent place, one should be guided not by sprouts, but by weather.
Gentle lobelia: growing and care, a place in the garden
Lobelia will take root only in the absence of frost, so it is usually planted in open ground in May.
Single sprouts or groups are planted at a distance of approximately 15 cm from each other. It is advisable to place drainage material on the bottom of the well. Lobelia loves the sun and moisture. Its cultivation must be accompanied by regular thorough watering. This crop can easily do without top dressing, although a little fertilizer will not hurt her.
In open ground lobelia planted in May
We have considered the aspect that concerns a flower such as lobelia, which is growing from seeds, that arouses many gardeners and gardeners. When planting seeds for growing seedlings need to decide on their own. Some gardeners produce their planting at the beginning of winter - then it will be possible to enjoy flowering at the end of spring. It's nice that whenever a plant is planted, it will delight others with its pleasant appearance until late autumn.
Lobelia: plant descriptionLobeliais an annual, and with a certain care and perennial shrub or herb. They attribute it to the Lobelian family, although some prefer to call it bell-shaped. The flower grows into a compact spherical bush with a height of 10–20 cm. Some plant species can reach one and a half meters in length.
Bushiness is achieved due to the fact that thin stems still at the base begin to branch. Thin, they are densely covered with small leaves, while the flowers are kept on short pedicels. Inflorescences reach 2 cm in diameter and may have a blue, purple, navy, purple or white color.
A variety of colors and forms of flowering gives scope in the formation of the design of the garden and landscape of the backyard, where lobelia is planted.
How to prepare the ground for plantingPlanting lobelia on seedlings begins with the selection of a special soil mixture. You can buy a substrate in the store for growing flowers, or you can prepare it yourself in the fall. To do this, mix in equal proportions sand, peat, humus, forest land.
No matter what substrate you choose, it must be sifted through a mesh or a large sieve, as well as disinfected. To do this, it is watered with a solution of fungicide or heat treated at high temperatures, for example, in a microwave. Or vice versa, they are kept for a long time in the cold.
How to plant lobelia seeds
When choosing a time when planting lobelia in open ground, keep in mind that after sowing it blooms in 8-10 weeks. To do this, use a special cassette for seedlings, the cells of which have a depth of 5 cm.
At the bottom of each lay out pieces of bark, expanded clay or other drainage, and poured on the top of the mashed soil. It is well watered and give moisture to go down. And only then fall asleep with seeds mixed with sand.
Sowing has its own characteristics. Seeds of a plant can be sold in bulk, and can be in granules, each of which contains from 5 to 8 seeds. Granules spread at a distance of about 3 - 4 cm from each other.If grains are caught in placers, they should also be sown with the nesting method. For this, the grains are poured onto paper, an ordinary pencil is taken, the tip is moistened with water and touched.
Then the pencil is inserted into the ground and slightly scrolled so that the grains remain in the ground. Plants planted in this way sprout a bush, and then it is much more convenient to dive them.
It is important not to fill the grains with soil, otherwise they may not germinate. They are lightly sprinkled with sand to retain moisture, and slightly sprayed with water. The cassette is covered with a film to create a microclimate and put in a well-lit place, but with diffused light.
How to care for sprouts
When deciding how to grow lobelia seedlings at home, please note that lobelia is afraid of drying out soil. Therefore, if the room temperature is above 22 ° C, the film is not recommended to be removed for a long time. Clearly follow the watering schedule, not allowing the soil to dry.
Lobelia seedlings are very tender. When watering from above, they can bend down and die. Therefore, many people prefer to maintain the required level of humidity, adding moisture to the pan.By the way, if you water the plants in such a way that water does not fall on them, it will save them from the disease with a black leg. Since lobelia is planted with bushes, then between them you can make small depressions, filling them with water from a syringe.
The same method can be poured water on the walls of the container. It is necessary to resort to it for two or three weeks, which are necessary to ensure that the plant is strengthened. Then you can refuse these precautions.
As for the temperature regime, then, in principle, the seedlings survive at low temperatures, but if you want the shoots to appear faster, the air temperature should be 20-22ºC.
With the advent of the first shoots, it can be reduced to 15ºC simply by moving the container to the window sill. Remember that the shoots under the film must be periodically aired and condensate removed from it.
Pay attention to the lighting. With a short light day in February, additional lighting should be arranged so that the seedlings do not grow frail. In March, even if the seedlings are placed on the south side, such events will be superfluous.The first shoots appear fairly amicably in 7–10 days. In the first month they grow very slowly, but then growth accelerates. When the sprouts reach 1 cm, the film is gradually removed.
Two months after sowing, when the shoots are 3–4 cm high, they are 3–4 diving points, and when the height of the sprout reaches 6–7 cm, it is pinched for greater bushiness.
A dive is also carried out in groups, prying the bush with a spatula and replanting it into a cup. If lobelia is sown with carpet, it is simply divided into parts, which are placed in a bowl with a larger diameter.After this, seedlings need to be watered and kept in the shade for a couple of days. And only when it starts, you can pinch it. For this it is enough to cut the tops of the plant with scissors. Pinching can be done several times during growth.
Planting lobelia in open ground
Planting seedlings of lobelia in open ground takes place approximately in the second half of May, when there is confidence that there will be no more night frosts. The site is selected for her sunny, although she feels great in those places that the sun warms with direct rays of no more than two hours a day.
What should be the soil for planting
If you want to achieve beautiful flowering of lobelia, plant it on not very fertile soils - loamy or sandy. At the same time, the ground must be breathable, loose, so that water does not stand in it. Avoid nitrogenous fertilizers. If you do not adhere to these rules, lobelia will go into growth in the green part, giving out a poor flowering.
How to plant a plant
Before planting lobelia in open ground, the seedlings must be hardened. To do this, on a warm, windless day, it is first brought to the street, avoiding the direct rays of the sun. It is advisable to put it in the shade, the next time - in partial shade, then you can make a couple of hours in the sun.Depending on what kind of aesthetics you want to achieve from lobelia, there is a special fit and care for it in the open field. So, for the formation of a continuous carpet, the seedlings are planted at a distance of 10–15 cm, and for the formation of individual bushes - 25 cm from each other. Content in the pits is moved by way of transhipment.
Care of lobelia, we study the nuances
Lobelia, like any other plant, has its own character, given the characteristics of which, it is possible to achieve lush flowering.
In general, the main rules of care can be formulated in such basic theses:
- Maximum bright light with a minimum of direct sunlight.
- Watering plentiful, but make sure that the roots do not stagnate water.
- Feed fertilizer for flowering plants, avoiding nitrogen mixtures.
- Dense pruning in the middle of summer to provide a second wave of flowering.
Watering and feeding
Watering - the most important point in the care of the plant. Especially in hot weather, the soil should always be slightly moist. And lobelia ampelnaya requires watering twice a day.If you allow a long drought, the leaves and stems of the plants begin to turn yellow, burn in the sun. After such stress, the plant may die at all. At the same time, the stagnation of moisture also affects it destructively.
The loss of the decorativeness of a plant may also indicate that the soil is too saturated with nitrogenous mineral fertilizers or organic matter. But over the summer two or three times should be fertilized plants. To do this, use potassium sulfate, which provokes abundant flowering with a minimum of the green part of the plant.
The plant is cut several times during the growing season. One of the most important is pruning after the first flowering, which falls around the middle of summer.Lobelia is cut, leaving only 5 cm of stalks above the ground. In two weeks it gives a wave of the second flowering, often more violent than the first.
In addition, pruning faded stems solves a purely aesthetic moment.
How to prepare lobelia for winter
In principle, lobelia is considered an annual plant, but some gardeners prefer to dig it up and put it in a house or greenhouse for winter, turning it into a perennial plant. It is important that it is kept in a cool, but bright room.
On the eve of spring, it is taken out, broken into cuttings, planted and rooting is waiting. When this happens, planted in open ground. This method is very useful in cases where sowing from seeds can lead to degeneration of the variety.
The most lazy gardeners do not cover the plant for the winter, leaving it to winter in the ground and not removing the seeds. The plant is easily propagated by self-sowing, but in this case it is worth waiting for flowering much later than when planting seedlings.
Plant propagationIt is easier and more often to propagate a plant with seeds, which are stored on the plant in small boxes. The grains themselves are so small that they are hard to grab with your fingers. Therefore, they are usually collected, lined under the plant paper, on which the seeds and showered. It is easier to do this when lobelia grows in pots.
To collect seeds from a plant on the ground, cut off its shoots with not yet mature bolls, knit bundles from them, and attach a paper bag from the side of the bolls. All this is tied up to dry in a dry place. When the seeds ripen, they pour out into the package.
This can be done with already matured stems, shaking them well above the package. The contents are then sifted through a sieve, the seeds are collected in a matchbox and signed.
Their germination persists for three years. In the spring, they can simply be sown on moist soil and covered with a film. True, with such sowing shoots are unlikely to be thick.
There are perennial varieties that propagate by cutting. By the way, the plant itself requires periodic rejuvenation, transplants and renewal, which increases its vital signs. On average, such manipulations are carried out once every two years.Lobelia - small, but amazingly beautiful shrub. Caring for them is simple, and the flowering and shape of the bush makes it possible to use it in landscape design everywhere and successfully. And you can multiply it yourself as sowing, and by growing seedlings. The choice of method depends on when you want to see a flowering plant.
Get acquainted with the plant closer. Among lobelias (Lobelia) there are annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as trees and shrubs. All of them within 300 species, belong to the family Bell-shaped.
Unusual blue color
They are widely distributed, are present on almost all continents, but most of them are in the subtropics: in the temperate zone, diversity is significantly reduced. In our country there are several species of this flower.
Approximately 20 species are used in floriculture, but it has become the most famous and beloved. lobelia erinus(Lobelia erinus). It is she and her various varieties that grow in our flower beds.
Originally from South Africa, it grows on moist soils among stones, in thickets of bushes. From there, at the end of the 18th century, she was brought to Europe, where she became a favorite of gardeners. This natural species is a small annual plant with abundantly branching fragile shoots 10-40 cm long. Small leaflets, simple, with scalloped edges.
The flowers of lobelia are small - from 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter, have 5 petals: 3 lower ones are larger and are arranged like a fan, and 2 upper ones are small and narrow. The natural appearance has an amazingly pure blue color, and the variety of colors available now is the work of breeders.
Besides lobelia erinus, the most common types are:
- lobelia strong(lobelia alida) - has large, coarse stems and flowers of blue or purple, decorated with a white speck in the center,
- Lobelia is the thinnest(lobelia tenuior) - this plant, on the contrary, is smaller and more elegant, but with beautiful large flowers.
Different varieties of lobelia differ not only in a variety of colors, but also in their shape. Bushes can be very compact in the form of a ball, there are with long shoots that form fluffy flowering cascades, others - in the form of pads. In this regard, they are united in two main groups:
Plants of this group form straight low stems up to 15 cm long, forming a dense curtain. They look beautiful in flowerbeds with the same low annuals, in the curbs along the walkway, and are good in containers with higher colors.
Varieties of this group:
- 'Cristall Palace' - 10–15 cm, the flowers are dark blue,
- 'Kaiser Wilhelm' - 10 cm, the flowers are bright blue,
- `Deep Blue Star` - 10-13 cm, flowers rich blue,
- 'Paper Moon' - 8–10 cm, white flowers,
- `Riviera Blue Splash '- 8-10 cm, white flowers with a blue spur,
- 'White Lady' - 10–12 cm, white flowers,
- 'Kaleidoscope' - 10 cm, a variety of colors.
Ampel lobelia with very long, drooping shoots, they are best suited for hanging pots and ground containers. This group of flowers is small, and their color is very different.
The best grades of ampelous lobeli:
- 'Curacao Blue White Eye' - blue with a white eye,
- 'TechnoHeat Trailing Light Blue' - sky blue with a white eye,
- 'Curacao Busket White Evol' - white.
These types of lobeli are much less common than annuals. But they are quite attractive and deserve our attention. Let's get acquainted with at least two of the most interesting species.
Cardinal Lobelia Flowers
Lobelia Cardinal(purple, blood red)
Lobelia cardinalis - quite tall plant, flowers of unusually bright red color form inflorescence - brush. It thrives well, forming large groups, likes moist soils, is suitable for low areas and artificial bogs or shallow waters near a small body of water.
Lobelia fiery or shiny
Lobelia fulgens - a tall plant (75 cm), the leaves can be not only green, but also red.
In our market you can choose and purchase lobelia seeds for every taste. Take a look at the Lobelia section.
Soil for growing lobelia seedlings
Land for growing seedlings should be nutritious, light and moisture-consuming. The stores sold a special substrate for growing seedlings of flowers. The easiest way to use just such a primer. If you are used to stocking up your own seedlings for planting, then in the fall you should prepare an earthy mix consisting of forest land, humus, peat and sand in equal proportions.
Earthen mixture cooked at home (and often bought in the store), you must sift through a large sieve, or at least through the mesh from the old iron bed. It will be very difficult to work with not sifted earth.
And bought in the store, and self-cooked land must always be disinfected before planting. This can be done by spilling it with a solution of fungicide or roasting it in the microwave, or you can just keep the whole winter outside, in the cold.
Growing lobelia from seed
Lobelia blooms only 2 - 2.5 months after planting. Therefore, in most cases it is grown through seedlings.
When to sow.
Seeds start sowing on seedlings from mid-February until the end of March. It is more expedient to carry out all the seeding in the first half of March. The lag in flowering in March seedlings from February will be insignificant, but the hassle is much less.
How to sow seeds
For sowing seeds, you can use low plastic containers or peat tablets. If you chose a plastic container for planting lobelia, first make drainage holes in it, fill it with earth and moisten it well. After that, you can proceed to sowing seeds.
Lobelia seeds are granulated and scattered. В одной грануле находятся 5 — 8 семян, их раскладывают по поверхности почвы на расстоянии 3 — 4 см. и из каждой гранулы вырастает маленький кустик. Впоследствии такие кустики очень удобно пикировать.
Выращивать рассаду лобелии лучше вот такими гнездами.
Семена россыпью тоже лучше посеять не равномерно, а гнездами так, как вы видите на фото. To do this, sprinkle the seeds on white paper and blunt, slightly wet end of the pencil touch the seeds. The seeds stick to the pencil and then with this pencil, with the seeds stuck, they make small indentations in the ground. The pencil is slightly turned, so that the seeds remain in the ground.
Then, very carefully, in order not to blow off the seeds, slightly moisten them with a spray, cover them with a film and put them in a warm, bright place.
Lobelia seeds germinate in the light, they can not be covered with earth.
An interesting way to grow lobelia from seeds in tea bags. Look, maybe you need it:
Care for lobelia seedlings
The first time the seedlings will have to carefully care!
Temperature. In the room where the seeds will germinate, the air temperature should be + 20 - 22 degrees. When the first shoots appear, the temperature should be reduced to + 15 degrees. To do this, simply transfer the landing box to the windowsill. Shoots are usually friendly and appear after 7 - 10 days.
During the whole time the seeds germinate, make sure that the earth is wet and do not forget to ventilate and remove condensate from the film or glass. After the appearance of sprouts do not rush to remove the film cover. This should be done very gradually. Fully clean the shelter when the seedlings grow to 1 cm.
One of the most common mistakes when growing lobelia from seeds is a sharp film removal after germination. After that shoots may die within one day.
Care for lobelia seedlings.
Backlight. When planting lobelia in February, the daylight hours are still very short and the seedlings will grow elongated and frail without illumination, so they need to arrange additional lighting. When planting in March, it is already possible to do without illumination, especially if the seedlings will be standing on the southern windows.
Watering. With watering young seedlings of lobelia there are many problems. Seedlings are so thin and tender that when irrigating with a “rain” they all fall to the ground and most likely will never rise.
You can certainly try to raise them with a toothpick, but it is safer to water so that the water does not fall on the plants. It also saves the seedlings from the disease black leg. It was said above that it is preferable to sow lobelia not with a solid carpet, but with bushes. Such a landing will facilitate not only picking, but also watering.
They make indentations between bushes (with the same pencil) and pour water into these pits from a syringe. Water is absorbed and the earth is moistened evenly, and young sprouts remain dry and do not fall. The same result can be achieved by pouring water from a syringe onto the walls of the container, but under the condition that the container is not large.
Watering in this way is necessary for 2 to 3 weeks, then the plants will get stronger and these precautions will become redundant.
This lobelia is time to dive.
Picking In the photo you see the seedlings, which is already time to dive. These seedlings have grown so much in about a month. Lobelia swoops not in a single plant, but in piles at once. Use a small spatula to underblow a bush and replant it into a glass. If the seedlings grow on a carpet, then separate part of the soil with the seedlings and transplant them into larger dishes.
After picking, the plants are watered and kept in the shade for several days, after which they are again placed in a sunny place.
Topping. When the seedlings are taken after picking and grow up to 3-4 cm, it is recommended to pinch it. To simplify this procedure, you can use scissors to cut off the tops of all seedlings at once. This will contribute to the bushiness of plants and the development of the root system.
It is especially useful to do this when only a few roots grow in a glass. If you carry out pinching several times, then even from one seedling you can grow a large, lush bush.
Growing lobelia in peat tablets.
Growing seedlings in peat tablets. It is very simple and convenient to grow lobelia in peat tablets. But to transfer the seeds to the surface of the tablet is better not with a pencil, but with a wet toothpick. In order for the seedlings to grow not very thick, with the tip of a toothpick, spread the adhered seeds to different places on the tablet.
Then do everything as usual, just water the seedlings in tablets more convenient through the pan. Watering should be moderate, make sure that water does not accumulate on the pan.
When growing lobelia in peat tablets, a pick may not be necessary. If the plants are planted not very thick, then they can in this condition wait for planting in open ground.
You can come up with original ways of planting lobelia.
Growing lobelia from seeds without picking.
For those who grow Lobelia in hanging baskets and do not want to mess around with seedlings, we can recommend the following method.
In early April, fill the pots with fertile soil, sow the seeds, cover with foil and place on the window sill. When it becomes warm you will only move the pots to the garden. Lobelia will bloom with such cultivation of course later, but not any fuss with seedlings.
Planting and care of lobelia in the open field
Lobelia looks good in rock gardens among the stones.
Hardening seedlings. Before planting lobelia in the garden, it must be hardened. On the first day, the seedlings in no case be put on the sun and wind. Choose a warm quiet day and put the plants in the shade, next time try partial shade and only then you can put it in the sun for an hour or two.
Landing scheme. When planting lobelia in 10-15 cm, a solid carpet is formed, and when planted in 25 cm. Plants will grow in separate bushes.
Where to plant and how to care for lobelia.
The plant is not capricious and requires a minimum of care and attention.
The soil. She loves loose, breathable soils without stagnant water. You should not grow lobelia on too fertile soils, otherwise it will actively develop green mass, and there will be few flowers. For the same reason, do not feed it with nitrogen fertilizers.
Watering. Like most plants, lobelia prefers moderate watering without waterlogging.
Location It grows well in the sun, but it will develop no worse and bloom in places where the sun peeks for 2 - 3 hours a day. Flowering lasts until frost.
Lobelia is easy to grow in pots and hanging pots.
Care of lobelia in pots and hanging pots.
It is much more difficult to care for plants growing in flowerpots and flowerpots. The land there dries quickly and nutrients, due to the small volume of soil, is also not enough. In order to facilitate the care of such flowers, it is necessary to add a hydrogel or vermiculite there when filling the pot with soil (turfy ground and compost in equal quantities).
During the season, the potted plants are fed 2 - 3 times with potassium sulfate and full mineral fertilizer.
Watch the video about planting lobelia in pots:
How to collect seeds
Lobelia even has small seed boxes - you don’t have enough fingers. And the seeds are only in a handful and can be considered. But despite their misery, they sprout beautifully, and therefore it makes sense to collect the seeds themselves. Many gardeners grow lobelia in pots and other containers. With such plants, the seeds get the easiest. The pots are put on paper and, waiting for the seeds to be sown themselves, pour them from the paper into the bag.
With lobelia that grow in flower beds, you can also collect seeds. Cut off from them shoots with yellowed seed pods, tie shoots into a bundle, which put on a paper bag and hang in a dry warm place. Seeds will ripen and spill out into the package.
For those who want to grow lobelia from their own seeds, but laziness is busy with all this: you can simply dry the cut stems to brittleness, and then rub in your hands. Among the remnants of the leaves will be a lot of seeds. In the spring, all this can be sown as always sowed lobelia: on the surface of moist soil - and cover with glass or film. Shoots with such a crop may not be as thick as ever. But it is even good.
Most varieties of lobelia are annuals, which naturally reproduce by self-sowing. Seeds that have fallen to the ground hibernate well and spring together in spring. At home, however, lobelia is often planted in a seedling way - it allows you to bring flowering. To sow seeds for seedlings should be in February. First they are planted in common containers. Since the seeds are small, sowing is carried out directly on the surface of the earth, not falling asleep from above.
Seedlings of lobelia grow up in the light and warm, watering in a pan, otherwise you can damage the thin shoots. At the age of about 3 weeks, she dives into separate pots, with several bushes at once. It is difficult to remove tender leaves separately, and there is no sense. "In the handful" bush will turn out more magnificent. On the flower bed, the same flowers are planted not earlier than the end of May, or even in June.
If lobelia is planted directly in open ground, in this case, the seeds can be sown in a flower bed no earlier than May. True, they bloom a month later, or even more.