Lobelia erinus, Bellflower

Lobelia erinus

Family: Campanulaceae
Origin: South Africa
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantFull sunRegular waterBlue, lavender, purple flowersWhite, off-white flowersPink flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

The versatile Lobelia erinus (Bellflower) is a low-growing, sprawling groundcover, growing to a maximum of 2ft. It looks absolutely stunning when in full bloom with its clusters of small, nodding bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, white, off-white, blue, lavender and purple. Lobelia not only brightens up any garden but also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Lobelia thrives in USDA zones 9-11, but even in colder climates can be grown as an annual. It does best in full sun and requires regular water to keep its soil consistently moist, so it's ideal for window boxes, hanging baskets, planters and as a ground cover.

For potting, use a loose and well-draining soil mix and a good-sized pot, since Lobelia has a deep root system. Place the pot in an area that receives full sun, always keeping a consistent moisture level. When deadheading and pruning, in colder areas it is recommended to wrap the pot in bubble wrap and place it in a sheltered location for winter. In spring, repot the Lobelia in fresh soil, fertilize it and it will be ready to bloom again.

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