This is an unusual Lobelia, which is very tropical in appearance. Lobelia tupa carries panicles of curiously lipped, scarlet-red flowers which add great interest during the dusky autumn months, adding height and colour to borders. It is best grown in a sheltered sunny position and needs winter protection.
Sow seeds in trays or pots of good seed compost from February to March in a propagator or warm place to maintain an optimum temperature of 20-25C. Surface sow seeds on a peat/sand mix seed compost and do not exclude light. Germination usually takes 14-30 days. Transplant when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions before planting out after all risk of frost, 3cm apart in a ordinary, well-drained soil in full sun, or ideally in light shade. Cover plant with a mulch of bracken leaves, or other twigs, over the winter months.