Lobelia is a particular favourite of mine, and are a must for summer pots that add a splash of colour. Lobelia come in trailing and upright varieties and are part of the Campanulaceae family of plants. Their flowers can be coloured from deep purple to dark and light blues and white.
These are best started by seed and can be grown in any moist, well-drained soil. They prefer light shade to full baking sun, and are ideally suited to being grown in pots and containers. Generally speaking lobelia are problem-free garden plants which require very little attention. In my experience, if you deadhead spent flowers, the plants can survive through milder London winters, and I’ve had a pot of flowering trailing pale blue flowering lobelia on the walkway ‘balcony’ surviving from last summer and still flowering well. Love lobelia!
According to Maggie Campbell-Culver, lobelia arrived to Britain in 1752 from the Cape of Good Hope. “This was the forerunner of, and in large part responsible for, all the bedding and trailing lobelia that is planted each summer in our gardens. Philip Miller cultivated it in the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1759.”