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A picture of a Lupin

Lupin

Lupinus polyphyllus

Also known as

Large-Leaved Lupine, Blue Pod, Garden Lupin, Meadow Lupine, Russell Lupin, Washington Lupin, Altramuz Perenne, Bigleaf Lupine

Lupinus polyphyllus4 by KENPEI (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

H7

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.2m

Max

40cm

30cm

Min

20cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Lupin

A photo of Lupin
A photo of Lupin
A photo of Lupin
A photo of Lupin
A photo of Lupin

Lupin Overview

The garden lupin is used in gardens for its attractive flowers, attracting bees and the nitrogen fixing ability of the plant. It can improve poor soils. Naturally, it grows along streams and creeks, preferring moist habitats. Lupins grown in gardens today are hybrids of crossing L. polyphyllus with L. arboreus, L. sulphureus and one or more annual species. The crossing resulted in plants with flower spikes that were denser, larger, and more colourful than the originals. These hybrids are known as Russel hybrids, named after the horticulturist who bred them.

Common problems with Lupin

Generally problem free, but aphids can be a problem. Encourage beneficial insects like lady bugs or spray with organic insecticide when beneficial insects are not around.

Lupin Companion Plants

Most vegetables and flowers benefit from lupine!

How to harvest Lupin

Flowers can be harvested for the vase and seed can be harvested to replant.

How to propagate Lupin

Seed

Sow seeds in autumn in damp soil or cold treated seeds in spring. To cold treat place seeds in a ziplock bag with slightly damp towel into a refrigerator for 7 days.

Cuttings

Cut a small stem down to trunk, including a bit of its connection to the trunk, set in moist, very well-drained, propagation medium. Keep covered opening a few minutes daily for airflow.

Special features of Lupin

Attracts useful insects

Attract insects including bees.

Crop rotation

Use as soil conditioner to add Nitrogen to a depleted vegetable bed. It will fix Nitogen as plantfood to serve as nutrients in following (or neighbouring) crops.

Attractive flowers

Naturally occurring flowers are blue to purple. Hybrids are red, pink, white, blue, and multicoloured with different colours on different petals.

Other uses of Lupin

Border, cutting bed, wildflower/meadow. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Soil conditioner

Green Manures

Empty spaces after crops have been harvested? - Sow these 'green manures' to protect bare beds over winter.

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Looking good in June - Top 10 flowers

Traditionally flowering in June, these flowers will be at their best this month.

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