Lupins are plants with a taproot system, of the genus Wolf and the family of Fabaceae. There are several hundred species, some like the White Lupine being used for their seeds used to produce flour and which can also be eaten as pulses. More generally, the Lupine brings to the garden a decorative touch indisputable. To enjoy its beauty for as long as possible, the ideal is to cultivate various varieties in order to stagger the blooms. These fairly hardy bee plantsperennials or annuals, from 35 to 120 centimeters in height, are very easygoing because they are undemanding. Let’s do a check in.
Plant the Lupine
Perennial varieties of Lupine can be planted in spring in cold areas or in autumn in regions with a mild climate.
Planting lupines proceeds as follows.
- Prepare the soil a few days before planting. It is right to dig deeply. We take the opportunity to remove the large stones and the roots of weeds. An addition of coarse sand is essential if the garden soil is heavy. In calcareous soil, it is advisable to incorporate heather soil.
- Dig holes larger than the clods.
- Place a foot of Lupine per hole.
- Water moderately.
When planting, it is important to respect an interval ofabout forty centimeters between two lupines. It is necessary to count 4 to 5 feet of lupines per square meter.
You can opt for the semis of Lupin. In this case, sowing in April makes it possible to obtain flowering from the month of June. For flowering in September/October, lupins are sown from the first days of June. When the seedlings have a few leaves, we move on to thinning so as to keep one plant every 30 centimeters.
The Lupine loves sunny to semi-shaded locations. Its preferred growing medium is a acid earth, fraîche, rich in humus et well drained. It hates calcareous soils, clay because it is too sticky, heavy soils and stagnant water. The soil that hosts the lupins should therefore be neither too dry nor too wet. It should also be noted that it is preferable to choose the location of the lupines carefully before installing them because these plants do not like to be moved at all once they are well rooted.
The species are chosen according to the desired effect and the use that one wishes to make of these ornamental plants. Lupine is used in rockery, clump, border to which it brings verticality. It nicely dresses the base of a concern and animate the around the trees… You can cut your flowers for the creation of sumptuous bouquets which hold up very well in the vase.
Note also that lupins form wonderful associations with old roses, the Iris, the Delphinium, the perennial Geranium, the Digitalis, the Peony or even the Hosta, the Gerbera, the Lavender, the Daisy, the Oriental Poppy… We do not hesitate to plant lupins in the immediate vicinity of heather soil plants such as Camellia, Maple, Hydrangea, Azalea since they are particularly fond of acid soils…
Caring for the Lupine
Lupine is a plant that shows itself undemandingtherefore suitable for all gardeners, even beginners.
As we have seen, the Lupine hates soils that are too dry but also too wet. However, it is essential to carry out regular watering after planting for the good recovery of the plant. Then you have to find the middle ground. The moderate watering necessary in very hot weather or in very dry weather. Apart from these very specific conditions, watering should just allow the soil to retain a little freshness.
It is recommended to make compost inputs in spring and fall if lupins are grown in poor soil. This greatly promotes their flowering.
In winter, especially in regions with a harsh climate, do not hesitate to cover the lupines with a thick layer of straw to protect them from severe frosts and winter cold, even if they are able to withstand between -10 and -18°C (depending on the species). As soon as spring returns, of course, we do not forget to remove the mulch.
The Lupine does not show a very great longevity, compared to other plants. It remains beautiful for 3 to 5 years then begins to wither. Never mind, all is not lost since it reseeds itself spontaneously.
Pests and diseases
Lupine is a plant with a great robustness, but it is much coveted by slugs and snails that devour its leaves. Also to watch out for is the lupine aphid which can cause damage. Treatment with water and soap gives good results in case of infestation.
On the disease side, at most we can fear the maladies cryptogamiques if the right growing conditions are not respected. The lupins should not be watered too much and it is necessary to space them sufficiently in order to play the prevention card.
Lupine is a fast growing plant which therefore quickly forms an elegant bush. It is highly valued for its long clusters of spectacular butterfly flowerswhich come in a rich palette of colors (red, yellow, purple, pink, white, etc.) creating nice contrasts with its graphic foliage silvery green. It attracts all eyes. Its floridity is not to be denied, which makes it a plant with multiple colors that is essential in the pleasure garden, especially since some varieties are fragrant. The icing on the cake, the Lupine is a green manure.
The faded flower stalks of the Lupine must be cut as they are so that the plant does not exhaust itself unnecessarily. This promotes the formation of new flowers. At the end of the season, we proceed to the pruning the plant as soon as flowering is completely finished and the leaves begin to dry. Finally, it is very useful to save seeds if you wish to sow other lupines as soon as those already in place for a few years begin to lack vigour.