Lobelia hates me

KrazyKim(z5 MI)June 27, 2005

What am I doing wrong with this plant? I have a blue variety of lobelia......put it in part shade, it shrivels up and dies. Put it in sun, yep....deader than a doornail. I've tried on and off for years to grow this stuff and to no avail. Plenty of water, Miracle Grow, you name it. I have hundreds of different flowers that do just fine but not this one. I was so hoping that the red gerberas, blue lobelia and the shastas would be pretty for the 4th but nope. Any suggestions other than to avoid throwing my money away???????

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Not to worry....you are in good company....it hates me too.
It doesn't like hot weather....the best I have seen it growing is in places like Vail Colorado and other cooler locations.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 6:39PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mine do fine all summer long since I learned not to wet the foliage. I have also been spritzing my container plants with Daconil - it makes a BIG difference in foliage appearance.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 6:52PM
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I, too, have had this problem for years with the standard blue lobelia. It starts out fine but dies by mid-summer. It is absolutely my favorite annual! However, I found a different variety about 2 summers ago, called "Big Blue". It is a slightly larger plant with more of a trailing habit, but, otherwise looks pretty much the same....beautiful blue flowers. It lasts much longer and usually lasts the entire summer for me. Here in Connecticut, I can usually find it at my favorite nurseries, though, never at places like Lowe's or Home Depot. If you have a good local nursery, maybe you can ask them about it...............Marilyn

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 9:33AM
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WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)

hmm, I just try to keep the soil around them moist (I water most of my annuals every day in this heat if there is no rain) and they are fine. Around here, the hanging baskets of them are fairly popular as well.

Good luck w/ the problem.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 10:21PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Let us know how your lobelia is on August 1st.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 10:54PM
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I've been growing the blue lobelia the past several years. I've done different kinds of blues. Mine bloom until it frosts. Even thru our usually hot summers. It gets about 5 hrs of sun, but only from early morning until around noon. I mulch it with cocoa bean mulch. They hate drying out. I water once a week. Our summers are quite often in the mid 80's to mid 90's. A few have been wet, but mostly I have to water once a week. I do have them in a raised bed that drains well. But the mulch keeps the soil damp and cool. I don't trim them, they just keep on blooming. By mid July they are draping really nice over the edge of the bed. The only things I can think of is keep them out of the afternoon sun and mulch them to keep the soil cool.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 4:50AM
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It really doesn't like me either...but I have managed to keep a few alive by planting them next to our pond in a spot where a rock almost provides a sun umbrella for them. I think they like it shaded. Mine is a dark blue flower on dark foliage. Them seem to like a lot of water.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 12:35PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i didnt think it was a full sun plant ... i grew it with the impatience and usually had to beat it back with a stick ...


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 1:56PM
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tinamcg(Z5b Kansas City)

I don't see much annual lobelia at garden centers any more. I think a lot of people got tired of ripping it out as soon as the heat set in. Once I plant my annuals, I want them to last the summer. I gave up on it, too. Mimulus, pansies and violas present the same problem, but I sure love those plants.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 3:55PM
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Boy am I glad to see this post! I thought it was just me...mine looked great until last week when the heat came...they are in shade/part shade. The ticket with my baskets said "full sun", yeah right! Glad to know it's just not me!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 5:21PM
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Some annuals are sold crowded into a cell. Lobelia seeds are so tiny, you may get 50 plants altogether, which makes them die out faster. Some annuals have short life spans and need to be cut back hard to rebloom. Lobelia rots easily when too wet and crowded.

I've had very good luck with 'fountain' lobelia (hanging stems of mixed colors) started from seed, divided up into little plugs of only a few plants together. They spill over the containers in full sun and last most of the summer, enough to make it worth growing these darling delicacies.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 8:01PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

This is the first year mine have done so well. The big change? I'm watering them sometimes twice daily but the problem is i've stuffed them into planters with other flowers that dont need as much water. I think my geraniums are getting too soggy, not flowering much but that's another story!

I was a bit disappointed in the big flats of "Regatta" lobelia I tried this year. All sorts of color mix-ups, the whites turned out to have purple, blue and white in one plant, blue with white insides... but oh well, the irritation is so slight ;) like I said in another thread somewhere, I've never met a lobelia-hater!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 9:03PM
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How about growing it in a large pot? Simply move the pot to various locations in your garden until you find a location where it thrives. Perhaps it doesn't like your garden soil. In a pot, you could satisfy those needs as well.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 9:28AM
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SacGardener(z9 CA)

Add me to the hate list. I can't get this beauty to grow in any conditions. From reading the other posts, it seems that perhaps heat is the problem since I live in the Sacramento area and it gets really really hot here. Wonder why it does so well in the nursery and at commercial sites where it is planted and thriving in full sun. hmmmmm

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 1:50AM
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dighappy(z7 NJ)

Anyone care to post pictures of their lobelia.....I have Lobelia siphilitica (blue cardinal flower) which is a perennial but I am interested in seeing what the annual lobelias look like.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 4:08PM
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Are you talking about annual lobelia? I have crystal palace. Tried it for the first time this year and it has been a knock out! Note that I am in NC, zone 7. Maybe this one is more heat resistant than the ones you chose. I had it in partial shade because I thought it liked cooler weather, but had to move it because it wasn't growing. Now it has sun from 6:00 am to about 2:00 pm, and it is thriving. The flowers are such an intense, deep blue. I'll try to post a photo.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 4:16PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

I have tried every annual lobelia since the year it first sat it's little flat on the greenhouse tables. It hates me, thats all. I have it planted in containers with good soil that my favorite greenhouse uses to start their plants. I have the other in highly organic matter in the ground. Nope, it isn't working. I will not waste anymore money on it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 8:40PM
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Eliza_ann_ca(zone 6 ont ca)

This isn't the best picture,but I took it of Lobelia in one of my garden shed window boxes about a month ago.It's filled in much more now.
From my experience it prefers shade over sun.I grow it every year and have always had problems with it dying off if it gets too much sunshine.

Eliza Ann

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 7:54PM
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I find little clumps appeared from the seeds and looked healthy enough ... and then stayed just like that. No more growth whatsoever. That's your lot pal. I tried separating them, planting them in window boxes in sun and shade, watering, feeding, talking to them. They don't die and they don't grow.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:23PM
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Same here, mine are dying off. I have them in a large container area. A few were able to withstand a couple weeks of 90+ - 100+ weeks of weather, most of the newer ones that planted died off right away while the more established ones are still hanging on. I water almost every day.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 11:11AM
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I have two in the same planter. one lovely , the other shriveling up. Can't figure it out

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 6:18PM
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I love blue lobelia, but I never plant it in sun. In shade it does very well. Lobelia likes to be kept cool, moist but not soggy soil and it spreads and blooms all season for me. Interestingly though, this year I found some lavender lobelia which I planted along with the blue. The lavender has been shriveling and dying, yet the blue is still looking great. I can't understand it, but next year - no lavender!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:31AM
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