This beautiful perennial flower from the Kolokolchikov family is impressive both in appearance and size, but it did not receive mass distribution among domestic gardeners. It's strange, but true: you don't mind admiring them, but few decide to land them on their own summer cottage. Let's find out: Is it really that difficult to care for this charming culture or are these fears unfounded by nothing?
Description of the variety and its differences from the annual
Lobelia grows naturally in countries with subtropical and temperate climates, in Africa, in South and North America.
Outwardly, it looks like a bush, low (sometimes up to 225 centimeters in height), but lush. The rhizome of the culture is spherical, fibrous, with branching and thin stems. Leaves - small, juicy green, grow abundantly, forming a "head". It produces a lot of flowers. They have a bright, memorable color:
- milky white;
Lobelia blooms from June to September, magnificently and elegantly, since all the buds bloom at the same time.
The fruit is a seed capsule covered with a dense brown shell, in which many small seeds ripen. The shelf life of seeds is 3 years.
Reference! Annual lobelia is distinguished by a brighter appearance and lush flowering, but this plant is also more delicate, unable to withstand frost. Lobelia perennial is stronger and looks more modest in appearance.
Varieties and photos
Below is a list of varieties of Lobelia Perennial, their description and photos.
Stretches up to 80 centimeters in height... It is a branched perennial with strong, resilient stems that do not need a garter. The inflorescences are dense, the flowers are bright red. Leaves are strong, orange and bronze shades.
The swallow nest
The species is a medium-sized bush covered with purple and blue flowers, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. The variety is successfully grown in flowerpots and hanging pots, perfect for creating flower arrangements.
A small bush (no more than 15 cm in height) with a scattering of white, blue and pink flowers. The leaves are fragile, light green, the stems are thin. The variety is suitable for growing both at home and in the garden.
Ampel variety with a cascading shrub shape... Shoots are thin, hanging down, inflorescences are scarlet, 1-2 centimeters in diameter. Blooming can be admired all summer long.
It has high and straight stems (up to 100 cm in height), inflorescences in the form of large lush spikelets. The flowers are colored purple. He loves moisture, so this variety should be planted near water bodies and alpine hills.
A frost-resistant species that can be planted in cold climates. The bush is tall, strong, with a powerful dense stem. The buds are bright, large, rich burgundy color. Diameter - 2-3 cm.
Another a frost-resistant variety that can survive even a harsh winter... The trunk is high and strong. Flowers are collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, purple or purple in color.
Perennial with a bush height of 70-80 cm. Flowers are collected in spikelets of purple or blue hue. Blossom in July.
Reference! Lobelia is resistant to most diseases. But mealy rot, spotting and root rot can affect it too. Spraying with a solution of ash will help to cope with ailments (a handful of grated soap and 1 kg of ash are infused in a bucket of water), as well as treatment with Fundazol, Topaz, and copper sulfate.
Features of planting and care
Lobelia is transplanted into open ground in spring or early summer, when the threat of winter frost passes.
The soil for lobelia should be light. These are sandy loams with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction of the medium. If the soil in your garden is too acidic, add lime to it (for 1 share of the earth - 1/3 lime), if it is too heavy, add one share of peat and sand.
Lobelia is fed only after picking, 3 times during the entire growing season:
- for the first time - with liquid complex fertilizer 7 days after transplanting into open ground;
- the second time - a complex fertilizer with a low nitrogen content during budding;
- the third time - with the same fertilizer as the second time, but already during the flowering period.
What methods are used to plant?
Lobelia seeds are easy to find commercially. Several plants grow from one seed; you do not need to separate them. Suitable time for planting is the first half of February.
- Mix equal parts earth, sand and peat. Treat the composition with a weak solution of potassium permanganate to avoid contamination. Perform the same procedures with drainage: pebbles or expanded clay.
- Plant the seeds in a container for seedlings, not covering them with earth, but only slightly dulling them, cover them with cling film. Light up daily. The required temperature is +18 degrees.
- Dive the emerging seedlings in heaps of 3-5 pieces. As soon as a pair of true leaves appears, pinch the crown so that the lobelia begins to branch.
Important! It is useful to harden your seedlings: ventilate the room more often, take the seedlings out onto the balcony - this will help the seedlings become stronger and survive sudden frosts.
Do you want to sow seeds directly into open ground? Do this before the snow has melted, at the end of winter: mix with sand and cover with snow - it will saturate them with moisture. The first shoots should appear in a couple of weeks, just remember to spray them until they get stronger. Remember: this option is only suitable for southern regions of Russia and frost-resistant lobelia species.
Seeds are of two types: untreated and coated... Pick up untreated seeds while working with a toothpick soaked in water. Dragee can be sown in peat tablets: put the tablet in a plastic container, pour hot water (50 degrees), when it swells - put a seed in the center, cover the container with a lid and expose to light.
Seeds may not germinate for several reasons. For instance:
- you purchased old (collected more than 3 years ago) seeds;
- covered too much with earth;
- watered little;
- late removed the film and the material rotted.
Cutting is carried out in the spring, in Marchwhen the active growth phase of the lobelia began.
- Cut off or break off a strong shoot (7-10 cm long), closer to the base, moisten the tip with water, and then place it in the Kornevin solution for half an hour.
- Plant the cutting in perlite, vermiculite, or steamed sawdust.
- Create a greenhouse with plastic or glass and place the container in a shaded area. The wilting of the cuttings indicates that rooting has begun. After 2-3 weeks, plant them in separate pots.
Lobelias grown from cuttings bloom faster than those grown from seeds, but experienced flower growers advise not to let her produce flower stalks in the first year... Otherwise, it will negatively affect the health of the plant in winter.
Attention! Treat the pots with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate or Ftosporin-M.
Another possible breeding option - the separation of overgrown bushes - unfortunately, shows low results in engraftment.
Can I grow outdoors?
It is not so difficult to grow a perennial in the open field if you follow a number of rules.:
- Perennial lobelia does not require a special place for her on the site, the only thing: the land should not be saturated with humus. Otherwise, foliage will grow abundantly, and few flowers.
- Seedlings are planted in pits 15-20 cm deep, at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other. Throw half a glass of ash and a tablespoon of vermicompost into each recess, sprinkle with a little earth and pour. Plant seedlings.
- If you are sowing seeds, make sure that they are not sown too thickly, otherwise blackleg disease will arise and your work will go down the drain.
- Although lobelia is a hardy plant, it may be so: after overwintering for a year or two successfully, the third plant may die. This most often happens when thaw alternates with frost, and little snow falls. Therefore, it is worth transferring the lobelia to a suitable room for the winter.
Conditions of detention: adequate lighting, temperature + 5-7 degrees. In the spring - carry out cuttings. Water - in moderation, use Previkur once a month.
- You can dig up the lobelia together with an earthen lump and plant it in a pot, and put the pot in a sunny place at home. There the plant will bloom for another 2 months after transplanting.
- If you plan to leave the plant in the garden, you do not need to prune it. Plants over two years old do not need to be covered. Varieties that withstand winter well: Emperor Willy, Riviera, Cobalt, Fan Scarlet. Fan Burgundy variety winter without shelter, withstanding temperatures up to -23 degrees.
Lobelia can be transplanted into open ground during the warm season.when frosts end: late May - early June. Transplanted in groups of 3-5 pieces, so that a lush bush will form in the future.
- Sprinkle water over the soil.
- Transplant the lobelia along with the earthy clod. The distance between the bushes should be 20 cm.
- Pour some more water under the roots.
Lobelia is a very decorative plant, but at the same time extremely flexible. It grows in the house, and in the garden, and in the ground and even in the water! Well, how can you pass by such a beauty? Pay attention to her!