How to Grow Lupine Flowers


Lupine flowers (also known as Lupinus) are pretty flowers that come as annuals or perennials. There are more than 200 species of plants in this genus. Perennial lupines flower during their first or second year of growth and will produce blooms from late spring to summer each year. Lupine flowers grow in spiky clusters between 8 and 24 inches (20 to 62 cm) tall and attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to your garden. Annual lupine flowers are grown in a similar way to other lupine flowers. Make sure that you choose a variety that is native to your local area and climate.

Part 1
Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine

Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

1
To ensure your lupine flowers thrive, you should wait to plant them until after the last frost of the year. Do an Internet search to find the average frost dates for your area.[1]

Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

2
The location you choose to plant lupine flowers should not be in a fully shaded area, or your plant won’t blossom fully. They require sunlight to flower and flourish, so choose a location that receives about 7 hours of sunlight each day.[2]

Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

3
Lupine flowers prefer a slightly acidic soil to an alkaline one. Test and adjust the pH of your soil before planting lupine flowers.[3] You can increase the acidity of your soil by adding common sulfur to it, which can be found at your local garden store.[4]

Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

4
These flowers need a well-draining soil, perhaps with a bit of sand in it, to ensure they don’t become waterlogged. Avoid choosing a location with soil containing clay, which retains too much water for lupine flowers.[5]

Providing the Best Conditions for Lupine on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

5
Lupine flowers grow deep roots, so it’s important that you loosen compacted soil before planting your flowers. Use a garden fork or a rototiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 20 inches (31 to 51 cm).[6]

Part 2
Planting Lupine Flowers

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

1
Lupine flowers come in both annual and perennial varieties. Be sure to choose perennial seeds if you want to see these flowers bloom in your garden year after year.[7]

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

2
It is possible for you to collect your own seeds from the wild or from your own or a friend’s existing plants. Collect them in late summer. The seeds should be black, but the pods should not yet have popped open. Cut the stalks containing seed pods off the plant. Secure them in a sealed paper bag (with holes in it for air flow) or a screen box for a few weeks until the pods split open.[8] Alternatively, you can purchase seeds online or from your local garden shop. You can also buy pots with lupines that have already been planted.

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

3
To speed up the germination process, you should soak your seeds in water for up to 24 hours before you plant them. Simply place the seeds in a single layer in a container and fill it with enough warm water to cover the seeds.[9] The water can be warm, but it should not be hot.

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

4
Dig ⅛-inch (0.32-cm) holes in your garden and put a lupine flower seed in each. Cover each seed with ⅛ inch (0.32 cm) of garden soil and tamp it down lightly.[10]

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

5
Lupine flowers need enough room to grow to their full potential, so it’s important that you don’t plant them too close together. Space seeds 12 to 14 inches (31 to 36 cm) apart for best results.[11]

Planting Lupine Flowers on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

6
Once your lupine seeds have been planted, you should immediately water them thoroughly to keep the germination process progressing. Then, water the area lightly once each day for 10 days to ensure the plants take root in the soil. Do not over-water the soil.[12]

Part 3
Caring for Lupines

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

1
Once a bloom is spent, you should deadhead it to prolong the flowering period of your lupine. Pick or clip off the dead flower heads as soon as you notice them.[13]

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

2
If your area gets a steady amount of rainfall, you may not need to water your lupine. However, if you live in a more arid climate, water the soil once or twice per week until moist, but not waterlogged, to ensure your flowers will thrive.[14] If the soil feels dry or the leaves are wilting, you’ll know it’s time to water your flowers.

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

3
To help your lupine flourish, you should fertilize it occasionally. Apply a general-purpose fertilizer to the base of the plants once each month.[15]

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

4
To protect your plants from harsh temperatures, whether they may be freezing or scorching, put mulch around the base of each flower. Be careful to not let the mulch touch the crown of the plant, which can induce rot. Bark or wood chips make a good mulch for lupine flowers.[16]

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

5
Lupine flowers aren't usually affected by diseases, though in some climates a fungus called powdery mildew may develop on the foliage.[17] To get rid of powdery mildew, spray a fungicide, like neem oil, on your plants.[18]

Caring for Lupines on How to Grow Lupine Flowers

6
Lupines don't often suffer from pest problems, but it is possible for them to be infested by aphids. If aphids start to devour your plants, get rid of them by introducing ladybugs to the garden. You can find packages of 1,000 ladybugs for less than $10 at your local garden shop. Gently shake ladybugs from the package onto the affected plants and the surrounding soil.[19] Alternatively, you can get rid of aphids by sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth on the soil surrounding each plant. If the infestation is not severe, you can spray down your plants with a hose once every few days. This will wash away the aphids.