How about growing this: Great blue lobelia


Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is coming into bloom throughout my garden. It’s growing in full sun and full shade and everywhere in between. It does great in all of them. Above you see it in a garden that gets morning sun, along with soon-to-bloom shade asters, white snakeroot, and Canada anemone (a spring bloomer), among others.

Unlike its fussier close cousin, bright-red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), which needs full sun, acid soil, and wet feet, great blue lobelia is an agreeable plant that adapts itself well to a variety of uses–put it in a sunny border or in a shade garden, and it will be happy. It does like a bit of soil moisture, and in my very dry, sandy soil it does better in years when there’s regular rainfall throughout the growing season. But it hangs on even in drought years (I don’t water established plants–they have to be able to take it). It’s extremely easy to divide in spring, and it produces lots of seeds that are easy to collect. A very agreeable plant.

Here’s a closeup of the lovely truly blue flowers, which I’ll be enjoying well into September. Lobelia means late summer to me.




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