Lobelia belongs to the family of bells, is considered a unique plant, which is valued among gardeners and breeders. During its flowering in summer, it is similar to a fluffy ball, in which green leaves are almost imperceptible. It is grown in flower beds, hanging decorative baskets, flower pots, lobelia looks very elegant on the balcony. You can create great compositions when designing a garden with such a universal plant, for example, it will look beautiful in combination with petunia. To know how to grow lobelia at home, you need some knowledge and experience, especially at the seedling stage.
The most famous types of lobelia
South Africa is considered the birthplace of the plant, but lobelia is rather unpretentious, and therefore it is common in many countries. Russia has not become an exception. Now in nature about 300 different varieties of lobelia have been bred, each type has its own characteristics. Lobelia in a pot is often used by gardeners as decorations for arches and arbors. Such a plant can be annual or perennial, grass or shrub, there are also cultivated varieties.
Popular varieties of lobelia erinus include:
- "The Emperor Willy";
- "White Palace";
- "Miss Clibran";
- "Red Cascade";
- "Blue Fountain".
Selection of seeds and time of sowing lobelia
To grow beautiful lobelia you need to know, not only how to plant it correctly, but to choose the right seeds. Bush species blooms very copiously, low and dense ball. Observing the rules for care, flowers will not be visible green. Ampelny species blooms not so intensely, the bush is more crumbly. Flowers lobelia of this form require more careful care and knowledge. Even an inexperienced gardener can grow bush lobelia.
When choosing plants worth paying attention to color. Lobelia white shade slowly emerge. Blue and blue varieties sprout and bloom faster. Growing lobelia purple and purple shades - the most troublesome task, they grow poorly.
Seedlings develop a long period of time. From the time of sowing and until it blooms, it takes about 90 days. Lobelia at home begins to grow some gardeners in February. During this period, it requires increased care, since the plant does not have enough daylight, sprouts grow poorly, and the risk of the appearance of a black leg increases. Next month the situation will stabilize. In some cases, saplings of lobelia sown in March, due to sunny weather, catch up with the February ones; therefore, if there are special lamps for lighting and extra time, you can sow the seeds earlier.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
The soil for seedlings of lobelia should be moisture-intensive, nutritious and not heavy. You can purchase a special substrate in the store, designed for growing flower seedlings. If the land is mined personally, then it should be properly prepared: in the fall, make a mixture of forest land, humus, sand and peat in equal proportions, and then sift it through a large sieve. It is important to know that any land, even purchased, must be decontaminated. To do this, it is necessary to treat it with a solution of a fungicide, or just to freeze it on the balcony all winter. To normalize the acidity level of the soil before sowing the seeds, it is enough to add lime or dolomite flour to it.
Successive stages of sowing seeds of lobelia on seedlings:
- Place the prepared earth into a wide and shallow container with drainage holes, tamp on top and leave for 24 hours.
- Seeds of plants, laid out on a sheet of paper bent at an angle, sprinkle gently on the ground substrate, while distributing them evenly. Then you need to spray them with water.
- Tray with seedlings cover glass surface and put on a sunny warm place.
You can sow granulated seeds. Lobelia is well developed, growing from seeds of which occurs in peat tablets or special cassettes. This option of sowing seedlings is easier.
In order for a magnificent plant to grow out of seeds at home, you need to know not only how to plant correctly, but also how to care for lobelia. To do this, you need to air the planted shoots daily, that is, periodically remove the glass, remove the collected moisture and place the reverse side of the transparent cover on the container. After 1-1.5 weeks, when the first sprouts appear, it is recommended to remove the glass and arrange greenhouse conditions for seedlings, covering them with polyethylene and placing them in a well-lit place without direct sunlight. With polyethylene also need to remove the accumulated condensate.
After the seeds have risen, it is necessary to prevent their intensive growth in height. To do this, it is necessary to temper them a little by moving the trays of seedlings for some time during the day to a balcony where the air temperature will be cooler and there is enough light. At night, be sure to bring them into a warm room, providing an additional source of lighting. Also, the backlight should be included in rainy and overcast weather.
It is best to moisten saplings from the bottom, pouring a small amount of water into the pan, as this will prevent the appearance of a moldy fungus on the surface of the land substrate, due to which shoots may die. It is necessary to water from above very carefully from a teaspoon or a disposable syringe. When mold appears on the ground, it must be removed and sprinkled with a thin layer of washed and calcined river sand or crushed activated carbon. To avoid the appearance of any diseases, it is necessary to prevent drying and strong soil moistening, as well as to feed periodically. The soil should be loose and moderately dry.
After the seedlings have grown up, they need to dive, that is, it is necessary to plant them in small bunches, capturing several shoots with the ground in a separate tray. Before that, the soil with seedlings should be wetted abundantly to make it easier to separate the seedlings from each other. The interval between bunches of transplanted plants should be left at least 2-3 cm.
After picking, ram and pour over the ground. When the transplanted sprouts in height will be 3 cm, it is recommended to cut them a little, so they will bush well and bloom.
Water the seedlings need to carefully, without affecting the young leaves. Do it better with a syringe or a teaspoon.