How to Take Care of Lobelia Flowers

A Reliable Guide on How to Take Proper Care of Lobelia Flowers

Did you know, that L. cardinalis and L. siphilitica, two species of lobelia flowers, were once considered as possible healing ingredients for syphilis? Let's take a look at how to care for these special flowers, that will prove to be a sight for sore eyes in your garden.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Lobelia flowers are among the most popular choices when it comes to selecting flowering plants for gardens. The name 'Lobelia' refers to a genus of about 360-400 different species of flowering plants. Out of these, some species have their origin in warm temperate regions, while others thrive in cooler temperate regions. These are annual flowering plants that produce small colorful blossoms, which may appear in colors like white, pink, blue, and purple. Blue lobelia flowers, are however, the most favored of the lot.
These flowers bloom during late spring or late fall, and are to be easy to care for, unlike most plants. 8 inches in height and 18 inches in diameter are their commonly known stats. Temperate or tropical regions are ideally suited for the growth of these flowers, and are known to have resistant qualities towards a pest infestation. These flowers are also popular for their medicinal uses for various disorders, like asthma and food poisoning.
Lobelia Care Tips
The ideal time to plant lobelias is in the spring or fall, when it is not subjected to the dangers of frost. The soil must be fertile and well-drained. The spot that you choose must receive full sun to partial shade. If you are planting more than one seedling, then space them at least 6 inches apart. This is to allow more room for growth. The soil must be dug to the same depth as its previous potted home. After having placed the sapling, cover the roots with soil, and water generously.
Mulching is an important aspect of gardening. Putting a light one-inch layer of mulch around the plant helps the roots to stay cool and moist. There must be adequate spacing between the top of the mulch layer to the base of the plant, of about 2-3 inches. This is done to prevent fungal growth and promote air circulation.
Water your lobelias once a day if you are living in a hot, dry region. Otherwise, watering them every alternate day is good enough too. Also, if temperatures rise above 100° F, then you must ensure to water the plant twice a day. These species do not prefer hot and dry weather; that is why they must be kept adequately moist when temperatures peak. Take care not to dampen the leaves, as it might increase the risk of diseases.
Fertilizers must be given once per week during the summer and spring months. A water soluble fertilizer is good enough. For a proper dosage, refer to the manufacturer's instructions. If you do not prefer the use of a fertilizer, then you may go for compost tea. Drench the soil surrounding the flowers with it. It is also important that you water them prior to and post the application of fertilizer; so that the roots don't scorch.
You'll know it's time to prune when the plant looks leggy, dry, or strained. You can make use of a small scissors or shears to cut back the foliage to half its height. This is best done just before fertilizing. With time, when the temperature drops, you will notice the growth of new, better looking foliage on your lobelia plant.