Posted: 15/09/2013 at 16:04
You can grow lobelia from seed but it takes for ever, and a huge amount of heat and light supplied by electricity - if you drive around East Anglia you wil see acres of brightly lit glass houses, warmly kept, many of which are growing our lobelia for next years hanging baskets. I rather feel I am happy for the commercial growers to do all that work, and buy in the plants at basket planting time next year, rather than go to all that expense and trouble myself. Having said that, I have had them self seed by the wall where the baskets hang, so it must be possible with no help at all - but it does not happen every year.
Go for it if you want to, it may be harder than you think. Best of luck if you do give it a go.
I am assuming we are talking the usual basket plants, trailing or upright, mostly blue, some pinks and whites? Not the tall Queen Victoria or fan types, which are 18 inches tall, and shades of red and/or pink? These you can overwinter in a cold greenhouse, I did keep them over winter outdoors in the south, but not here in the midlands.