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When L. cardinalis 'small form' is no longer so small...

I'm sure I've mentioned several times before that Lobelia cardinalis 'small 
form' is my all-time favorite plant. However, I've noticed that when a stem 
reaches approximately 2.5" in height, it starts to change. As it continues 
to grow, the stem gets thicker and thicker, and the leaves take on a 
slightly different look, larger and sometimes "dimpled" and washed-out 
along the veins and just not as aesthetically appealing. I realize that 
this plant can be propagated in the same manner as any other stem plant, 
but if I do this, the top cutting looks "weird," for lack of a better word. 
At least if I buy them in their emersed form, they'll start off with their 
pretty, delicate leaves after losing their purple ones. I find that they 
look most lovely at about 2.5-3.0". After this, they quickly go downhill.

I'm wondering if the only way to have the smaller, more delicate lobelias 
is to grow them from seeds, or if maybe top cuttings eventually lose the 
gargantuan leaves and sprout the little ones? Or maybe there's a way to 
help induce a "side-shoot" to grow out of the stem? Seems like as long as 
the plant is growing perfectly vertically, side shoots simply don't happen. 
The store from which I get my lobelias doesn't always have them available, 
and I will be very sad when all of mine grow past their prime. At least for 
now, I can take comfort in their SLOW growth. Can anybody give me some 
helpful hints? Thanks lots!