Surface sow and press in lightly; requires light to germinate.
Recommended. Start indoors in late winter. Cover with humidity dome or a light sprinkling of vermiculite to retain moisture until germination occurs. Do not allow soil mix to be saturated with water, a light even moisture is best. Keep at 70F. After transplant grow on cool, 50-55F.
Not recommended, as seeds and new seedlings are very tiny and delicate.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Lobelia is a hummingbird magnet and will also attract butterflies. It grows best where soils are consistently moist, including water gardens and edges of streams and ponds, and in borders with rich, moisture-holding soil. Add about an inch of mulch or compost to help conserve moisture, keeping away from the plant's crown. Wait until spring to cut back. A short-lived perennial that can be renewed by seed or by dividing every 2-3 years in spring in zones 6 and in autumn in zones 7-9. Caution: toxic if ingested in significant amounts.
At least 1" per week. Keep evenly moist, but not soggy, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
Mix in 1-2" inches of compost prior to planting and top-dress with a thin layer each spring.
Diseases & Pests:
Lobelia can be susceptible to leaf spot and crown rot, but this can be avoided by placing in a location with plenty of air flow, watering mornings only and avoiding overly saturated soils. Slugs can occasionally be a problem, but can be treated by applying pelletized iron phosphate. Diatomaceous earth can also be used.