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Lobelia flowers are similar in appearance to geraniums, but more miniature. The southern flower blooms profusely and is actively used in landscape design in apartments, houses and dachas.
It is important to study the features of caring for him so that the plant feels comfortable and pleasing to the eye.
This article describes in detail the main stages of growing unpretentious and fabulously beautiful lobelia.
How to plant a plant?
The rules for planting lobelia are not too complicated; any novice florist can get seedlings by following certain instructions. In general, they are standard for all flowering plants of this kind.
When to sow seeds for seedlings?
Lobelia seeds are planted for seedlings in February or early March., no later than the first half of the month. From the moment of sowing until the first flowers appear, it will take from 8 to 10 weeks.
How to choose and prepare the soil?
The soil for planting lobelia seeds for seedlings should be nutritious and light. It is recommended to use ready-made store mixes specially formulated for flowering plants and not containing peat.
Soil preparation is carried out a couple of days before planting the seeds. It consists in treating the soil with a phytosporin solution, which has an antiseptic effect. This technique allows you to protect delicate shoots from possible pathogens that are contained in the soil. A little clean sand, heated in the oven for disinfection, can be added to the prepared soil.
What kind of pot do you need?
Lobelia seedlings are not too picky about the type of pot, and thrive both in plastic containers and in ceramic pots. It is important to choose the right container diameter as the flower grows.
There are several breeding methods for lobelia. The first is to grow seedlings from seed material. The second is grafting.
The seed method of growing lobelia has its positive and negative sides:
- The advantages include the ability to obtain the desired shade of flowers and screening out weak seedlings.
- By cons - the need for supplementary lighting with a short daylight hours and the obligatory picking of seedlings.
Next, it will tell you in what ways you can sow seeds and how long they germinate.
Lobelia belongs to heat-loving plants, therefore, planting seeds in open ground is rarely carried out. Growing seedlings from seed material is more often practiced. Sowing in February or early March will allow you to get a blooming flower bed in June.
There are several methods of planting seeds:
- Using peat tablets... If you are planting loose material rather than granular material, it will be convenient to use a wet toothpick to pick up the seeds. They are carefully lowered into the peat tablets.
- Sowing directly into the ground... You will need to take a suitable container, preferably wide and low. The selected soil is poured into it, lobelia seeds mixed with sand or ground coffee are compacted and poured. It is not required to sprinkle the seeds with earth, just press lightly into the soil.
- Landing in cassettes... It is convenient to use this method in the case of sowing granular seeds. each granule contains 8-10 plant grains. Cassettes look like small containers with recessed cells that need to be filled with soil. and the granules are placed inside.
Regardless of the method of planting, the crops are recommended to be treated with a growth stimulator by spraying it from above. Containers with seedlings are covered with a thin plastic wrap (food can be used) or placed under glass. So the moisture necessary for development will be better preserved in the ground. The air temperature must be at least 20 degrees Celsius. You will need daily airing of the seedlings and periodic gentle watering by spraying water.
After the appearance of a couple of real leaves, the seedlings will need to dive, select the strongest and healthiest specimens and plant them in different pots, several pieces in each. Further growth can occur at an ambient temperature of 15 to 18 degrees.
The first shoots may appear already 10-14 days after planting, and it will be possible to wait for flowering in two and a half to three months with proper care.
We offer you to watch a video about planting lobelia seeds for seedlings:
The main advantage of this vegetation method is the guaranteed obtaining of plants with maternal qualities.
The difficulty lies only in rooting, it is recommended to use root formation stimulants. For reproduction, you should choose the healthiest and strongest lobelia sprouts.
Preparation for propagation of lobelia by cuttings begins in the fall. For this, the strongest plants are chosen, which are dug out of open ground and transplanted into separate pots, which must be placed in a cool room or on a windowsill. In winter, care is carried out as usual - airing, watering.
With the arrival of spring, cuttings are cut with a length of 8 to 10 centimeters each. The sprouts must be placed in separate containers with a solution of the root-forming composition.
After the roots appear, the plants are seated in plastic cups., and as they grow, they are transferred to open ground (how to plant lobelia in open ground?).
We offer you to watch a video on how to plant lobelia cuttings:
Are there other ways?
In addition to the above methods, lobelia is propagated by dividing the bush. The procedure is performed in the spring, when the first shoots appear.
You need to dig up a healthy mother plant and divide it into parts, each of which is transplanted for rooting in pits for planting in advance arranged in the open ground.
Here you can see what the plant looks like when properly cared for:
Growing at home
When growing in an apartment or house, it is important to create the most comfortable conditions for flowering and growth for lobelia. This is especially true in winter, because plants can only be stored at room temperature, they will not survive the winter outside.
The temperature regime in the summer involves maintaining the ambient air temperature at the level of 20-25 degrees. During the growth of seedlings, these indicators can be reduced to 15-18 degrees.
The watering regime should be distinguished by abundance in dry weather and moderation in wet weather. The soil should not be dry, but stagnation of water is unacceptable, as it will lead to rotting of the root system.
Lobelia - light-loving flowerbecause it grows naturally in the tropics. The optimal light level is 12 to 16 hours a day. It is important to follow these recommendations at least during the growth of young plants.
Lobelia is pruned after the first flowering. Old flowers are removed, which allows the plant to set new inflorescences.
To extend the flowering period, you can prune in August, which will allow you to enjoy the bright bushes almost until frost.
We suggest watching a video about the features of cropping lobelia:
Lobelia is not too demanding on feeding... Therefore, it is recommended to apply fertilizer only three times during the entire season.
The composition should contain phosphorus and potassium, but nitrogen supplements are not suitable for the plant. You can apply wood ash, potassium sulfate or complex fertilizer for flowering plants after planting in the ground.
Good results are obtained by introducing vermicompost into the soilrich in essential substances.
How to prepare for wintering?
For successful wintering, lobelia must be removed from the street soil and transplanted into a fairly spacious pot. Overwintering should be carried out indoors at a temperature of 10-15 degrees Celsius. Low temperatures will not harm the plant, but will allow it to plunge into the dormant state necessary for abundant flowering next season.
Watering in winter is carried out no more than once a week., feeding is not done. You can leave the lobelia for the winter on a glassed-in balcony or loggia.
Lobelia is unpretentious, caring for her is not difficult. Has many types and colors. And about the rules of planting and caring for it in the open field - read on our website.
Diseases and pests
With good care, the plant is practically not susceptible to the development of diseases.
- If the irrigation regime, temperature or high humidity in the room is violated, root rot may occur.
- In cold summers with heavy rains, lobelia can become sick with powdery mildew or rust. This also happens if the planting of flowers is too dense.
The fight against the disease consists in the complete destruction of diseased plants. For prophylaxis, neighboring ones must be treated with a solution of Fitosporin or another fungicide.
When grown outdoors, in waterlogged areas, lobelia can be attacked by slugs. As a preventive measure, you can resort to mulching the soil with needles, mustard powder or StopSlug.
Aphids are possible in the garden. Treatment of plants with a weak soap solution or insecticidal agents helps. The prevention of the appearance of aphids is also the fight against ants in the garden.
Lobelia is a beautiful and rather unpretentious flower. It is successfully used for growing in flower beds, decorating alpine slides and decorating a home and a plot. It does not require complex care measures, but it always looks magnificent and festive.