Low - Moderate
Full Sun; Part Shade
Cut back in late summer
In oasis zones, or planted around water features, Lobelia laxiflora provides a lush green feel, colorful red flowers, and attracts hummingbirds. This native of southern Arizona, Mexico, and Central America is usually found at elevations from 4000 to 5000 feet. Loose flowered lobelia blooms almost year-round with loose clusters of red tubular flowers that have yellow-orange throats. It thrives in wet soil but does not require excessive irrigation to survive and look good. Once established is fairly drought tolerant. It will grow to about 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide but will spread if you let it. I prune late August or early September when the plant is starting to show the effects of the summer heat. Underground stems allow this perennial to recover quickly.
Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information
The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others!
Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.
Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.