WHAT IS LOBELIA?



If you are talking bedding lobelia then look no further than Lobelia erinus. Available in both bush and trailing varieties, lobelia is a very popular edging plant in gardens. It has a particularly long flowering period, from mid spring to early autumn, and while it is clearly a perennial plant in subtropical climates, it is often grown as an annual plant in colder areas.

Although lobelia is widely available in Spring as a young plant, it must be kept indoors until all danger of frost has passed.

Numerous cultivars have been selected, either with a bushy or a trailing habit, in a wide range of flower colours, including white, pink, red, pale to dark blue, and purple, often with a prominent white eye. Some of the better known cultivars include:

'Blue Moon', 'Gracilis', 'Crystal Palace', 'Sapphire', 'Rosamund' and 'Riviera Rose'.

However, the following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

'Cambridge Blue', Cascade series, 'Colour Cascade', 'Crystal Palace', 'Mrs Clibran', 'Regatta Midnight Blue', 'Regatta Sky Blue', 'Riviera Blue Eyes', and 'String of Pearls'.

Clearly, lobelia is one of the true backbones of summer bedding arrangements.

Suitable for hanging baskets, containers, as well as island bed schemes, it will flower it's heart out as soon as the spring frosts are over and will continue to do so right up until the first ground frost of winter.

Take care though, get taken in by an early bit of sun and you could end up losing your lobelia to a late ground frost.

Not only is this disheartening, it can also end up being a costly mistake!

However, all is not lost as lobelia plants are easily grow from seed, so you could have another batch of lobelia seed waiting to germinate in the greenhouse could save the day!

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