Wildflower lovers celebrate when the lupines come into bloom. The telltale look of these plants is a tall, showy spire of flowers that comes in a variety of colors.
The foliage looks like palm leaves with seven to 10 leaflet segments each. This fast-growing flower is available as both a perennial and an annual, which is usually potted. They’re best planted in spring when starting with a new plant or cuttings and seeds can be planted in late spring or fall.
Be sure to wear protective gloves and eyewear when using any pesticides. This includes herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and rodenticides.
They’re an easy to grow plant. They grow well in moist conditions, but avoid wet conditions, which can cause rot in the stems. They also need good light.
To grow lupins effectively you need to know which types of lupins work best in different soil types, at different times of year, and with different varieties of insects. The information is here.
Where to grow lupins
Lupins grow best in full sun, in well-drained soil. They do best in moist but well-drained soil. Grow them towards the back of a border.
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When planting them, it’s best to use the ground rather than containers. If you do choose to use containers, avoid planting them near anything that makes a lot of noise as this will encourage the pests that make it difficult to sleep.
You can grow sunflowers for their beautiful blooms or as a decorative accent for your garden, patio, or home.
Where to grow lupins
There are over 400 species of LUPINUM, which include wildflowers, vines and grasses as well as ornamentals such as LUPINUM CALIFORNICUM ‘Tequila Sunrise’ and LUPINUM
Avoid planting them in containers as they don’t grow well and can be susceptible to aphid attacks. They’re a good choice for a traditional cottage garden plant, but they’re versatile and can be used in more contemporary planting schemes.
To grow them, put them in large drifts in ornamental grasses, for an unusual effect.
Where to buy lupins online
Lupin flowers have a unique shape, almost like a lily flower but they are actually the unopened flower of a lupine plant, a legume native to the Mediterranean and Southwest US.
Suttons – Buy as single variety plants, or as mixed collections. There are lots of lovely red varieties available, including ‘My Castle Red’ which is a great choice for a hot border.
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Highlights include the ever-popular ‘Rachel de Thame’, and ‘Cashmere Cream’.
How to plant lupins
Dig a planting hole in a well-drained soil. Plant and firm in place. If planting in summer, young plants tend to establish better in the garden than large, more mature specimens.
How to propagate lupins
If you’ve got a patch of ground that is mostly shaded, there are ways to propagate lupins. Some lupins will come true to type from seed, so it’s worth sowing a packet of lupin seed in April or May.
The easiest way to propagate lupins is by taking basal cuttings in spring. Lupins will also self-seed in the garden, so lifting the seedlings with a garden trowel and potting them on, in is also a great way to generate new plants.
Caring for lupins
Deadhead lupins when they’re in bloom and you’ll get a second flush of flowers later in the year. Don’t cut lupins back when they’ve died down, as you’ll end up with fewer blooms the following year.
Check out this video with Debbie Copeman from Glebelands Nursery. She has some tips on how to care for your lupins.