Characteristics, uses and care of Lobelia erinus

The gender Lobelia It is composed of about 400 species of flowers that are distributed mainly between the tropical and temperate zones of many parts of the world. There are varieties that we can grow in somewhat colder climates but, in general, they are plants that like warmer climates. Today in question we are going to talk about the Lobelia erinus. It is also known by the name of Blue Lobelia and refers to the color of its flowers. It is a very beautiful plant with a lot of color that can add a more special touch to your garden.

Do you want to learn how you should take care of it and the fundamental aspects to take into account? Here we are going to explain everything to you in detail.

Key features

Rockery with Lobelia erinus

It is a plant of South African origin with annual flowering. It is capable of reaching a foot in height if the conditions are right. It has an alternate leaf shape and varies between oblong, ovate and spatulate. Its flowers, as we have mentioned before, are blue and bloom in the heat of spring. They are able to withstand flowering the rest of the summer and into the fall. If the climate is hot and you do not have cold winters, you can also keep the flowers even in this season of the year.

Most of the species of this genus are found forming annual shrubs. The flowers usually meet in terminal and bract racemes. The profusion of its flowers is something remarkable to increase the ornamental value of the garden where we are planting it. This causes that, sometimes, we do not know well to distinguish the foliage, since it is hidden by the flowers.

It blooms in abundance and its blue color causes calming effects on people. A garden with the Lobelia differed it can be most relaxing. There are some cases in which lobelias can have reddish tones, but it is not the most common. When this happens, red is a good match with the blue of your flowers.


Decoration with Lobelia erinus

When it is in its natural state it is a poisonous plant, so we must be careful with pets or children. However, it is used in pharmacology to treat some diseases. This is because it contains some very useful active ingredients for the treatment of indigestion, fevers, otitis, some types of cancer, ailments and other diseases.

It is often used a lot to decorate rockeries, planters or in pots. There are those who also use it in hanging pots and it looks quite good. If you want to combine them with other plants, they go very well with plants that bloom in spring like the bluebells.

Cultivation of Lobelia differed

Location and temperature

Blue lobelia

It is a fairly easy plant to grow since its flowering in spring and summer is not very demanding. If it blooms later in the summer, it can continue to produce flowers even after the first winter frost has arrived. It is capable of growing almost anywhere for being an annual plant. Its seeds can be sown directly in the garden Or, if you prefer, you can have it indoors in a pot so that it develops in good conditions and then transplant it outside. This is something to keep in mind if our climate is somewhat colder. In this way, we can sow it indoors in winter to protect them from the cold and, when the heat of spring arrives, we transplant it outdoors.

Regarding the location, they are usually plants that need full sun, although they also tolerate semi-shadow. It is normal that a plant that grows in tropical or subtropical environments needs to spend more time in the sun. If we do not have it for a few hours in direct sun for days in a row, the flowers will not be able to acquire that beautiful color. Also, the flowering will not be as abundant. They need a moist soil that is well loaded with nutrients.

It supports high temperatures perfectly, but with the first frosts of autumn or winter they collapse. All this depends on the type of climate where we are. Therefore, it is advisable to sow it a few weeks before frost indoors. Once the frosts have passed, we just have to transplant them outside so that it can continue growing in a somewhat warmer environment.

Irrigation and compost

Lobelia erinus flowers

In coastal climates they grow quite well since the humidity is usually quite high. In these places it usually has an abundant flowering. Watering should be moderate when it is growing and quite abundant when it is in its adult stage. When it is growing it does not need too much water to develop. We just have to make sure that the soil is well nourished and can incorporate quality nutrients into your body.

An indicator that you are not watering enough is that the flowers wilt in the dry heat and low humidity. If it doesn’t have enough water in the soil, it won’t be able to thrive. Sprinkler irrigation must be avoided when the plant is in bloom since we will only have to water the base. The flowers are better not to wet them with watering.

As for the fertilizer, you will need to fertilize it every 15 days from the last month of spring. This serves to promote flowering in the warmer months of summer. It has some maintenance tasks that we cannot even call pruning. It involves removing some stems after flowering so it has a chance to bloom again.

Pests and reproduction

Lobelia erinus in pot

This plant is usually affected by Mites if the environment is very dry. If the ambient humidity is less than 35%, it is advisable to wet the foliage at least once a week. Sometimes it can be invaded by snails.

If we want to multiply them, these plants can be sown by seeds in late spring or by semi-mature cuttings in autumn. For the cuttings, we will wait for the first frosts to pass or we will sow them in a pot indoors.

I hope that with all this information you can take care of the Lobelia differed and enjoy its colorful relaxing in the garden.

Characteristics, uses and care of Lobelia erinus

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