The Q&A Archives: Starting Lobelia

Question: I am trying to start lobelia from seed this year, but I don't have much information to go on. On the package it says to start them about 10-12 weeks prior to transplanting outdoors, but that's all I know. Do they need darkness or diffuse light to germinate? Can I use those little Jiffy instant "pots" to start them in? If so, how many seeds per pot? Any other post-germination tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

Answer: Lobelia germinates in 15-20 days; they like light and bottom heat of 65F-75F degrees. Just sow the seeds on top of moistened seed-starting mix, but don't cover the seeds. You can either use flats or peat pots. Most people sow the seeds in flats and then transplant only the most vigorous seedlings to peat pots. However you start them, place plastic over the flat or pots until the seeds have sprouted and then remove the plastic. Move the plants under a source of light (14-16 hours each day) and transplant from the flats when the plants have developed two sets of leaves. They can go into peat pots at that time. Lobelia can be placed outdoors about six weeks after germinating.

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