Formerly a popular garden plant, particularly in Europe, this lupin is an attractive and colorful addition to flower borders and cottage gardens.
A stout herbaceous perennial, grows up to 60 cm tall. The palmate leaves are divided into 9–17 leaflets; leaflets are up to 15×3 cm. Flowers blue, pink, violet, red, yellow and are up to 14 mm long.
It is commonly used in gardens for its attractiveness to bees, ability to improve poor sandy soils with their nitrogen fixing ability and flowers.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good soil in a sunny position. It strongly dislikes excessive winter wet. Requires an acid to neutral soil. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants can be naturalized in the wild garden, especially on stream banks and for flowering above rough grass, where they may be short-lived but will self-seed. Plants dislike root disturbance. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Genus - Lupinus
Species - Polyphyllus
Variety - Lulu mix
Common name - Garden Lupine
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 0.50 m
Spread - 0.50 m
Plant type - Perennial flower
Exposure - Sun to Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils
Soil type - Light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
Water requirements - Well-drained, moist soil, can tolerate drought.
Landscape uses - In gardens for its attractiveness to bees, ability to improve poor sandy soils with their nitrogen fixing ability
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green, blue - green / Blue, pink, violet, red, yellow
1. Presoak seeds for 12 hours and plant immediately. Choose your site. Lupine likes full sun to partial shade, and will tolerate dry or moist sites, although the soil should have good drainage. Lupine prefers poor quality or sandy soil, and it is a good flower to plant in that troublesome corner of your garden where nothing else will grow.
2. Decide when you want to plant. In nature, lupine drop their seeds in the fall, and the seeds need a period of cold in order to germinate in the spring, so the easiest and best way to grow lupine is to plant the seeds in the fall. You may also plant lupine seeds in the spring, but it will require a bit more work.
3. To plant lupine in the fall, prepare the bed by removing any weeds and loosening the soil with a metal garden rake. Bury the seeds under 3-5 mm of soil, and water thoroughly. The lupine will sprout the following spring.
4. To plant lupine in the spring, you will need to simulate winter, so wrap the lupine seeds in a damp paper towel and store them in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator for seven to ten days. Prepare the bed and sow the lupine seeds in your garden in the early spring, after the danger of frost has passed. The seeds will germinate in about a week.
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