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A picture of a Lupin


Lupinus spp.

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Lupinus in Hokkaido 20080630 by talk (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


    • spring
    • summer
    • autumn
    • winter

    This plant has a mild fragrance

    More images of Lupin

    A photo of Lupin
    A group of purple lupin flowers in a field
    A photo of Lupin
    A close up of the furry soft green leaves and the just emerging blue flower.
    A photo of Lupin

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    Lupin Overview

    Lupinus is a large genus of around 626 accepted species of mostly annuals and perennials, and occasionally shrubs. Their tall spires of upright colourful flowers in summer make them an attractive addition to mixed flower beds and borders, adding height and structure to a display. Horticultural varieties have long been extensively bred to produce a wide range of flower colours and patterns to suit every garden. Commonly known as Lupins, they are characterised by their soft grey-green; usually, deeply divided leaves and dense whorls of pea-like flowers held on erect spikes. Relatively low maintenance, this plant, is perfect for full sun locations whose soil is not that fertile. Lupinus may need additional staking if grown in an exposed area. Cutting the spent flower stems back to the ground can encourage a second flower spike to form for a staggered summer display. Part of the Fabaceae (Fabaceae) family, Lupinus plants are native to the Americas, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. They are legumes and as such are widely cultivated as forage crops and green manure, fixing nitrogen into the soil for later crops. Increasingly they are being grown for their seeds and used as an alternative to soybeans.

    Common problems with Lupin

    How to harvest Lupin

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

    How to propagate Lupin


    Take basal stem 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.


    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.

    Special features of Lupin

    Attractive flowers

    Pot plant

    Attracts useful insects

    Attract insects including bees.

    Crop rotation

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

    Other uses of Lupin

    Grown for their large, imposing racemes of pea-like flowers. Suitable for coastal conditions. Attracts butterflies

    Flowers to Sow or Plant Under Cover in March

    Sow these seeds and pot up these tubers to get an early start on the year.

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    Poisonous to Pets

    If your pet likes to nibble your plants, check our collection to make sure what they're eating isn't doing them any harm.

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