The Complete Guide to Growing Lobelia: Expert Tips and Advice from Proven Winners®


When it comes to vibrant, eye-catching flowers, few plants can compare to the stunning beauty of lobelia. Lobelia is a versatile plant that can be grown in a variety of settings, such as garden beds, containers, and hanging baskets. If you’re wondering how to care for lobelia, look no further. In this ultimate growing guide, we will explore everything you need to know about planting and caring for lobelia.

Lobelia plants come in a wide range of colors, including shades of blue, pink, white, and even dusty rose. The compact, mounding growth habit of lobelia makes it a perfect addition to any landscape, whether you need a ground cover or a pop of color in your flower beds. These beautiful flowers are known for their long-lasting bloom, typically lasting several weeks.

One of the best features of lobelia is its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. While lobelias prefer full sun or partial shade, they can also tolerate some shade. They are also heat-tolerant and can withstand hot summer temperatures. Additionally, lobelias are quite hardy and can survive winter temperatures in USDA planting zones 10 and 11.

Whether you choose the perennial variety of lobelia, such as Lobelia cardinalis, or the annual variety, such as Lobelia erinus, you won’t be disappointed. Perennial lobelias are known for their vibrant red flowers and attractive foliage, while annual lobelias offer a wider range of colors to choose from. Some lobelias even produce tiny flowers that resemble tobacco blooms.

To make the most of your lobelia plants, it’s important to provide them with the proper care and maintenance. Lobelias require well-drained soil and regular watering, especially during hot summer months. Deadheading spent blooms can promote continuous flowering and help the plants maintain their compact shape. Mulching around the plants can provide added protection and help conserve moisture.

Lobelias can be a great plant to use in combination with other flowers and plants. They pair well with a variety of annuals and perennials, such as alyssum and Indian coleus. Lobelias are also a favorite for adding a pop of color to hanging baskets and window boxes. Consider combining lobelias with other heat-tolerant plants, such as petunias, for a stunning summer display.

In conclusion, lobelia is the ultimate flowering plant that can add a vibrant touch to any garden or landscape. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, lobelias are easy to grow and can thrive in a variety of conditions. With their wide range of colors, compact growth habit, and long-lasting bloom, lobelias are sure to become a favorite in your garden. So why not give lobelias a try and experience their beauty for yourself?

Lobelia Annual Lobelia erinus

Lobelia erinus, commonly known as lobelia, is an annual flowering plant that requires minimal effort to grow. It is suitable for a wide range of growing conditions and can thrive in both sun and partial shade. This plant is a part of the Asteraceae family and is native to South Africa.

Lobelias are known for their small, delicate flowers that come in a variety of colors such as blue, purple, white, and pink. They are often used in containers, hanging baskets, and as companion plants in the garden. Lobelias can also be planted in the ground, forming a dense carpet-like cover.

When planting lobelias, it is important to choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade. They prefer moist, well-drained soil, and watering should be done regularly, especially during hot and dry spells. Lobelias are not frost-tolerant and are typically treated as annuals in colder regions.

These plants can grow up to 6-12 inches in height and have a spreading habit. Deadheading spent blooms will encourage continuous flowering throughout the season. Lobelias are heavy feeders and benefit from regular fertilizing. Providing adequate protection from extreme heat in the summers will help maintain their vigor.

Lobelias are commonly called “edging lobelias” or “annual lobelias” and are often used as a border or edging plant in gardens. They also make great additions to rock gardens and can be used as groundcovers.

There are numerous varieties of lobelias available, including trailing, upright, and compact forms. Some popular varieties include the Lobelia erinus ‘Crystal Palace’ with its blue flowers and the Lobelia erinus ‘Fountain Blue’ with its cascading habit. Lobelia is also included in the Proven Winners® line of plants.

Lobelias are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, adding color and movement to your garden. They are usually deer-resistant, making them a suitable choice for areas with deer problems. Lobelias can also withstand light snow, adding interest to winter landscapes.

If you have any specific questions about lobelias or need more information, please refer to our FAQ’s or contact our customer service team. Lobelias are a beautiful addition to any garden and can be enjoyed year after year with proper care and maintenance.

Our favorite varieties

Lobelia is the ultimate annual for creating full and vibrant summer plantings. While there are many varieties to choose from, here are a few of our favorites from Proven Winners®:

Variety Color Hardiness Growing Care Companion Plantings
Aqua Blue Annual Easy to grow, requires regular watering and partial shade Bella series, Alyssum
Cardinalis Red Annual Thrives in heat and can be grown anywhere Indian Summer, Alyssum
Fan Scarlet Red Perennial Requires minimal care and is suitable for all growing conditions White Lobelia, Indian Summer
Inflata White Annual Low maintenance, tolerates heat and spells of drought Alyssum, Fan Scarlet

These are just a few examples of our favorite Lobelia varieties. Lobelias are known for their stunning blue, pink, and white flowers, and they can be grown as annuals or perennials depending on the variety. They are suitable for nearly any garden or planter, and their combination with other flowers such as alyssum creates a mass of color and beauty.

When it comes to care, Lobelias are fairly easy to grow. They require regular watering, especially during hot summer months, and benefit from light fertilizing. Deadheading the plants will keep them blooming all summer long. Lobelias are typically grown as annuals, although some varieties are hardy enough to survive mild winters. With proper care and protection, Lobelias can last for several years in the garden.

FAQ’s about Lobelia:

  • What is the ultimate Lobelia variety?
  • How do I care for Lobelias in the winter?
  • Can Lobelias be grown in baskets and planters?
  • How many weeks do Lobelias bloom?

These are just a few questions that arise when growing Lobelias. With their beautiful flowers and easy-growing nature, Lobelias are a favorite among gardeners around the world. Their vibrant colors and upright growth make them a standout in any garden or combination planting. So why wait? Start growing Lobelias in your garden today!

Hot Water Blue Lobelia

Hot Water Blue Lobelia is a beautiful and vibrant blooming variety of Lobelia. It is a compact, mounding plant that features light blue flowers. This variety is especially suitable for growing in containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes.

Hot Water Blue Lobelia has a low water requirement and can tolerate dry spells, making it an ideal choice for those who don’t want to put extra effort into their garden care. It flowers best in full sun but can also thrive in partial shade. This variety is known for its ability to bloom from late spring to fall.

With its vibrant blue flowers and compact growth habit, Hot Water Blue Lobelia adds a splash of color to any garden or planter combination. It is also a suitable choice for mass plantings, where its numerous blooms create a stunning floral display. This variety is a natural attractor for pollinators, especially butterflies.

Hot Water Blue Lobelia has a height of around 6-8 inches and a spreading habit of 10-12 inches. Its foliage has a dusty green color, which provides a beautiful contrast to the vibrant blue flowers. When grown in containers or hanging baskets, this variety can spill over the edges and create a cascading effect.

Hardiness is a major advantage of Hot Water Blue Lobelia. It can withstand light frost and even tolerate short periods of snow cover during winter. However, it is not a winter-hardy perennial and will need protection from freezing temperatures in colder regions.

Hot Water Blue Lobelia is an annual plant, meaning it completes its life cycle in one growing season. The good news is that it is very easy to grow from seed or transplants. Proven Winners®, one of the world’s leading plant breeders, offers this variety for those who want to enjoy the beauty of Hot Water Blue Lobelia in their gardens.

When it comes to care, Hot Water Blue Lobelia has some basic requirements. Regular watering is essential for optimal growth and flowering. This variety prefers moist, well-drained soil and should not be allowed to dry out completely.

Pruning is not necessary for Hot Water Blue Lobelia. However, deadheading the faded flowers will encourage new blooms. This simple task can be done by pinching or cutting off the spent flower heads. It is also important to remove any damaged or diseased foliage to keep the plant healthy.

Hot Water Blue Lobelia is a great choice for gardeners who want to add a touch of blue to their flower beds or containers. Its vibrant blooms, compact growth habit, and low-maintenance care make it an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

If you have any more questions about Hot Water Blue Lobelia, check out the FAQs section on Proven Winners® website. They provide detailed information on how to grow, care for, and combine this beautiful lobelia variety with other annuals and perennials.

Bella Aqua Lobelia

Lobelia ‘Bella Aqua’ is a stunning annual plant that belongs to the Lobelia family. It is a part of the Proven Winners® series, which is a group of plants known for their superior performance and outstanding qualities.

This beautiful plant is especially loved for its vibrant blue flowers, which bloom profusely throughout the growing season. It grows best in a sunny location and requires minimal care.

The Bella Aqua Lobelia has a compact growth habit, making it perfect for containers, hanging baskets, and border plantings. Its trailing foliage spills over edges, creating a cascading effect that adds charm to any garden or planter.

Deer tend to avoid this plant, making it a favorite among gardeners dealing with deer-related issues. It is also considered heat-tolerant, making it suitable for gardens with hot summers.

When it comes to growing Bella Aqua Lobelia, it’s best to start with young plants rather than trying to grow them from seed. This ensures quicker growth and faster establishment.

To keep your plants healthy and blooming, it’s important to provide them with regular watering and fertilizing. Lobelias prefer consistently moist soil, so make sure to water them when the top inch of soil feels dry. Fertilize them every few weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to promote continuous flowering.

If planted in the ground, Bella Aqua Lobelia can grow up to 8-12 inches in height. However, when grown in containers or hanging baskets, it tends to stay more compact and reaches a height of about 6-8 inches.

One major benefit of Bella Aqua Lobelia is its long-lasting flowering period. With proper care and deadheading, the plants can continue to produce flowers well into the fall season.

For those who are new to growing Lobelia or have any questions about its care, here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: What is the hardiness of Bella Aqua Lobelia?

A: Bella Aqua Lobelia is an annual plant, meaning it does not tolerate frost and will not survive the winter. It is best to replant it each year.

Q: What type of exposure does Bella Aqua Lobelia prefer?

A: Bella Aqua Lobelia thrives in full sun to part shade. It appreciates a few hours of direct sunlight each day for best growth and flowering.

Q: When is the best time to plant Bella Aqua Lobelia?

A: Bella Aqua Lobelia can be planted after the last frost date in your area. In most regions, this is in late spring or early summer.

Q: How do I keep Bella Aqua Lobelia upright?

A: Bella Aqua Lobelia has a trailing growth habit, but you can encourage it to grow more upright by placing the plant in a location with less wind or by providing support, such as a small stake or trellis.

Q: Are there any other types of Lobelia that I can grow alongside Bella Aqua?

A: Yes, there are many other varieties of Lobelia that you can grow alongside Bella Aqua. Some other popular choices include Lobelia ‘Crystal Palace’ with intense blue flowers and Lobelia ‘Laguna White’ with pure white flowers.

In conclusion, Bella Aqua Lobelia is an excellent choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of vibrant blue to their gardens or containers. With its compact growth habit, heat tolerance, and continuous flowering, it is sure to become a favorite. So, if you haven’t tried growing Bella Aqua Lobelia yet, now is the perfect time to start!

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.