A Guide To Sowing And Preserving Lupines Flowers

 Lupine Flowers

Lupine Flowers

Emma Downey

Emma Downey
Gardening Expert

Updated on 12/8/2022

Lupines are arguably the most popular garden perennials, thanks to the colorful spikes that cover their flowers. There are hundreds of species in the genus Lupinus, and many of them are indigenous to North America. You may find them growing freely in the wild and gardens from California to Maine.

You may have seen photographs of the Texas Bluebonnet, one of the most well-known types of lupine that bloom across the state every April, attracting many people interested in the natural world.

Lupine may reach heights of up to four feet and has grey-green leaves covered in silvery hairs. The blooms of lupine are similar in appearance to pea blossoms. The seed pod resembles a hairy pea pod and can have as many as twelve seeds inside of it.

Planting

lupine

lupine

Lupines thrive in a chilly environment that is damp, sandy, and well-drained in the soil. They can thrive in heavy soils, but the ground must be broken enough to accommodate their lengthy taproots.

  • Choose a location that gets direct sunlight or has a little bit of shade.
  • To a depth of approximately 1 to 1-1/2 feet, aerate and loosen the soil.
  • Direct sowing into the ground can be done in the early spring or late fall. Before planting, allow seeds to spend the night soaking in a dish of warm water.
  • When seedlings are grown for four to six weeks, they are ready to be transplanted if they were started inside. At this stage in their development, they have not yet produced the deep tap root, which means they have a higher chance of surviving.
  • Dig a hole that is one-half of an inch deeper and twice as wide as the seedling container. Spread seedlings out to a distance of about one foot.

Growing

lupine

lupine

  • During the warmer months, fertilizer should be applied once every four weeks.
  • A taller variety may need staking.
  • Remove spent flowers to encourage new blossom development.
  • When the pods turn yellow, you'll want to save the seeds.
  • Fall is not the time to trim dead spikes; instead, wait until spring.
  • To preserve the plants over the winter, add mulch around their bases.

lupine

lupine

About 200 different species of lupine are found in the wild, most of which are indigenous to North America. These often feature shades plant of blue, white, or yellow.

  • Lupinus perennis, sometimes known as wild lupine, is a blue perennial plant that is native to the eastern half of the continent of North America.
  • In April, the L. texensis species, sometimes known as the Texas Bluebonnet, may be found covering fields and roadside verges across the state of Texas.
  • Russell hybrid lupines, which belong to the species L. polyphyllus and are also known as garden lupines, have served as the foundational population from which all new hybrids have been developed.
  • The Russell Lupine Mix seeds have an easy germination rate, and the resulting plants produce tall blooms in a rainbow of hues.
  • Lupine Woodfield Hybrids are available in a broader range of colors, including some with bicolored flowers.
  • The dwarf hybrids are known as 'Dwarf Lulu' and 'Minarette' and barely reach a height of 1 1/2 to 2 feet when fully mature.

Wisdom And Creativity

lupine

lupine

  • Lupines are beneficial to your soil because of their ability to fix nitrogen.
  • There are several species of lupine that are harmful to cattle.
  • Lupines are deer-resistant.
  • The blooms of the lupine plant are inedible, but the seeds are edible. The edible seeds, which resemble nuts, used to be a popular snack for marching armies in ancient Europe.
  • The ground-up seed of the lupine plant can be used as flour, commonly used in European baking.

Pests/Diseases

Aphids may infest the plant from time to time. 

Add this long, beautiful bloom to a place where lupine flowers will be seen and work as a background for other full-sun blooming now that you know how to grow lupines. A blooming ground cover placed beneath the lupine plant helps keep the roots cool, and it will benefit from the nitrogen in the soil. Additionally, it will provide a beautiful display of the landscape.