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The lobelia is an annual flower known for the intense blue provided by certain varieties.

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Description: Lobelias have small, round leaves and flowers up to 1/2 inch in diameter. Some varieties are compact and mound to six inches; others are definite trailers.

How to grow: Lobelia grows best in cool areas. Space four to six inches apart in the garden or in containers.

Propagation: Seeds are tiny and should be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks before planting outdoors. Seeds germinate in 20 days at 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Seedling growth is slow, and the early stages should be watched carefully to prevent damping off.

Uses: Use the mounding forms for edgings, as pockets in rock gardens, or in front of taller plantings beside walks and pathways. The trailing varieties are among the best plants for containers of all kinds.

Related varieties: Mounding forms include: Crystal Palace, deep-blue flowers and bronze foliage; Cambridge Blue, sky-blue flowers; and Rosamund, cherry-red. Some trailers include: Blue Fountain, deep-blue with white eyes; Blue Cascade, light blue; and White Cascade.

Scientific name: Lobelia erinus


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