If you feel like there’s something missing from your garden, Lupinus plants a.k.a. Lupines might be what you need! Very popular ornamental plants worldwide, Lupines have gained the trust and appreciation of many gardeners thanks to their super low-demanding nature. And of course, Lupines come with many advantages, not just their looks!
Lupinus is a genus that includes over 200 species of flowering plants. The lovely buddies from this genus go by several common names, such as Lupine, Lupin, or Bluebonnet. They originate from various regions around the world like South and North America, the Mediterranean, and North Africa.
While the Lupine species are absolutely fabulous on their own, they also enchant us with numerous other eye-catching varieties and hybrids. Some of the most interesting Lupine cultivars are ‘Beefeater’, ‘Gallery White’, ‘Gallery Yellow’, ‘Manhattan Lights’, ‘Masterpiece’, ‘My Castle’, ‘Noble Maiden’, ‘Purple Swirl’, ‘The Chatelaine, and ‘The Governor’.
- In cultivation, the most common Lupinus species include Arroyo Lupine, Big Bend Bluebonnet, Bigleaf Lupine, Broadleaf Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Riverbank Lupine, Silver Lupine, Sundial Lupine, Texas Bluebonnet, Tree Lupine, and Wild Lupine.
- The Tree Lupine species with the L. ‘My Castle’, L. ‘Noble Maiden’, L. ‘The Chatelaine’, and L. ‘The Governor’ cultivars have gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
- Lupines can make for wonderful additions to all sorts of landscapes. These plants are great for cottage gardens, coastal gardens, informal gardens, butterfly gardens, beds, borders, group plantings, meadows, prairies, or as cut flowers.
- Their superb flowers are highly attractive to species of pollinators, for-instance butterflies and moths. The plants are also an important larval food for these beings.
- The legume seeds of these plants, commonly called lupin beans, were very popular among the Romans. Back then, people cultivated Lupines throughout the Roman Empire where the plant is still referred to in most Romance languages by the name lupini.
- Parts of Lupines, mostly their seeds, become edible once cooked. They serve as an excellent ingredient to various recipes both sweet and savoury, such as traditional fermented foods, everyday meals, street snacks, baked foods, or sauces.
- Lupinus species are pretty toxic to humans and animals. For safety purposes, grow these plants in a spot where your small children or curious pest cannot reach them.
- Despite their overall toxicity, some folks still use Lupines as a treatment against many health problems like skin ulcers, fluid retention, worms, urinary tract disorders, nausea, haemorrhage, and others. So, you should handle this plant with caution.
- Lupines will look absolutely stunning near other species of plants. The most suitable companions include Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Sage, Blue Oat Grass, Columbine, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Miss Willmott’s Ghost, different types of peonies such as Paeonia ‘Karl Rosenfield’, Papaver ‘Beauty of Livermere’, Peach-Leaved Bellflower, and ‘Schneehugel’ Sage.
Lupines Features: An Overview
- While most Lupinus species are herbaceous perennial plants, some are either shrubs or annual plants. Depending on the species, these plants can reach from 1 through 10 feet (0.3-3 m) in height and 1 to 1.5 feet (0.3-0.45 m) in width.
- Their foliage consists of numerous silky, palm-like, and green to greyish-green leaves that may appear with a dense coat of tiny, silvery hairs. Each leaf contains 5 to 28 small leaflets, but some specimens can feature only a single leaflet.
- The blooming period of Lupines can last from spring through the summer months. During these seasons, the plants exhibit blossoms in open or dense whorls on long, thick, upright, and greenish to brown spikes well above the foliage.
- Their flowers are narrow, elongated clusters of 0.4 to 0.8 inches (1-2 cm) long, pea-like, cute bloomings. They have a generous colour palette, showing up in various shades of purple, blue, pink, red, yellow, white, bicoloured, or interesting mixes of these.
- Once their blooming season has come to an end, Lupines bear fruits where their flowers once were. The fruits are pods that contain several seeds.
To grow healthy and happy, Lupines usually needs at least six hours of bright and direct sunlight daily. Although these plants can also do well in partially shaded locations, they will not produce as many flowers as usual. In areas with hot climates, however, Lupines will actually benefit from some afternoon shade overall.
What makes Lupines great garden companions is their ability to thrive in very cold temperatures. In general, these flowers are winter-hardy in the USDA zones 4 through 8. In terms of hot weather, they will not perform as well as in the other extreme. High heat and humidity levels may result in non-flowering Lupines with time. If you live in a region with these particular environmental conditions, we recommend you add a light layer of mulch around your plants.
- QUALITY - All seeds packaged by Seed Needs are intended for the current and the following growing seasons. All seeds are stored in a temperature controlled facility that is free of significant amounts of moisture.
- QUANTITY - Seed packets by Seed Needs offer generous quantities. You can share with friends and family, or save your extra seeds until the next season, if properly stored.
- PACKETS - Each packet displays a beautiful illustration of the variety to be grown, as well as detailed seed sowing information on the reverse side as well. Measures 3.25” wide by 4.25” tall.
- PROMISE - Seed Needs will never knowingly supply GMO based seed products. The vast majority of our seeds are open pollinated & heirloom, with the exception of a few hybrids.
- GERMINATION - Seed Needs packets contain some of the freshest seed available. Direct from the growers. If sown correctly, you will begin seeing results in only a matter of days.
- Easy to Grow! - Over 750 premium seeds - Blue Lupine (Lupinus perennis) perennial
- Seeds are harvested in USA - non-GMO
- A North American Native Wildflower. Attracts beneficial pollinators to your home garden
- Wildflowers will bloom in approximately 60 days
- USDA Zones: 3-8
- Lupine Russell Mix: Very striking, bold upright spikes are dense with pea-like flowers in intense blues to creams. Best placed at the back of the border for cutting or naturalizing. Beautiful Flower Mix. Fantastic addition to your home flower garden! Spectacular spires in shades of deep blue, red, pink, & purple.
- The flowers look great in a meadow or garden, as well as bouquets. These hardy perennials are long-lived and require very little maintenance.
- Latin Name: Lupinus perennis; Type: Garden Flowers Life Cycle: Perennial
- US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast
- Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Last update on 2023-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
While Lupines are hardy plants in general, they are somewhat vulnerable to various pests and fungal diseases. The most common issues that can affect the well-being of your plants include aphids, snails, slugs, brown spot fungus, and powdery mildew.
If you encounter some of the pests on your Lupines, you can get rid of them by applying neem oil or suitable pesticides right away. For fungal problems, however, you will have to go through more steps to heal your plants. If you notice brown spots on your Lupines, you must remove the unhealthy plants and also avoid using that spot for several years. In case your plants have white, powdery patches on their leaves, cut their foliage, then provide them with proper fungicides.
When it comes to the growing medium, Lupines are not as picky as other flowering plants. They thrive in soils that are rich in organic matter and come with excellent drainage. Although these buddies prefer substrates with a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH, they can also do just fine in soils that are very acidic overall.
Since too much fertilizer can cause your Lupines to produce lots of foliage at the expense of flowers, it would not be wise to fertilize them. The only time when you should provide your plants with fertilizers is if you are growing them in soils that are more on the alkaline side. In this case, make sure you feed your Lupines with an acidifying fertilizer once every year in spring.
During their blooming period, Lupines will require regular deadheading to show all their glam. This process consists of removing all the spent flowers from your beloved plants. Deadheading is mandatory only if you want to encourage your Lupines to bloom nicely for a longer time.
Lupines love moisture as much as they enjoy sunlight, so it is pretty easy to spoil yours in their watering routine. However, these flowers are susceptible to root rot, so excessive moisture is not a very good idea. But we are here to help you out, do not worry!
In general, Lupines perform best if you provide them with water once every week. Still, keep in mind that the frequency of watering can vary depending on the environmental conditions. During the hot weather, we suggest you water your Lupines whenever the top half of the soil has dried out entirely. In times with regular rainfalls, on the other hand, these plants will not need supplemental watering at all.
The most common and effective methods to propagate Lupines are through seeds or basal cuttings. If you are at the beginning of the road in the gardening world, we know that this might be a bit scary for you. But this should not stop you from trying and overcoming your limits! Both methods are super easy to go through and, believe us, you will also have some fun along the way!
Before getting into action, you should know that Lupine seeds have a tough coat that may interfere with the possible great results of propagation. To avoid this, make sure you soak the seeds in water for a night or so before sowing them. After this step, you can sow the seeds directly outdoors where they can receive plenty of full sunlight. If you water the seeds whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, germination will usually occur after two to four weeks or so.
Propagating your Lupines through basal cuttings is an excellent way not only to make more of these beauties but also to keep them alive for longer. These plants generally live for short periods, so propagating yours will make them keep you company for as long as you want them to. Lupines will respond best to this method if you are using cuttings taken in early spring. You can repeat this process once every two or three years.
First things first, cut some parts of the crown and roots of your Lupines with a sharp knife. Once you have as many basal cuttings as you want, you can replant them absolutely anywhere as their permanent spots. If you have too many specimens, you can also plant some of them in pots and surprise your special family members or friends with a lovely flower.
Lupines make friendly and hardy companions as they are so easy to grow, care for, and propagate. If you are a beginner gardener, don’t worry! Lupins are forgiving and don’t require a lot of attention. And the best thing about them is that they come along with so many cultivars to choose from, you can even get several types of Lupines and fill your garden with beauty and colour!