June Plant of the Month: Lupine

Lupine An Old fashion Favorite

Lupinus fabaceae

Lupine 2Lupines are a wonderful old-fashioned flower that can be either an annual or perennial, with many varieties available.  They bear very large, showy flower spikes covered with unusual florets on long, sturdy stems.  Colors include white, red, pink, blue, yellow, lilac, violet, and apricot.  Plants are attractive with large  blue-green leaves, and they usually bloom in June-July.

Easy, quick growing Lupines rise to a stately 3 feet, and prefer cool weather climates.  If grown in warm summers, they can grow with some success in light shade and with regular waterings.

Lupines are great in flower vases, alone by themselves, or in arrangements.

Lupine plants like full sun to partial shade.  They will grow quickly to a height of 2 to 3 feet.  Flower blooms from late spring through early summer.

Lupine will do well in average soils and in cool weather.  The soil should be loose and lime free(they do not like lime).  Keep the soil moist to feed their quick growth.  Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.  Adding a general purpose fertilizer once a month before blooming will result in bigger plants and blooms.

lupine 3Tip: Apply a thick layer of mulch, to help retain soil moisture, cool roots, and for winter protection in colder regions.

Deadhead spent blooms to prolong the blooming period.

Insect and Disease: Insects and disease problems are not a major problem, however if problems  do occur, treat early with  insect repellents and fungicide.

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