The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Too early to sow Lobelia?


By Andrea

Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Am I too early to sow annual lobellia? I started some in a propagator a few days ago and they have germinated already. I have an inclin that they are slow growing, but should I have left sowing till later? Any tips greatfully received!

On plant Lobelia



I'm not too sure how quickly lobelia grow but as an annual it should grow pretty quickly as it has to germinate, grow, flower and produce and sow its seeds all in one year as with all annual plants. Have you sowed in individual cells or as a mat sowing? Thin out the seeds by pricking out the weaker seedlings. Transfer to larger pots as they get bigger, providing you have the room, keep the plants completely frost free in a greenhouse until the risk of frost is over hen plant them in their final resting place. If you have the room to keep a lot of plants in the right conditions, then I wouldn't sow them any earlier than March/April.
Good luck, I cannot get my seeds to survive whatever I do!

14 Jan, 2008


Lobelia have a 2 month seed to bloom time. If you are sowing them indoors you can start them off 10-12 weeks before the last frost is expected but have the space indoors to pot them on once the seedlings are big enough.
It also depends where you are in the world as to when you can plant them out.
Good luck

15 Jan, 2008


Thanks for the replies!

15 Jan, 2008


hi there, i used to work in a garden centre many moons ago, and it used to be my job to sit out the back in the greenhouses pricking out bedding - lobelia where my worst nightmere, they are fast growing, and they are tiny little tangly weedy looking things, so my advice would be to prick them out into trays in small bunches - once they are about an inch tall, any bigger and it gets impossible! they look a bit like cress, when they are the right height for this. and yes i think far too early you will need a heated greenhouse to get away with it now. if you don't have one i think i would opt for a cold frame or frost free area outside rather than inside, - they won't do well with central heating. but i have often found that they overwinter outside in sheltered spots - but as Maple has said i gues that depends on where you live. i am near London. i would agree with Andrea best time to sow is March/April, but if you have a heated greenhouse you may get away with it. good luck Andrea.

15 Jan, 2008


I would say the problem with sowing early is - have you got the space (and warmth) to keep them growing until they can be planted out? And does this include a cold spring? OK, last year we had a heatwave in April but often it doesn't really warm up until Chelsea (mid May). Better to sow late; plants grow away quicker and catch up earlier stuff that has been sitting and sulking in less than ideal conditions.

15 Jan, 2008

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Lobelia - Fan Deep Rose (Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower))
  • hoverfly on lobelia (Lobelia)
  • Lobelia Sapphire (Blue Basket) this again self seeded it self from last year. (Lobelia Sapphire (Blue Basket))
  • Lobelia (Lobelia erinus (Lobelia))

Related products


Related questions

Not found an answer?