How to Grow a Lobelia Plant From a Seed


Lobelia, also known as Indian Tobacco, is used, in small amounts, as an herbal medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis and cough. In the garden, it is prized for its purple and yellow flowers. Lobelia is usually grown in borders, hanging baskets and containers. Growing lobelia from seed is quite easy and usually done indoors, just prior to the last frost.

Step 1

Fill the seed tray with potting mix and water the mix well. Allow it to drain before planting the lobelia seeds.

Step 2

Scatter the seeds on top of the soil and cover the tray with its top. Do not cover the seeds with soil.

Step 3

Provide light and warmth. Move the tray to a spot in the home or greenhouse where it will be reasonably close to a window. You want the soil to get lots of light, but no direct sunlight. Germination also depends upon keeping the seed tray in a warm environment, with a temperature of at least 70 degrees.

Step 4

Use a misting bottle to maintain moisture in the soil. If the soil begins to turn a lighter brown that means it is drying out and should be misted again. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks.

Step 5

Plant your lobelia seedlings in the garden when they have at least 2 sets of leaves and there is no chance of frost.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lobelia can be poisonous. Do not ingest any part of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed tray with a cover
  • Seed starting potting mix
  • Water
  • Lobelia seeds
  • Misting bottle


  • Cornell University
  • University of Missouri Extension

Who Can Help

  • Purple Sage
Keywords: growing lobelia from seeds, lobelia plants, indian tobacco

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.