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Delicate lobelia with small flowers is a familiar plant for balcony pots. But for a long time and successfully this plant has been used in landscape design due to the variety of shapes and color shades. And they also appreciate the plant for its unpretentiousness in care and maintenance.
How to decorate your small flower garden with this unpretentious culture? Will such a gentle plant withstand open field conditions? You will learn more about this and other useful information from our article.
Varieties that can be grown in the beds, and their photos
Almost all types of lobelia are suitable for planting in open ground. Some of the varieties can only be used as annuals - such plants do not tolerate low temperatures.
But there are plants that are resistant to frost, which will adorn the flower garden for two years in a row. For example, lobelia excellent is a frost-resistant hybrid. Can be grown as an annual or perennial crop. On the basis of beautiful lobelia, a lot of varieties have been bred:
- Compliment Deep Red.
- Fan Deep Rose.
- Fan Scarlet.
- Russian Princess, etc.
Representatives of sessile lobelia are found in the Far East and Siberia. Some of its varieties can bloom already in the first year, but abundant flowering is characteristic of this species in the second year after sowing the seed. Plants can withstand frost, but they need additional shelter to survive in winter.
Lobelia of Cardinal can withstand temperatures down to -35 ° C, while Lobelia Gherardi can handle temperatures down to -30 ° C.
Below are photos of lobelia varieties that can be planted in open ground.
How to plant correctly?
Growing lobelia from seeds in the open field is very troublesome, so even experienced gardeners prefer grafting or growing lobelia by seedlings (when and how to sow lobelia for seedlings?).
When to carry out the procedure?
A plant (seedlings or cuttings) is planted in open ground, depending on the region of Russia, at the end of May or at the beginning of June. The seedlings can withstand temperatures down to -1 ° C at night. But it is better to protect plants from frost with agrotextile.
Some varieties of mature plants are able to withstand winter frosts down to -23 ° C. Lobelia can tolerate lower temperatures under cover.
Lobelia tolerates Russian frosts well.
More decorative species are grown as annuals, as they cannot withstand the harsh winter (lobelia erinus).
How to choose a seat?
For planting lobelia, sunny areas should be preferred, but the plant tolerates partial shade well. If a flower garden with lobelia will be located in a place open to sunlight, then it must be provided with a sufficient amount of moisture. Despite the fact that lobelia is a native of South Africa, direct sunlight is destructive for it.
Loamy or loose sandy loam soil is suitable for the plant. The soil should be fertile, but not oversaturated with humus. An excessive amount of organic matter will give active growth to stems and leaves, which will negatively affect flowering.
During the wintering period in a pot, a temperature of + 10 ° C will be comfortable for the development of the plant. The optimal temperature regime in summer is from +22 ° C to +27 ° C. The formation of buds occurs at temperatures above +21 ° C.
Before planting lobelia, the soil is loosened, nitrogen-free fertilizers are introduced into the holes. To prevent stagnation of water at the bottom, it is advisable to place expanded clay or broken brick. To create optimal conditions for flowering, a mixture of leafy, turfy soil and sand can be poured into the hole during planting of lobelia.
Some types of lobelia can even grow in water, so it is not always necessary to add drainage to the wells.
Planting methods: their advantages and disadvantages
You can plant seeds, seedlings of lobelia or its cuttings in open ground. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Experienced gardeners breed lobelia by sowing seeds directly into open ground:
- The seed is mixed with clean sand.
- The mixture is poured directly onto the snow. As the snow melts, the seeds will receive the required moisture level.
- The first shoots will appear in two weeks.
- a variety of varieties suitable for cultivation;
- less hassle than growing seedlings;
- the plant is stronger due to optimal growing conditions.
- it is difficult to guess the optimal sowing moment;
- you can lose seedlings during recurrent frosts;
- the plant blooms later than specimens grown through seedlings.
In the fall, before the first frosts, the lobelia bush is transplanted into a pot and left in room conditions for the winter.
In February, young shoots form from the base of the bush, which are cuttings:
- Sprinkle soil into the pot so that the shoots touch the soil. To increase the number of cuttings, the plant is pinned to the ground in several places.
- Roots form on the shoots within three weeks. Rooted cuttings are planted in other containers, pre-treated with a stimulant for better rooting and development of the root system.
- When the cutting reaches 5 cm, it can be pinned again for the next cuttings.
Also, cuttings can be done by pruning young shoots:
- Shoots 10 cm high are cut diagonally.
- The cuttings are treated with a growth stimulant and planted in a sandy mixture.
- The planted cuttings must be covered with foil.
- Top dressing of cuttings should be carried out up to 4 times a month.
- Young plants can be transplanted into open ground one month after grafting.
The advantages of this method:
- guaranteed result, since the mother bush fully transmits hereditary characteristics;
- the need to care for the bush from the moment of transplanting into a pot;
- limited use (not all varieties are suitable for grafting);
- vulnerability of cuttings to bacteria.
Further care outdoors
Lobelia is an undemanding plant to care for. All care after planting cuttings or seedlings in the ground is reduced to watering, pruning, feeding and loosening.
- In hot weather, a flower garden with lobelia is watered twice a day (morning and evening). The surface soil must be kept moist at all times.
- Lobelia grows well only on air-permeable soil, so loosening should be carried out regularly. Care should be taken with this procedure - the root system of the flower is very delicate.
- For abundant flowering, it is enough to feed on time. Before flowering, potash fertilizers are applied to the soil during loosening. After applying top dressing, the soil must be watered well. During flowering, complex preparations are introduced - you can choose a liquid form or dry. A month after the first feeding, you can repeat the procedure.
- Abundant flowering of lobelia begins in June and lasts all summer. To prolong this process, the plant is pruned in August, leaving five centimeter stems above the ground. The formation of young stems will begin with the formation of new buds. Flowering after pruning will last until the first frost.
- Ampel varieties need pinching to form a beautiful bush. Other types of lobelia can be pinched as needed.
Read more about the features of planting and further care here.
What if it doesn't take root?
The reasons for the non-survival of a plant are different, but the situation can always be corrected:
- If no shoots have appeared three weeks after sowing the seeds, then it is necessary to re-plant. This problem occurs if old seed is used (more than 2-3 years).
- The second reason for the lack of seedlings is a seeding error. Lobelia seeds do not need to be sprinkled with earth on top, they need sunlight to germinate.
- Another reason for the lack of seedlings is the drying out of the greenhouse surface. To avoid the problem, it is enough to monitor the moisture content of the soil.
Problems can arise with seedlings:
- If, when grown under a film, the seedlings rot, then it is necessary to use a cover with holes. This method guarantees good ventilation with sufficient humidity (a plastic transparent cover from under the cake is often used, where small holes are made).
- Sometimes seedlings die when diving. This situation occurs with an underdeveloped root system. In order to prevent significant damage to the roots, the seedlings should be removed along with the earthen clod. A radical solution to this problem is planting seeds in peat tablets, which eliminates the need for diving.
- And another fairly common mistake in caring for seedlings is watering with too strong a stream of water. Lobelia seedlings are very tender, with such watering they fall and die.
It is recommended to water young seedlings from a spitz or through a pallet.
Lobelia is an unpretentious beauty who is able to transform any piece of the site into a full-fledged flower garden. For abundant flowering of a plant, you must follow a few simple rules:
- maximum scattered bright light;
- abundant watering;
- cardinal pruning in August.
And if you dig up a plant for the winter and provide it with care in the room, then next year you can get even more positive emotions from the overgrown bright bush.
We also recommend watching a video on how to properly plant lobelia in open ground: