About Great Blue Lobelia: This plant’s genus name of Lobelia honors Flemish botanist Mathias de Lobel, who studied medicinal uses for plants. “Siphilitica,” the species name, is derived from a folk belief that this plant could treat syphilis.
Great Blue Lobelia Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting on the surface of the soil since these seeds need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. To start indoors, sow the seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring and keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Transplant the seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost.
Growing Great Blue Lobelia Seeds: Keep seedlings well watered and control weeds. These plants need continual moisture, and thrive even in very wet soil. To encourage bushier growth, pinch back the stems before they bloom. These plants may self-sow in good growing conditions. Mature plants can be divided in early spring. These flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and flourish near ponds or streams.
Harvesting Great Blue Lobelia: These blooms make excellent cut flowers. Choose stalks with flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the foliage that will fall below the surface of the water.
Saving Great Blue Lobelia Seeds: As soon as the flowers fade, watch the seed heads carefully since the tiny seed can easily blow away in the wind. Shake the seed heads over a container to remove the ripe seed; repeat until all the seed has ripened. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Great Blue Lobelia Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: None Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Fall Height: 12-36 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Wet to Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 800,000 Produces a plant with serrated, dark green leaves and spikes of bright blue, deeply lobed flowers.