Lupin or Lupine is a genus of about 200 species that grow as outdoor herbaceous perennials in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-7, but can also be grown as annuals in zones 1-3. Lupine care is extremely easy – in Europe, these plants are considered invasive!
The lupin has attractive foliage and produces a long spire of pea-like blooms in many vibrant colors. They are often seen growing wild in certain climates and make lovely flower arrangements. Some hybrid species of lupin can grow to over 3 feet.
Lupine plant care: Blooming
An early bloomer in the garden, the lupin blooms from late spring to mid-summer. Due to this, lupins are known to attract butterflies and bees to your garden.
For the best lupine care routine, once the bloom has turned brown, it is best to cut it from the plant. This allows the plant’s energy to be directed towards the roots and foliage growth.
Do Lupins Like Sun or Shade?
Lupins love cool weather but prefer full sun. They may not survive an extended period of extreme heat.
How Often to Water Lupines?
Lupins are drought-tolerant perennials. In most areas, they don’t need any extra water, which is why lupine care is a breeze. If you notice leaves or blooms wilting, they might need a drink.
Keep in mind, though, that heat might also be to blame for this response.
Best Soil for Lupines
Given these plants naturally grow in the wild, they’re far from being fussy. However, they prefer drought over moist soil, so a well-draining medium is best.
As for the best soil pH for lupine care, it can be acidic, chalky, or neutral.
Lupine Plant Care: Fertilization
Fertilizing isn’t necessary for lupine care, but if you want to get the most out of their blooms, an all-purpose fertilizer works wonders.
To make sure you’re not burning the roots of the plant with an excess of nutrients, dilute the fertilizer to about half or two-thirds of the recommended strength.
Lupines are easily propagated from seeds, which are housed in furry pods. After harvesting the seeds, allow them to dry out and store in a cool, dark place over winter.
In early spring, germinate the seeds by removing them from the pods, soaking them in water and then placing between dampened paper towels.
IMPORTANT: Since lupines like cool weather, keep the seeds in the refrigerator for 14 days and then plant in the garden.
LightBright, filtered light to full sun
WaterLow to medium
If you love a rich and colorful flower garden, I also recommend Dahlias! The care routine is extremely easy and the blooms are out of this world. Check out my guide on how to care for Dahlias in your garden!