Charming lobelia are some of the most colorful summeries. Their lovely and small flowers are decorated with curious eyes, and the number of flowers covers the crown, albeit not with a continuous, but very beautiful coverlet. But lobelia is valued, first of all, for its unique palette: this is the only yearbook in which the colors are limited to white and blue spectra. Various shades of blue, ultramarine, lilac and violet are so pure and beautiful that the lobelias seem like a blooming waterfall. Among this family there are many perennials, but all of them are not able to compete in the beauty of flowering with annual lobelia. No wonder they are considered the first competitor of petunias!
The favorite among the annual lobelia is lobelia erinus
Favorite fan of blue flowers Lobelia Erinus, or Lobelia longis (Lobelia erinus) Is the most popular type of lobelia. This is a herbaceous perennial that is grown only in an annual form: its flowering is so lush that it depletes the plant completely and if it succeeds, it can be preserved only in regions with warm winters and without flowering in the following years. In this lobelia, the crown is so thick and magnificent that individual shoots can not be considered. Thin branches densely branch from the base and are completely strewn with small leaves. Lanceolate, whole, bright, they add to the whole bush delicacy, splendor and freshness.
The flowers in lobelia erinus reach only 2 cm in diameter, and even then in the best varieties, but they are so numerous that you can not even notice this shortcoming. Two-lipped, very pretty, they sit in the axils of the leaves, one on a tiny peduncle. Given the mass of leaves, the number of flowers is measured in hundreds. The color of lobelia erinus ranges from white to blue, blue, dark purple. A white spot in the center is characteristic of the vast majority of varieties.
Often, Lobelia erinus, or Lobelia longifolia can be found under other names: Lobelia garden, or Lobelia annulus, or Lobelia curb, or Lobelia blue
Lobelia erinus blooms 2.5 months after sowing, and its flowering can be stretched to the very frosts. All that is needed for this is to remove faded shoots in time.
The variety of lobelia erinus knows no bounds. The basic look is divided into 5 decorative forms:
- Spreading lobelia of diffuse are about 15 cm long with twice as long shoots.
- Braided lobelia of the form of a pendula with more than thirty centimeter shoots.
- Colon-shaped bushes up to 40 cm high erect lobelia, or erect.
- The dwarf form of pumila is about 10 cm in height.
- Compact form resembling dense hemispheres up to 15 cm high.
And each form has its own merits. The choice between them is best done based on the use of lobelia and its desired decorative effect.
The best varieties of lobelia erinus belong:
- variety ‘Blauer Edelstein’ - compact, dark green, with cornflower flowers blooming in stunning quantities;
- ‘Schneeball’ - a white variety with a creamy tint, small flowers and improved branching;
- ‘Kristallpallas’ with dark blue flowers and dark leaves with an ink-purple tint;
- Variety ‘String of Pearls’ - a mixture of lobels with short stature and shining with a variety of colors;
- ‘Kaiser Wilhelm’ with a unique blue color, an analogue of which is found only in gentians and with small, but very light green;
- ‘White Lady’ - the best of snow-white lobelia;
- variety ‘Sapphire’, whose bright blue flowers glow against a background of light leaves;
- variety ‘Cascade Mixed’ - a mixture of ampel lobelia with the most varied colors from white to pink and blue;
- ‘Riviera Lilac’ variety with a siren-pink light color;
- ‘Half Moon’ variety with a contrasting white spot, early bloom and a rare blue color of the corolla;
- ‘Riviera Sky Blue’ variety with sky blue flowers and tall powerful bushes;
- ‘Reggata Rose’ with raspberry pink hue;
- ‘Reggata Sky Blue’ variety with a charming scattering of sky blue flowers.
Other annual lobelia
Ampel lobelia - a form specially developed for growing in hanging baskets. This hybrid has stiff shoots, dense greens and a surprisingly elegant and lush crown. During flowering, ampel lobelia resemble blooming clouds.
The lobelia is the thinnest (Lobelia tenuior) - an elegant and slightly wild-looking plant that does not form such perfect bushes, but charming in its own way. A slender plant about 30 cm high is decorated with blue, occasionally lilac two centimeter flowers. Ideal for landscape design.
Lobelia is strong (Lobelia valida) - a short and rather rare species. Reaching a maximum of 40 cm, it looks like a lobelia erinus, however, with a less accurate and perfect bush. The erect shoots and strikingly dense and lush foliage of this African beauty are the perfect backdrop for large flowers. Blue and purple, they are decorated with a shining white spot and seem almost twice as large as that of lobelia erinus.
Not really a flyer Lobelia is beautiful (Lobelia x speciosa) is not like other annual lobelia. But this is because it is grown in several forms - seasonal and perennial. This is explained by the presence of a plant and individual varieties requiring early sowing, not frost-resistant, and very different, quite hardy forms. Beautiful lobelia blooms in August only when sowing in March-April, and later planting does not allow you to enjoy flowering in regions with harsh winters. That is why it is better to grow this lobelia in the middle lane as a seedling letnik, sowing seeds in January-February.
This is a magnificent and very lush plant up to 80-90 cm tall, with beautiful bright and dense foliage and bee-evident inflorescences. They are lace, translucent, consist of bright pink and red large large flowers of a fanciful shape with a “sponge”. The best mixes are pink-violet-red “Compliment” and ‘Fan Series Mixed’.
Actively use lobelia in landscape design:
- for decorating flower beds from summers;
- to fill in the voids and to place emphasis on flower beds and discounts;
- in ampels and stone flower girls;
- in borders and for decorating the edges of flower beds;
- in mixed container compositions and mini flower gardens;
- for decorating window and balcony drawers;
- as a groundcover.
Lobelia summers are plants not only blooming quite quickly, but also not whimsical. Growing them is not at all difficult if you provide them with comfortable conditions.
Annual lobelia is grown with maximum protection from the cold. They can be planted in the garden, and even more so, planted only after the threat of even light night frosts disappears. Tempering young seedlings must be started earlier, gradually: acclimatized seedlings can withstand zero indicators and even frost to minus 2 degrees. But more severe colds for lobelia are fatal.
The most important thing is to provide crumbs with as bright lighting as possible. The warmest and sunniest areas for lobelia will provide an abundance of flowers and the absence of problems with diseases and pests. Many modern varieties and new hybrids are able to grow in partial shade and even in the shade, while the lighting parameters are best clarified when buying seedlings or seeds.
Soil for lobelia is very easy to pick up. Sandy-loamy or loamy soil, the most common garden land with “medium” characteristics, is ideal for them. If only the soil was loose, it passed water and air well. Please note that lobelias do not like excess in anything, including nutrients: the soil should be ordinary, but not too fertile, and better - even scarce. With excessive amounts of nutrients, especially organics and nitrogen, lobelia build up a thick, stunningly beautiful crown, but bloom very poorly.
Caring for Lobelia Pilots
The most difficult part in growing lobelia is to maintain a constant soil moisture. Lobelia are not afraid of droughts, but at the same time they quickly lose their shape of bushes and instantly stop flowering. They will not be able to recover and will look like ordinary, unremarkable cultures with rare flowers and twisted, elongated shoots. Therefore, watering needs to be given increased attention. Drying of the roots and substrate should not be completely tolerated even for 1-2 days, therefore, watering the lobelia should be frequent and plentiful. It is better to drain the water from the pan after irrigation than to top up. Watering is equally needed for growing in potted form, and for lobelia planted in open soil.
Fertilizing for lobelia is carried out in accordance with not too much love of plants for nutritious soils. Fertilizers are applied periodically, along with abundant watering, only maintaining stable soil characteristics. Usually, for lobelia, top dressing is carried out twice less than for the rest of the pilots - once every 2 weeks or weekly, but in reduced doses.
For beauty and lush flowering, lobelia needs trimmings. The thing is that lobelias bloom in waves and to constantly maintain abundant flowering they need help. The shoots that have already completed flowering are removed from the lobelia, pruning them at a height of about 5 cm. This yearbook very quickly and actively grows new greens and the next flowering wave occurs literally in a matter of days. But do not rush to prune: for many new varieties, the second wave starts on its own without stimulation, and if your lobelia does not show signs of flowering and shows off relentlessly with a flower cover, then there is no point in pruning it. Watch the plant - and it will tell you the best strategy.
If the shape of the bush is important to you, and some shoots are knocked out of the crown, then better pinch the tops and thereby stimulate the bush to thicken.
Pests and diseases of lobelia are not afraid. If they are surrounded by infected plants or if you allow waterlogging of the soil, the plant was badly damaged, it is better not to fight the source of infections, but simply destroy the whole plant and replace it with a new one.
Growing lobelia from seeds
Lobelia in the middle lane can be obtained only by one method - from seeds. At the same time, sowing in open ground is not suitable for them and only the seedling method can be used. Not all varieties of lobelia retain their characteristics with such reproduction, sometimes the color and size of the flowers can be preserved only when cuttings are made. But for this, you need to save the uterine bushes for the winter, and the rooting process itself is not too simple.
Planting Lobelia Seeds:
Seeds for seedlings are sown in February, March, in extreme cases - in the first half of April. For germination they need warmth: air temperature from 20 degrees Celsius, and bright lighting. Seeds are simply scattered on the surface of the soil and do not cover with a substrate. For lobelia, it is important to maintain a constant soil moisture. Germination in this plant usually takes two weeks.
The difficulties with self-growing seedlings are mainly due to the fact that the lobelia must be immediately moved to cooler conditions after germination - with an air temperature of 10 to 15 degrees. As soon as the seedlings grow to 2.5 cm in height, they must pinch the tops. A pick is carried out a month or later after planting, the plants are not planted individually, but several in one pot. The first feeding is carried out two weeks after the dive.
Lobelia can be transferred to open soil or planted in pots for terraces and balconies only after the threat of frosts and prolonged hardening disappear. Transplantation is carried out only in the second half of May.