Lupines are majestic plants that grow striking stalks that bloom with brightly covered flowers. It can be grown in zones from 3 to 7. The varietals come in red, yellow, white, purple, pink, and multi-colors. These flowers bloom in the spring and summer. The flower stalks grow anywhere from 1 foot to 5 feet tall, depending on the varietal.
These perennials are known for their large and striking flowers and their bright colors.
Light and Temperature Requirements
These plants prefer full sun, but they can be grown in areas with partial shade. If they are not in full sun, they will bloom with fewer flowers. When planted in full shade, they will not grow blooms at all. If the surrounding vegetation begins to block the sun for your lupines, cut back on that vegetation to keep your lupines healthy. If the temperatures get too high, it can also cause your lupines not to flower. They like to be in the sunshine in cool temperatures rather than the boiling summer sun.
Lupines like to be watered often, but they should not sit in water. The soil should drain well so that these plants are kept in water too long.
About 1 inch of water every week is most beneficial to them. If you live in an area that gets that much rain, your lupines won’t need that much care at all. If your area regularly has hot temperatures, place a light layer of mulch around these plants to keep moisture in the soil, and to keep it cooler.
The soil should have excellent drainage. Mixing in sand or rocks can help water to drain more easily. Lupines don’t need rich soil, but they do need good drainage to keep the roots from rotting. Even if the soil is naturally poor, your lupines should grow fine in it. The soil itself should be at about a pH level of 6.5. This is a slightly acidic level that will help your plants to thrive, but they can also tolerate more acidic soil.
These plants don’t need to be fertilized. Adding fertilizer can actually cause them to grow too much foliage and too few blooms. The only time that fertilizer should be added is when the soil is too alkaline and needs to be made slightly acidic.
Lupines grow very well from seeds. However, the seed coats are highly durable and tough. The seeds should be either soaked overnight in water or have a small area of the seed coats nicked to allow the seedlings through more easily. They should be planted about a quarter of an inch deep and about 2 to 3 feet apart. These plants grow a long, deep taproot, so it can be difficult to transplant them once they are established. The seeds take up to 30 days to germinate. Once they are established, they will reseed themselves easily. Lupines can also be grown by taking a small segment of both roots and crown and planting them elsewhere.