Real World Gardener Perennial Lobelia is Plant of the Week

October 2nd, 2015

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 PLANT OF THE WEEK

Talking with the Plant Panel; Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley owner www.thegreengallery.com.au

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Do you love blue flowers? If so you’ll love this next plant,

Lobelia spp.is usually sold as an attractive annual herb but there are new varieties that are biennial or even perennial.
Lobelia it’s an easy-to-grow, carefree plant that prefers cooler climates but grows all through the summertime.

Butterfly like blue flowers smother the plant for many months.

Flower colour is the brightest of brilliant blue.
It flowers so much it will be still going right through until the first frost. 
Did I mention that the flowers are really, really blue so let’s find out what it is…

Lobelia species are native to North America, South America and Southern Africa There are many selections of Lobelia erinus grown in gardens around the world and growing lobelia is an asset to the garden.
Lobelia erinus from which Lucia Dark Blue is bred and selected is South African in origin. 
'Lucia' Dark Blue

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Location is the key to success with Lobelias.
They need a well draining garden bed or container in full sun to part shade for some of the day.
Keep the soils evenly moist and mulch to conserve moisture and keep the soil cooler.
Once plants are established a regular but diluted liquid feeding programme every two weeks or so is beneficial.
Insect pests and other diseases are not a serious problem.
A light prune when plants are beginning to look a bit sad together with an application of a balanced fertilizer will promote new growth and another crop of flowers.

 

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