Lupin

Lupinus polyphyllus

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

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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.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Spring

Harvesting

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

Propagation

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

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.

Special features

Origin

America, Western North America, Southern Alaska, British Columbia, Western Wyoming, Utah, California.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Personality

Family

Fabaceae

Flower colour

Multicoloured

Scent

None

Problems

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.

Related Problems

Companion plants

Most vegetables and flowers benefit from lupine!
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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