Lobelia Aren't Blooming

Annual lobelia is considered a prolific bloomer from mid-spring until the first frost. Lobelias are known for their small yet abundant flowers in a variety of colors, especially the classic vibrant bluish-purple flowers. Perennial lobelia flowers later in the season from July to August. Lobelia is an easy-to-care-for plant and does not require much for it to flower. To get lobelia to flower, the plants need adequate sun exposure, sufficient water, and occasional feeding. 


Common Reasons Why Lobelia Isn’t Blooming

The first step in determining why your lobelia isn’t blooming is to consider if the planting conditions are sufficient. It is important that your lobelia is planted in a location that receives 4-6 hours of direct sun to encourage plentiful buds and flowers. Your lobelia will also need maintenance pruning, regular waterings, and monthly fertilizing to bloom consistently. Another reason your lobelia may not be blooming is because it is too early in the season. Annual lobelia will begin to bloom in mid-spring, while perennial lobelia will not bloom until late summer.

Pruning Lobelia To Help It Bloom

Your lobelia may have stopped blooming because it has spent flowers that require maintenance deadheading. If your lobelia plant is covered with dead flowers, it is time to deadhead the plant to encourage new buds. If the plant is leggy or scraggly, more aggressive cutbacks will also encourage new growth and new buds. 


Fertilizing Lobelia To Help It Bloom

Lobelias are considered heavy feeders throughout the growing season and benefit from regular fertilizer. Fertilizer can help maintain the overall health of the plant and will encourage healthy blooms as well. Adding compost at the time of planting benefits the overall plant health along with using a slow-release granular fertilizer or liquid fertilizer. Pay special attention to the formulation of the fertilizer you apply to your lobelia; higher nitrogen encourages foliar growth and will not promote flowering. Choose a balanced fertilizer for flowering plants to encourage blooms. 

Get Lobelia To Produce More Blooms

If your lobelia plant does not flower enough, it is important to go through all the information listed above to determine if the growing conditions are adequate. Keep your lobelia plant happy and healthy to encourage a long season of continuous flowers. Prune your lobelia regularly and deadhead to remove spent flowers and encourage new growth. This maintenance will help your plant form new buds to extend flowering until the first frost. 

Why Lobelia Isn’t Blooming

  • Check the growing conditions to maintain overall health
  • Make sure your lobelia is receiving enough sun exposure
  • Make sure your lobelia is getting enough water
  • Deadhead or prune spent flowers to encourage new buds
  • Feed with fertilizer designed for flowering plants 
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 Author Katie Endicott - Published 9-15-2022