How to Plant Lupines

Pink Lupine
Pink Lupine (Image: Naomi Judd)

Lupines are gorgeous perennials that can bloom in varieties of purples, pinks and white. Some varieties may even bloom in yellow or red. These flowers are composed of many small pea-like blooms along a tall spike that can grow from one to three feet in height. Their leaves are a deep green and, due to their palmate shape, tend to collect rain and dew drops in perfect little beads. Lupines are often used for borders, fields or wildflower gardens and grow easily in most of the northern United States.

Things You'll Need

  • Lupine seeds or lupine plants
  • Trowel
  • Potting soil

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Choose an area in your yard that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily. Make sure the soil is free of weeds and does not contain lime. Choose your area wisely, as lupines do not do well when transplanted.

Plant lupine seeds just an inch or two beneath the surface of the soil and tamp down lightly so that they are secure. Plant the seeds no closer than 6 inches apart. The roots will eventually grow large and spread out. Early spring to late summer is a good time to plant.

Plant lupine plants in rich soil without lime. Dig a hole with your trowel so that the ball of roots fits into it and one inch of dirt can cover the top of the root ball.

Water your lupine plants frequently. These perennials like to be moist but not drenched. They prefer well drained soil. The plants should never be sitting at the bottom of a slope, for example, where they could be left in standing water.

Help mature lupines spread by collecting the seed pods and planting them. The seeds are ready when they rattle inside the seed pods like a maraca. Some gardeners prefer to soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting but this is not absolutely necessary.

Provide your lupines with enough nutrients by mixing manure into the soil around them two to three times a year. If lupines are in well drained, moist soil then they generally will spread on their own as well.


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