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A picture of a Lupin

Lupin

Lupinus spp.

Also known as

Lupine

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Half-hardy

6a-10a

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

3m

Max

3m

30cm

Min

30cm

5 years to reach maturity

Flowering

    • spring
    • summer
    • autumn
    • winter

    This plant has a mild fragrance

    More images

    A photo of Lupin
    A photo of Lupin
    Lupinus kingii habitus
    A photo of Lupin
    Lupinus field, St. John's, Newfoundland

    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

    Harvesting

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

    Propagation

    Cuttings

    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.

    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.

    Special Features

    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.