Lupinus

Common name: Lupin

The Lupin is a tall perennial that originated from North America, however the strains that are around today are likely to be cultivars of strains developed by George Russell in the 1930’s.

In his day they were treated as an annual but are now considered to be a short lived perennial.

In fact nowadays, if you have the facilities to grow seeds in a heated greenhouse, then seeds sown in January may flower the same year.

In the UK they flower in May and June and will grow on most soils, but prefer lime-free, well-drained soil that is not too rich.

Cultivation

Week 4: Sow fresh seeds in trays/pots of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 16°-18°C (60°-65°F).

If the seed are old soak for 24 hours prior to sowing, and to improve germination, nick the seed at the opposite end to the two eyes.

Alternatively, abrade the seed on a piece of sandpaper.

Germination should take about four or five days.

Named varieties will not come true from seed.

Week 6-7: Prick out once true leaves have been produced into individual pots and grow on till planting out time.

Week 14: Take 75mm (3”) long basal cuttings from the rootstock, preferably with a small piece of rootstock attached.

Insert these into a 50-50 sand and compost mixture and place in a cold frame.

When rooted, pot up into 100mm (4”) pots of potting compost and grow on until planting out time.

Alternatively, divide and transplant mature plants.

Unlike some perennials don’t divide / disturb them in autumn, as they may not recover from this before winter sets in.

Be on guard for Slugs and snails these can damage new shoots.

Week 16: Sow commercial seeds in trays/pots of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 16°-18°C (60°- 65°F).

Soak the seds for 24 hours prior to sowing to improve germination, and nick the seed at the opposite end to the two eyes.

Alternatively, abrade the seed on a piece of sandpaper.

Prick out once true leaves have been produced into individual pots and grow on till planting out time.

Sow Seeds

Ready for

Propagator

Seeds Germinated

Potted On



Week 18: Look out for Lupin aphid on mature plants, these are specific to lupins, and can spread viruses which may severely debilitate plants.

Week 20: Plant out January sown seedlings 600mm (24") apart in sun or partial shade in a neutral to acid soil.

Avoid over rich soil as this has a tendency to produce soft growth thus necessitating the need to stake the flowers.

Week 24: Deadhead flowers regularly to prevent self seeding and to encourage a second flush of flowers later in the year.

Collect ripe seed pods if required.

Week 40: Plant out March sown seedlings and cuttings 600mm (24") apart in sun or partial shade in a neutral to acid soil.

Avoid overly rich soil as this has a tendency to produce soft growth thus necessitating the need to stake the flowers.

Position away from trees.

Week 44: Cut down flowering stems to ground level.





Top of the Page