Growing Guide
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Annual Flower

Also known as Dwarf Annual Lobelia, Edging Lobelia
Lobelia erinus
Campanulaceae Family

Its delicate and dainty blooms of purple, pink, white and blue make Lobelia an excellent choice for adorning the garden border, window boxes and hanging baskets.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Grow in part shade where summer heat is intense, including urban areas.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 0.33 to 0.75 feet

Spread: 0.25 to 0.5 feet

Some varieties of Lobelia have a spreading or trailing habit.

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • blue
  • violet
  • white

The blue is electric!

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • dark green

Some varieties have leaves tinged with bronze.

Foliage texture: fine


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • spreading mass

Depends on variety.

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - South Africa
  • butterflies
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last spring frost. Do not cover the seeds with soil, as light aids germination. Bottom water to prevent damping off. Seedlings mature slowly. It's easier to buy pre-started plants.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 14 to 21

Maintenance and care:
Pinch back the tips when young to keep plants bushy. Cut back by after first major flowering to insure further bloom. Keep watered in dry weather. May fade out during hot dry summers, but thrives when temperatures are cooler.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Various foliage colors and flower colors (unicolor and variegated).

'Cascade' Series: trailing plants with various flower colors, excellent for hanging baskets.

'Rainbow' Series: short (4 to 6) plants for borders and edging