Perennial lobelia

Written by amber kelsey
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Lobelia plants (Lobelia) are herbaceous perennials belonging to the Campanulaceae family. Perennial lobelia varieties typically prefer humusy, wet soils in fully sunny to partly shady locations. Lobelias typically don't attract pests or disease pathogens.

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Common perennial lobelia plants include the blue cardinal flower (Lobelia siphilitica), the edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus) and the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis).


The blue cardinal flower thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 4 to 9, while the cardinal flower grows well in Zones 3 to 9. Indigenous to South Africa, the edging lobelia grows best in USDA Zones 10 and 11.


The cardinal flower blooms deep red or pink blossoms, while the blue cardinal flower displays tubular, dark blue flowers. Edging lobelias bloom fan-like flowers in varying shades of blue, purple, pink and red.

Time Frame

Blue cardinal flowers and cardinal flowers bloom from July through September; edging lobelias, April to June.


Blue cardinal flowers grow between 2 and 3 feet high; cardinal flowers, between 2 and 4 feet; and edging lobelia plants, 4 to 9 inches.


The blue cardinal flower and the cardinal flower thrives in moist conditions along meadows, springs and streams. Gardeners often plant edging lobelias in containers, borders, rock gardens and butterfly gardens.

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