Lobelia Growing Tips

Lobelia is a half-hardy annual with more than 360 species, including varieties such as asthma weed, Indian tobacco and vomitweed. Bushier varieties can be used as edging in flower beds, and the trailers variety are good for hanging baskets and container gardens. Though many lobelia varieties are found in temperate climates, the plant is frost-hardy to 32 degrees F. This flowering herb is used to treat asthma and stomach ailments.

Sow Seeds Indoors

Plant the tiny seeds of lobelia indoors in a 3-inch pot of multipurpose compost from January through March. Sow the seeds evenly over the compost, but don't cover. Keep the seeds moist, and place the pot in a well-lit area. When seedlings sprout, separate them into clumps of four to six, and then transplant each clump to a separate seeding pot.

Harden Off Seedlings Before Planting Oudoors

Place seedling pots outdoors in May for a little bit every day to harden off the lobelia plants. Plant outdoors after the threat of frost is gone.

Plant in Full Sun

Lobelia flowers do best if grown in full sun. Enrich soil in garden beds before planting lobelia with rotted compost or manure. Lobelia needs good drainage, but you need to keep the soil moist.

Fertilize Regularly

Lobelia needs nutrients to produce its colorful blooms. Feed every two weeks with a high-potash liquid feed.

Clip Off Spent Flowers

Use shears to cut off dead blooms. This encourages the lobelia to produce more flowers.

Keywords: Indian tobacco, colorful blooms, harden off

About this Author

Carmel Perez Snyder is a freelance writer living in Florida. She attended the University of Missouri and has been a journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Oklahoma Gazette, the Amarillo Globe-News, and eHow.