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Lobelia, also known under the name Loyal to Men, is known for its cushion-like growth and its multitude of blue flowers. As winter approaches, is their end near or not?

Lobelia originally come from warm Africa and are therefore usually not hardy

Origin in Africa - not used to frost

Originally, the lobelia come from the southern parts of Africa. They are used to the warmth there. They don't handle frost well. Even a temperature of 0 °C can make the difference between life and death. In short: lobelia are not hardy in our latitudes.

In this country mostly annual

The most common species commercially available in this country is Lobelia erinus. This specimen, of which there are many cultivars, is an annual. That means when winter comes, this plant will die. You have to replant or sow them every year. But that's not a problem.

Sown, germinated, blossomed

Lobelia are fast growers and will flower in summer even if they were only sown in spring. From January, the seeds can be grown at home - preferably under glass. They are light germs, which prove to be extremely germinating. From mid-May the plants can be out and they are already blooming at the end of May/beginning of June.

Perennial Lobelia: They can be overwintered

So-called perennial lobelia are perennial. They get bigger, grow more vigorously and tolerate some frost, but not for days. You shouldn't challenge them! These fellows should preferably be provided with winter protection or housed indoors in a frost-free place.

How does wintering work outside and in the bucket?

Perennial lobelia, which can survive the winter outdoors in this country or in a cool room, include the following species:

  • Lobelia cardinalis
  • Lobelia sessilifolia
  • Lobelia siphilitica
  • Lobelia splendens
  • Lobelia x gerardii (hybrid)
  • Lobelia x speciosa (hybrid)

These lobelia should only be overwintered outside in warm regions such as wine-growing areas. They are cut down in autumn and covered with brushwood, leaves or fir branches in the root area. They can be overwintered in a bucket at a cool place of 5 to 10 °C.


If you try to overwinter lobelia, you should not forget to take care of them in winter as well. They need to be watered sparingly but regularly.

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