The favourite of gardeners and summer residents – lobelia – resembles tiny geranium superficially. The homeland of origin – South Africa. The annual grassy plant is unpretentious and can grow both in the sun, and in shadow. Very delicate flower is ideal for decoration of balconies, beds, decorative flowerpots or suspended pots.
Why the lobelia is so popular
Lobelia (lobelia) belongs to family of bell-flower family. The plant prefers stony and damp soils. The main advantages of lobelia are that its small, gently blue or blue flowers are perfectly combined with other large and bright plants, making fine background in any flower composition. For this reason the lobelia can be used often in landscaping.
There are three species of lobelias: upright lobelia, ampelous and compact where all plants differ in height and form of bush. The upright lobelia reaches in height of no more than 30 cm, branches of ampelous plant grow in length up to 40 cm, and here compact - higher than 15 cm do not grow. The lobelia flower small and has no diameter even of 3 cm, but thanks to the fact that inflorescences always much, the blossoming bush looks magnificently and solemnly.
The plant pleases gardeners in flowers to the first frosts and does not demand special care. By the way, if to grow up lobelia on the balcony, then easily it is possible to prolong blossoming and during the winter period. In order that new escapes have gone and the lobelia has again blossomed, the become bare bush needs to be cut off, fed up and watered. Here the main thing to observe temperature condition and to be zealous not especially with watering. The fact is that lobelia it is bad to transfer strong excess of moisture and direct sunshine. Having good shade-enduring properties, the plant perfectly blossoms even on northern balconies. Thanks to beautiful flowers and air look, the lobelia has taken the worthy place in the hearts of flower growers and landscape designers for a long time. It is not obligatory to grow up lobelia from seeds. If you want to decorate loggia or to decoratively issue garden paths – it is possible to buy ready plant. But will interestingly buy not by all beginning gardener lobelia as goods. It is much more fascinating to undergo all process from landing of seeds and before the first blossoming. Also it is not necessary to think that to grow up beautiful lobelia – difficult occupation. Undoubtedly, work of the flower grower - the business which is not suffering haste, but result is worth it!
Lobelia flowers most often monophonic, but happen also to peephole. Depending on grade, flowers can be white, pink, violet or dark blue color.
How to grow up lobelia
The lobelia, as well as petunia, breeds seeds. It is worth planting to the soil plant seeds at the end of winter, but it is possible to put also at the beginning of March. It is necessary to consider that in this case the lobelia develops slowly therefore it is necessary to think of seedling as soon as possible. And here it is possible to sow seeds to the open ground not earlier than May. For seedling it is the best of all to use superficial capacity. If you have no flowerpot of the necessary form and height, then safely use plastic container from any sweets. Fill the prepared container with the disinfected soil, and from above thin layer fill the calcinated sand. As lobelia seeds very small, them it is convenient to plant in soil toothpick. For this purpose on tip of damp toothpick pick up several seeds and then to transfer to damp soil. This way of landing can suit not all. Therefore it is possible to scatter just evenly seeds in landing flowerpot. From above you should not powder with soil as seeds like to ascend on light. If to put container in well lit place, then the first sprouts will appear in several weeks. It is possible to accelerate process if to cover container with seeds film, thereby having created effect of hotbed. The next stage - cultivation of seedling. Your seedling will be beautiful and healthy if you are able to provide it the correct care. For this purpose carefully you watch soil moisture. You should not miss from attention and lighting. That seedling was strong, it should provide additional lighting in cloudy, rainy days and in the evenings. And still the plant needs training therefore it is good to take out in March seedling on the street. As option it is possible to take out seedling on balcony if it is located from sunny side. The grown-up seedling should be dived and seated. By the way, it is possible to dive even the blossoming lobelia, but it is more troublesome and long process. The fact is that to untangle long and thin stalks rather laborious work which is necessary not to all on temper. Seedling of lobelia it is possible to feed up complex fertilizer. It is possible to make subforage one-two times prior to the beginning of the blossoming period. One more method of reproduction of flower - cherenkovaniye. For this purpose it is required to keep adult plant till spring, having brought it to the house. It is necessary to cut shanks in the spring and to implant them in soil. That the lobelia has better taken root, shanks can be dipped into growth factor and to cover with plastic bottle, having created thereby mini hotbed. At the same time the small greenery needs to be aired and deleted regularly excess of moisture from walls. It is necessary to water shank only with warm water. After the shank takes roots, it can be given on landing to the open ground. Sometimes in the open ground plants are attacked by mealy dew and other fungal diseases. If folk remedies do not help, safely apply topaz, otherwise the plant can long be ill and lose the charming look.
In strongly fertilized soil the lobelia is inclined to blossoming less therefore you should not feed up her often. For the best branching lobelia seedling, after dive, can be prishchipyvat several times.
It is necessary to mention that the lobelia has been called in honor of the botanist de L'Obiel living in the 17th century. Today the lobelia is collection from hundreds of grades: Rozamunda, "Crystal palace", "Red cascade" and others. Even on photo, flowers of lobelia strike with the tenderness, charm and pleasant pure color. For this reason many gardeners so like to decorate garden with fine lobelias.