Lobelia Sapphire is a perennial ampelous plant. It is a small but spreading bush, lushly dotted with small, graceful blue flowers. At home, it is easy to dilute it from seeds. Planting is carried out in early March, and the seedlings are transferred to open ground in the first half of May.
Description of ampelous lobelia Sapphire
Lobelia Sapphire (Regatta) is a popular variety of ampelous lobelia native to Central America. Although it belongs to perennial plants, in Russia in most regions it is grown as an annual, i.e. for wintering, the bush is taken to a heated room.
Lobelia Sapphire (pictured) is a low plant (15-20 cm, less often 30-50 cm). The flowers are blue, they consist of three fused corollas of an asymmetrical shape. Their diameter does not exceed 2 cm.
Lobelia Sapphire attracts attention with miniature flowers
The leaves of the culture are small, with a rich green hue. The shoots of the ampelous lobelia Sapphire spread along the ground, they cannot stay in a standing position. Therefore, the plant is suitable for ground cover plantings. It can be planted in planters and pots to decorate any corner of the garden. Long bloom - from early June to early September. The seeds are formed in small bolls. They are very small, so you need to collect carefully.
This crop can be bred as an indoor or garden plant.
At home, Lobelia Regatta Sapphire can be obtained in different ways:
- from seeds;
- from green cuttings;
- dividing the bush.
Seeds for seedlings are grown using the traditional method. They are planted in early March. First, they are kept in a greenhouse at 25 ° C, then the temperature is slightly reduced. In early or mid-March, the seedlings are transferred to open ground or to a pot that can be placed anywhere in the garden.
Green cuttings are obtained at the beginning of summer - they should have 2-3 internodes. First, they are grown in a greenhouse, and in the fall they are transplanted into a pot and kept at a temperature not exceeding 8-10 ° C. The division of the Sapphire lobelia bush is carried out in the middle of spring. For this, adult bushes are chosen at the age of at least 3-4 years.
Very often, gardeners prefer to plant Sapphire lobelia seedlings. This method provides strong seedlings that can definitely take root in the open field. The seeds can be purchased at the store and then harvested on their own (they finally ripen by the end of September).
Since lobelia Sapphire seedlings are transferred to open ground in mid-May, the seeds can be sown in early March, and in the southern regions at the end of February. Even with late planting in April, seedlings can be obtained. In this case, the flowering period will shift from June to July, but the lobelia will still have time to please with flowers.
Tank and soil preparation
For growing, you can use ordinary universal seedling soil or make a mixture yourself. To do this, take the following components (in equal amounts):
- garden land;
- fine sand;
- rotted compost.
You can also use turf soil with compost and humus in a 2: 1: 1 ratio. To make the soil lightweight, moss, sawdust or expanded clay are added to it. As containers, you can take a regular plastic container with a lid. Disposable cups are also acceptable.
Lobelia Sapphire seedlings can be grown on a windowsill
Attention! The soil should be disinfected by holding for several hours in a weak solution of potassium permanganate or hydrogen peroxide. Then it is washed under running water and dried.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Lobelia Sapphire seeds, like those of its other perennial varieties, are very small, so it is more convenient to take them not with your fingers, but with a moistened toothpick. Planting instructions:
- The soil is placed in a container and abundantly moistened from a spray bottle.
- Transfer several seeds (2-3 seeds per 1 cup) and simply lay them on the surface.
- You do not need to sprinkle with earth - the container is placed in a warm place and covered with glass.
First, Sapphire lobelia seedlings are grown in greenhouse conditions at a temperature of 24-25 ° C. The container or cups are covered with glass or foil with holes. It is very important to create suitable conditions:
- regular backlighting up to 12-13 hours a day;
- periodic airing of the greenhouse;
- humidification from a spray as needed.
It is not recommended to feed the soil with organic matter. However, if the soil is depleted, you can add a pinch of wood ash or complex mineral fertilizer.
A pick is carried out after the appearance of two or three leaves
Lobelia seedlings at this time are very tender, and their roots are strongly intertwined, so you need to act carefully. In the future, the temperature is gradually reduced to room temperature, and 15-20 days after planting, the glass is removed. Continue lighting and watering regularly.
Important! 2-3 weeks before transplanting Sapphire lobelia into open ground, the seedlings are taken out on the balcony or outside for 5-15 minutes, then the time is increased to several hours (temperature 15-18 ° C).
Lobelia Sapphire seedlings grow very slowly at first. To finally get stronger before transplanting to a permanent place, they will need 60-65 days. To stimulate growth, the shoots must be pinched. The procedure is started after picking, as soon as the seedlings grow up to 3-4 cm.
The apical shoot can be left to grow until it reaches the desired height (8-10 cm), and then also pinched. All other branches are pruned every 2-3 weeks so that the shoots grow evenly. Then the Sapphire lobelia bush will take the correct spherical shape.
Planting and caring for climbing lobelia Sapphire outdoors
The seedlings are recommended to be transferred outside if the night temperature does not drop below 8-10 ° C, and the threat of recurrent frosts is practically absent. In the south, this can be done at the end of April, in the middle lane - at the beginning of May, in the Urals and Siberia - in the middle of the month.
The site should be pre-cleaned and dug up. It is not worth applying organic fertilizers, because Lobelia Sapphire prefers mineral supplements. If the soil is not too fertile, you can apply a complex fertilizer.
The holes form shallow, with a small interval of 15-20 cm. In this case, the bushes will form a dense planting, reminiscent of a beautiful blue carpet. In order not to damage the roots, the seedlings are transferred along with an earthen clod. Immediately after transplanting, they are watered abundantly.
Important! Lobelia ampelous Sapphire is best planted on small hills, in a sunny place with light partial shade.
Watering and feeding schedule
Water the plant regularly - at least 1 time per week. If it rains heavily, you should not give additional water. If there is no precipitation, watering should be increased to twice a week. To help the soil retain moisture longer, it can be mulched with sawdust, peat or hay.
Top dressing is applied 3-4 times per season:
- After transplanting, any nitrogen or complex mineral fertilizer is given (if it was applied during the preparation of the site, nothing else needs to be done).
- The first flowers will appear in early June - at this moment it is recommended to feed the seedlings with superphosphate and potassium salt.
- A similar composition is applied every 3-4 weeks for lush flowering.
- The last feeding is carried out no later than mid-August. Then lobelia Sapphire needs to be prepared for the winter season.
Regular feeding guarantees a lush and long flowering crop
With even minimal feeding and regular watering of lobelia, Sapphire grows very actively. Shoots spread quickly on the ground or hang from pots. Therefore, they should be trimmed or pinched with your fingers. Strongly protruding branches are removed, shortening to normal. As a result, the bush takes on a beautiful spherical shape.
Lobelia Sapphire has an average winter hardiness. The plant can withstand temperatures up to minus 25-29 ° C. Therefore, in the middle lane, the Chernozem region and in the south, wintering in the open field is allowed. Preparation for winter consists of several stages:
- In early October, lobelia is well watered.
- Trim all branches to a minimum height of 4-5 cm.
- Then covered with foliage, peat, creating a layer of 15-20 cm.
- If the site is exposed to winds, it is additionally covered with agrofibre and fixed.
In Siberia and the Urals, Lobelia Sapphire may die due to a too harsh winter. Therefore, it is better not to risk it and move it to a heated room. In winter, the bushes are kept at a temperature of no higher than 6-8 ° C on a loggia or an insulated balcony.
Pests and diseases
With normal care, Lobelia Sapphire is rarely affected by diseases, however, sometimes spots and other signs of fungal infections (powdery mildew, rust) appear on the leaves. With excessive watering, the plant can suffer from root rot. For prophylaxis, seedlings after transfer to open ground are treated with any fungicide:
- Bordeaux liquid;
- Profit and others.
It is also recommended to periodically inspect sapphire lobelia bushes for the presence of pests - slugs or thrips. They use folk remedies and insecticides (Aktellik, Decis, Confidor). To protect the flower garden from slugs, crushed eggshells or stone chips are poured near the borders.
Lobelia Sapphire is a beautiful ampelous culture that blooms almost all summer. The plant goes well in flower arrangements. It can be bred at home or outdoors. Care is simple: watering, feeding and preparing for the winter.