- Type Ornamental flower
- Lifespan Annual or perennial
- Growing Zones 8-11
- Light Sun or some shade
- Water Moist soil
- How to Plant Seeds or transplants
- Design Tip Deadhead for repeat blooms
- Companions Begonias, alyssum
- Peak Season Warm months
Lobelias: A Field Guide
Warm weather lovers, lobelias can be either annual or perennial flowers (depending on the species) and bloom in a wide range of colors—from blue to white to deep red. The most commonly sold species is L. erinus, a workhorse of an annual that produces a profusion of flowers throughout the growing season to spill over the lip of a window box or fill a bare spot at the edge of a garden bed.
Lobelias are happiest in sunny spots with moist soil and can be sown directly into ground. You can jumpstart that their flowering season if you buy nursery seedlings and transplant them after danger of frost has passed in your growing zone.
Are lobelias the right plants for your garden? Species to consider include L. cardinalis (also known as. Lobelia fulgens) is a perennial with red flower spikes that earned its nickname: cardinal flower. L. siphilitica, also known as blue cardinal flower, is another perennial and thrives in woodlands. L. inflata is a medicinal herb used in homeopathic treatments and L. erinus cultivars (blue, purple, pink, or white) with mounding or trailing habits will hide scraggly stems of past-their-prime perennials.