Lupines (Lupine spp) are attractive and spiky, reaching 1 to 4 feet in height and adding color and texture to the back of a flower bed. Lupine flowers may be annual and last only for a season or perennial, returning for a few years in the same spot in which they were planted. The lupine plant grows from a long taproot and does not like to be moved.
Growing lupines is as simple as planting seeds into a sunny area with well-drained soil. If planting lupine from seed, scratch the seed surface or soak seeds overnight in lukewarm water to allow the seed coat to be easily penetrated. Seeds of the lupine plant may also be chilled for a week in the refrigerator prior to planting.
This may also be accomplished by planting lupine seeds in the fall and letting Mother Nature do the chilling through the winter. Direct sowing of lupine seeds in autumn is perhaps the easiest method. Lupines produces seed which will re-produce more flowers the following year if not removed from the growing lupine.
Getting More Lupine Flowers
To encourage blooms, fertilize lupines with a plant food that is high in phosphorus. Nitrogen rich fertilizer may encourage growth of the foliage and do little to promote flowering. Deadhead spent blooms for returning lupine flowers.
Sow seeds in narrow rows that are 1 to 2 inches deep. Gently cover the seeds and water the area thoroughly.
Water newly planted lupine seeds daily by keeping the ground moist but not wet.