Sunday, August 05, 2012

Great Blue Lobelia: You Can Grow That!

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica L) is a native perennial plant to the Eastern half of the United States. It is a woodland plant that prefers part-sun and even moisture. (Do not allow to fully dry out or it starts to get "crispy.") It grows to about 1-3 ft high. It tolerates most any soil type -- heavy clay to sandy.

When I lost a huge oak tree in my backyard a couple years ago, I started to seek out plants to replace my deep shade garden there and this has made a great transition plant.
The Great Blue Lobelia is a good plant for attracting pollinators with its brilliant blue-violet flowers in mid-late summer when many other things in the garden are starting to flag.

To propagate it, divide clumps in the spring. I received mine as a division at a local garden club plant swap. It does also re-seed a bit especially in a damp yard, but it is very easy to pull.


6 comments:

Jane said...

This is a lovely Lobelia. It is a great family that offers showy garden flowers for all different climates. Love this one (but I'm a sucker for the blues!). Thanks.

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jane. I have the red Lobelia too, but as you say, the blue is so much lovelier.

joene at joene's garden said...

I love this plant (I'm also a sucker for blues) but, sadly, so do the deer I garden with in Connecticut. I enjoyed your photos, though.

WashingtonGardener said...

Joene - Sorry to hear about the deer :-( Thanks for stopping by.

A1 Chandigarh said...

"A garden should be natural-seeming, with wild sections, including a large area of bluebells." -Diana Wynne Jones, "Castle in the Air"Bhubaneswar Flower

Mary said...

Blue lobelia is one of my favorite plants, for ease of growth, color, and length and timeliness of bloom. They seed easily but not obnoxiously; sometimes an extraordinarily dark-flowered or a white-flowered plant will come up. Surprisingly for a plant that loves streambeds, lobelia tolerates dry shade in clay soil. Many Augusts it was the single freshly blooming plant, bridging the seasons in my Ohio garden. Lobelia is an herbal plant for those who enjoy history, and it's deer-resistant. What's not to like?