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Lobelia Trailing Lilac, or Lobella Erinus, is a splendid free-flowering variety producing large, delicate lilac flowers. Our trailing lobelia plants are fantastic trailing over walls as well as in baskets and containers. This annual can reach a trail length of 10-50cm, carries no scent and enjoys Sun or partial shade.
As you'd expect from an African flower, it doesn't like the cold, so start your seeds at least 8 to 10 weeks before your expected last frost date.
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice.
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You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
The seeds require light to sprout, so don't bury them. Instead, scatter them across the surface of lightly moistened potting mix and then press the seeds gently to the surface. Germination can take up to three weeks. Once you see leaves developing on the infant plants, they can be separated into individual cells or small plant pots.
Planting; "Harden off" your transplants by taking them outside once the warm spring days arrive, but bring them back inside until a few weeks after all risk of frost has passed. Once that date arrives, they can be transplanted into your garden or a suitable container or hanging pot. Lobelia prefer full sun but tolerate some partial shade, and they aren't finicky about soil as long as it's reasonably well-drained. This is a key difference from the native L. cardinalis, which likes wet soils.
Trailing varieties work beautifully as part of a rock garden or tumbling over the sides of a planter or container. Some cultivars of L. erinus are sold as "edging lobelia," as opposed to "trailing lobelia," and have a more upright habit of growth. They'll reach up to 9 inches in height and spread to about a foot, while trailing varieties are about half as high but can spread more.
Use trailing lobelia beneath taller plants to fill up a planter or hanging basket, and use edging lobelia to fill in spaces between perennials or taller annuals. The trailing and edging varieties are similar in appearance, so you can combine them in the same spaces to create a fuller appearance.
Managing; Trailing lobelia doesn't need a lot of maintenance. It begins to bloom in spring and continues through until it's killed by the arrival of cold weather. Spent blossoms will drop on their own, so you don't need to deadhead the plants, though it can help them to continue blossoming lavishly.
Blossoming may slow down in the mid-summer heat, especially in warmer growing zones. You can counter that tendency by pruning them back in mid-summer, which encourages new growth and a more lavish show of blossoms in late summer. Gardeners in hotter zones can also opt for heat-tolerant cultivars, which cope better with the hot sun.
Water moderately but frequently, enough to keep the soil moist but not sodden. Feed them biweekly with a high-phosphorous liquid fertilizer throughout the blooming cycle to encourage more lavish blooms.
Pests; One of the joys of growing lobelia is that its needs are as minimal as its blossoms are lavish. They're susceptible to few diseases and pests, and even deer don't show much interest in them. For most growers, the mid-season slump in blossoming is the only real issue you'll face.
Spider mites can sometimes be an issue, but they're easily controlled by spraying the plants periodically with one of the many insecticidal soaps available from your local garden center. In damp conditions you may see a fungal infection attacking the leaves or stems, in which case you should remove and destroy the infected plants and cut back on your watering schedule.