Terrace plants and flowers: lobelia

Those who like to decorate the balcony or the garden with refined and fragrant plants that produce flowers from the tiny nuances can not appreciate the Lobelia, an ornamental plant that can integrate discretely in any space, valorizing it elegantly, developing in abundance but without infestating it Measure and in harmony with the other plants.

Features of the Lobelia

This plant belongs to the family of the Campanulaceae, originating in Africa and Asia, may be annual or evergreen. It has also spread widely in Europe where it is used as an ornamental plant for outdoor use, it is common to see it in gardens, such as bark or bush, but it is also highly appreciated in pots and baskets hanging on balconies and terraces. With woody stems and small and green leaves, it has an abundant flowering with small but numerous flowers, different shapes and colors depending on the species (it counts about 200) of white candied color or in various grades of purple, lilac In the blue, or even in the different shades of the rose, up to the red light.

How to cultivate it

The lobelia is an easy-to-grow plant and is very easy to reproduce, it can also be cultivated by those who are not gardeners. It needs a few, simple attentions:

– placed in the shade or in a semi-shaded area because direct light can damage it by burning the leaves;

watering must be regular but not abundant as water stagnation can roam the roots. Liquid fertilizers should be added to the water for a lush flowering;

– in the early cold it is advisable to shelter it in a covered place, sheltering it from frost and heavy rains;

– it prefers a soft and fertile soil to which sand and crumbled bark can be added that can favor drainage by avoiding water stagnation;

– the planting of seeds must take place between February and March, under a thin layer of damp soil, shaded and at a constant temperature (around 18 ° C). Once germinated, in spring, seedlings can be planted in the soil in a sunny area;

– in autumn the branches may dry out due to low temperatures, so it is advisable to use it using sterilized tools to avoid the spread of parasites or infections.


The name was attributed to this plant by the Swedish botanist and naturalist Carlo Linneo, the creator of the scientific classification of the various species, who decided to pay tribute to Mathias de l’Obel, also known as Lobelio, a Flemish botanist practicing at the court Of Giacomo I of England and published an important work describing with minus more than 1500 species of plants.

Like all plants, Lobelia also has medicinal properties, Native Americans smoking the airways to cure asthma and bronchitis. Today, the active ingredient, lobeline, is used to produce drugs that combat asthma and respiratory disturbances in general.

Some species are poisonous, such as Lobelia siphilitica and cardinalis, and may have a toxic effect, though some animals such as hummingbirds and bees are attracted by the inviting colors of their flowers.
Because of this toxicity, it is best to buy it for itself, in the language of flowers, in fact, the Lobelia has become a symbol of desperation and malevolence, so it is not the most suitable plant for a floral tribute

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