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lobelia advice needed

m0rcem0rce Posts: 21
Hi all. Recently discovered my interest in gardening. Its so relaxing even though its a lot of work. Keeps me busy though. Thing is i am inexperienced and still have many casualties, especially when growing from seed. Lobelia for example. The packets all say easy to grow but mine gets to about 3mm and drops I use a propagator or not... When are we supposed to take them out of the propagator into the window sill? I worry they will get to dry to early. And when do we re-pot? I know we should repot in clumps but its sooo fidly with the little ones i would love some advice. Thanks for your answers.


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    It sounds like you are suffering from 'damping off', this is a regular problem if the compost is too wet. I mix mine with 50% sand to keep it dry. It is also very easy with small seeds to sow them too thickly and this makes them all collapse.

  • deedee21deedee21 Posts: 9

    Hi m0rce,

    Sounds like your suffering from 'damping off' of your seedlings.

    A couple of things that might help - Mix the seeds with some silver sand before you sow them - it'll help reduce the problem of sowing tiny seeds so thickly: water sown seeds from the bottom - put your seed tray in a gravel tray of water and let them soak up the moisture from below rather than water them in with a watering can - you see when the compost starts to glisten that they are watered enough. When they start to sprout water with a solution of Cheshunt compound - a powder that you dilute and use to prevent damping off. As soon as you see the seedlings take off the cover to prevent too much moisture building up - another cause of damping off. Seedlings can get scorched from the sun on a windowsill (especially if south facing) so you may need to move them.

    As for repotting - you can put the little clumps in 3" pots when they have their set of proper leaves. You might want to try sowing a few seeds in 2" pots instead of in a tray - then you would just need to repot into bigger pots and might find that easier.

    Hope it helps.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Just one point-I think you have left it too late to sow more lobelia for this year-you should find plants in garden centes now though.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    I agree, too late to sow now, buy them in. 

    For future reference, this is how I sow lobelia, these are very easy to sow.



    Sow on the surface of compost in rows/lines. Don't cover with compost. Put the tray into a carrier bag and place in a warm room. Mist every day. Once germination has taken place take out of bag and continue to mist until watering with a can is possible...


    ...if sowing per cell, tap twice on the seed packet for correct amount of seed per single cell. 

    Theres a reason why you can get up to 3000 seeds in each packet - you need a cluster of seeds to produce a decent sized plant.


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    @marshmello they are very healthy looking plants,image what sort of carrier bag do you use, supermarket or clear??

  • m0rcem0rce Posts: 21

    heey all, thanks for the great tips.

    Those plants look amazing, i will certainly try your method.

    I was also thinking about using the small fibre pots or even the compost tablets you seed the wet and it expands. What do you think?


  • m0rcem0rce Posts: 21
    dianejones1701 wrote (see)

    When they start to sprout water with a solution of Cheshunt compound - a powder that you dilute and use to prevent damping off.

    Hi Diane.

    Thanks for that. I will look out for it.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    @ kate, any carrier bag will do so long as its not opaque - I use supermarket.

    @morce, I have never used fibre pots or compost tablets I just like using loose compost, traditional trays and cells - this works for me.


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Thanks marshmello

  • m0rcem0rce Posts: 21
    Thanks all. I wont sow any more now as you say its to

    o late but i will take all these tips next time. image
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