Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace', or Edging Lobelia, is a half hardy annual of hybrid origin. Plants are about 8 inches (20.3 cm) tall and have a trailing habit. The upper leaves are linear and lower leaves are elliptic to obovate to 0.5-1 inch (1.25-2.5 cm) long, all are serrate. Leave are greenish bronze in color. This cute little plant is great for containers and hanging baskets. In the landscape they make great edging plants. In mild winters, they will reseed themselves. Being an annual they will grow in all zones.
Blooming: Plants will bloom in as little as 8 weeks from seed. The dark blue flowers are in loose racemes with flowers are 0.5-0.75 inches (1.27-1.9 cm) across. Flowering period will last from late spring through fall. Very showy!
Culture: Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace' does best in partial shade to full sun in cooler climates. The soil needs to be a well- drained moist soil mix. In the greenhouse we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. Since the plants in nature are bog plants they need to be kept moist at all times. We fertilize the plants every other week with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Since they are annual we let the plants die off in the fall and replant again in the spring. Although if they are kept in a warm greenhouse, they tend to grow like perennials, but the plants do get very scraggly during the winter months.
Propagation: Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace' is best propagated from seed. Seed will germinate 14-21 days.
Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace' was featured as Plant of the Week January 16-22, 2009.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.