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Mexican bush lobelia is a sprawling perennial with a fast growth rate, reaching 2-3 ft. high, spreading 4-6 ft. across. Medium green leaves are long, narrow and attached to lax stems. Colorful tubular flowers are orange and red with yellow tips, and occur in large numbers from late spring through summer.

Mexican bush lobelia is native to warm and dry regions throughout southern Arizona, Mexico and Central America. It grows in areas of partial shade around rocks and along washes where seasonal moisture concentrates. This species can be easily grown throughout the Inland Empire where it does best in sunny locations, on well-drained soils and with deep watering during the summer.

This is a very colorful and carefree perennial that provides bright flower value in water conservation gardens and in combination with southwestern style plants. It is very attractive to hummingbirds. Trim plants hard after the flowering season to maintain smaller sizes and to help renew growth.

Water Needs

Mexican bush lobelia grows well in sunny locations on many types of soils and with deep summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; the higher moisture range helps sustain its flowering cycle and foliage character particularly when planted in sunny exposures.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Sprawling, Mounding
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Red, Orange
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil, Deep soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Background plant


Dead head spent flowers in the fall. If needed, cut down to just above the ground in late winter to reinvigorate and refresh the plant. It will quickly regrow in Spring (18).



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