How To Plant Lupines?

How to plant lupines? This article will provide you with detailed instructions on how to grow lupine in from seed easily. Lupines are inexpensive and easy to grow. Once they start growing they will provide you with beautiful flowers year after year. Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) is colorful perennial which will grow without much effort year after year if started right. So follow these instructions and you will be on your way to having an everlasting lupine collection in your garden.

If you are planting lupines outside wait until after the last frost to start lupine seeds. It is important to choose coarse soil that has good drainage. It is also important to chose soil that is lime free. Lupines like acidic soil. Lupines also do very well in poor soil so rocky areas with full sun or partial shade are appropriate.

Before planting lupine seeds scratch the seed lightly with a pin or your fingernail. If growing from seed, germination is greatly increased by a 7-day cold treatment. Place seeds and slightly damp paper towels in a Ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator. Another method would be to chip seed or soak in warm water for a 24 hour period. Treated seeds can be directly sown into a seedbed in spring or summer until August 1st. Untreated seeds can be sown outdoors September-November. Plants grown from seed will bloom their first year.

Use a pencil or stick to poke a small hole in the pot or the soil. Plant a seed or two in each hole and cover lightly with soil. If you are planting outdoors plant the lupine seeds about a foot apart. Remember this plant will reseed and propagate easily so give it room to grow. This easy to grow plant can tolerate drought easily. Seedlings should be kept moist, and adult plants should be watered thoroughly about once a week. Think the lupine sprouts when they get a second set of leaves.


There are over 200 species of lupines, but only a few varieties that are planted in home gardens. Several stems often grow from one creeping root and reach 12 to 30 inches in height. The leaves are alternate and palmately compound with 7 to 11 spear-tip-shaped, softly hairy segments. Elongated spikes of blue, purple, white, magenta or bicolored pea-like flowers appear in early summer and are followed by 1- to 2-inch, fuzzy, pea-like pods.

Fertilize your lupines with a simple all-purpose fertilizer once every two weeks until they flower. Lupines don’t like to be moved so be sure to plant them in a permanent spot. Lupines will self-seed, and you can divide them in the spring, but not in the fall. If you wish to save the seeds to sow at another time, wait for the green seed pods to turn brown and dry out.

Note: Lupines are dangerous (toxic) plants for dogs. All parts are dangerous, especially pods with seeds. They cause the respiratory problems, behavioral changes, trembling, coma and death.

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