Everything that You Didn’t Know about Growing and Caring for Lupines

Everything that You Didn’t Know about Growing and Caring for Lupines


Flowers are of different kinds. They are different from one another in terms of texture, size and colour. Some flowers are popularly grown indoors in most parts of the world. Some flowers mostly grow in the woods and forests. These wildflowers are hardly made a part of any garden or flower collection.


Lupine Wildflower



Latin equivalent of a wolf


However, the Lupine isn’t another ordinary flower growing in the wild. Though a wildflower, the Lupine has earned quite a fame due to its colourful blooms and beautiful texture. Adding to that, some varieties of the Lupine flower are also quite fragrant.


Once upon a time, people believed that Lupins were a harmful plant that posed a threat to environmental well being. They believed that the plant soaked up all the nutrients from the soil, making the soil completely barren. That’s why they went to name the plant Lupine, the Latin equivalent of a wolf. But, in reality, the Lupine enriches the soil by fixing its nitrogen levels and also boosts soil fertility.


Also, don’t get confused by Lupine and Lupin. These are both names of the same plant but are just referred to in different ways in different parts of the world.


Lupine Height


There are many different varieties of the Lupin plant. Each of these varieties can grow to different heights. In general, however, Lupine plants can grow around 1 to 4 feet tall. But certain varieties might sometimes outgrow this general measure of height. Some plants grow a much shorter height, like the Russell Lupins that grow just a meter long.


Lupine Flower



Produce colourful blooms


The Lupin flowers are what gives the Lupine plant a unique identity. The blooms on a Lupine plant differ in a large variety of colours, sometimes also as a mixture of two or more colours. A Lupine plant generally blooms in the first year of being planted. Some varieties of the plant bloom throughout the year, while others only bloom during the spring or summer seasons.


Lupine Flower Seeds



Can be used to grow plants


It is the Lupin flower that produces the Lupin seeds. Extracting these seeds from the flowers is an easy enough process. Just wait until the seed pots on the blooms turn brown and gently pull them out of the Lupin flowers. Store them in a dark and cool place before you decide to plant them in soil. If stored properly, the Lupine Flower seeds can last for more than 3 years.


Can You Grow Lupines in Pots



Easy to grow and care for


Widely popular in the Mediterranean Area and the continent of North America, the Lupines are mostly bred in different households as ornamental plants. Lupin is known for its beautiful attractive spine. Belonging to the Fabaceae plant family, Lupines are a beautiful décor option to spruce up your house.


It can very well be grown in pots, and in an indoor setting, provided that you take the right care of the plant. There are several varieties of the Lupinus plant that can easily be grown indoors.


First things first, the Lupines thrive best in a sunny spot. The plant requires lots and lots of sunlight and thus, is best placed by a window. The plant naturally inhabits the wild and so can easily tolerate the full sun. The Lupine plant can also grow quite well in partial shade.


Lupines do not require too little or too often watering. They can do just fine with some regular watering, just enough to prevent the soil from going dry. Remember, the plant does not like soggy soil. The roots might rot if the soil starts turning soggy due to overwatering.


Just like most of the other houseplants, the Lupins prefer to grow in well-draining soil. A soil mixture made of organic elements works best for this plant. The Lupines prefer to grow in soil that has more of a neutral pH level but can also do well in soil that is just slightly acidic.


It is essential to fertilize the plant to encourage more beautiful blooms. The best fertilizer for a Lupine plant is one that is rich in phosphorus. You can also use a formula that is high on nitrogen but it has little effect on blooms, but it does encourage the growth of the plant’s foliage. However, the plant can also do considerably well even in the absence of any fertilizer.


Growing Lupins in Pots



Grows in well-draining soil


Here is how one can easily grow Lupins in pots.


⦁ Prepare the planter with some good quality and well-draining soil. Make sure that your planter has enough drainage holes to flush out the excess moisture.
⦁ Use a wooden stick or some other such equipment to loosen up the soil and gently place the seeds inside of the soil.
⦁ Make sure that the seeds are at least 2 inches deep in the soil. Also, ensure that the seeds aren’t placed too close to each other.
⦁ Water the soil to moisten it up. Place the planter at a spot that receives enough sunlight throughout the day.


The Different Colours of Lupine



Available in different varieties


Lupins are a unique variety of plants. It has different varieties in itself, each of them being different in shapes, sizes and colours. The different colours are the one important factor that makes Lupins easily stand out. There are several varieties of the plant that sport different colours like blue, orange, purple, pink, red, yellow, white, etc.


Many Lupine plants can bloom in different colours. Yes, one plant can produce flowers that vary in colours.


A beautiful Field of Lupinus



A sight to behold


A field full of the Lupine plant is a beautiful sight to behold. The wide variety of the plant, each unique in shape, size and colour, easily makes it a big plant family.


Here are some of the most popular and common varieties of the Lupine plant.


Lupinus Albus



Known as White Lupin


The Lupinus Albus is also known as the White Lupin or the Field Lupin. Native to the Mediterranean area, the Lupinus Albus can grow up to a height of around 3 feet. The seeds of the Lupinus Albus are a popular snack option.


Lupinus Angustifolius



Known as Narrowleaf Lupin


More popularly known as the Blue Lupin, the Lupinous Angustifolius is native to Australia, Eurasia, North America and Northern Australia. The leaves of this plant are narrow as compared to the other varieties and thus, it is also known as Narrowleaf Lupin.


Lupinus Luteus



Known as European-Yellow Lupin
The Lupinous Luteus is also known as the Yellow Lupin, Annual-Yellow Lupin or the European Yellow Lupin. Native to the Mediterranean area, the Lupinus Luteus is used as an ornamental plant and is also used to feed poultry and livestock.


Lupin Pixie Delight Dwarf



Miniature variety of Lupin


A miniature variety of the Lupinus plant, the Lupin Pixie Delight Dwarf can grow up to just around a foot in height. It is a fairly easy plant to grow that requires the full sun to grow. The plant blooms mostly during the spring season.


Lupinus polyphyllus



A hybrid variety


The Lupinus Polyphyllus is one variety of the Lupine plant that has several large leaves. Polyphyllus is a Greek term, referring to the many leaves of the plant. The plant is a Russel hybrid and comes in a variety of colours such as blue, cream, red, violet, white, yellow, etc.


Prairie Lupine


Native to North America


Scientifically referred to as the Lupinus Lepidus, the Prairie Lupine is a perennial plant that is native to the western part of North America. The Prairie Lupine can grow up to a height of around a foot in height and blooms flowers in colours such as blue, pink, purple, etc., each with a yellow spot.


Tree Lupin



Grows as a shrub


Contrary to its name, the Tree Lupin is actually a shrub. The Tree Lupin is an evergreen variety of the Lupine shrub that can grow as long as 3 meters in height and produces bright yellow blooms. The plant is also known by the name Lupinus Arboreus.


When To Plant Lupine Seeds



Easy to grow into plants


Using the Lupine seeds to plant a Lupine is a very easy as well as an economical process. However, before you do this, make sure that you soak the seeds in water overnight so that the hard outer covering of the seed softens up. This also gives the seeds a boost to speed up the germination process.


The mid-spring is a great time to plant Lupine seeds as it allows it sufficient time to germinate. With the right preparation and care, the Lupine seeds can germinate in as early as just 10 to 14 days.


Transplanting Lupine



Quite easy to replant


One can easily transplant Lupines as per the following steps.


⦁ Shift the seedlings outside for around a week or so once they start sprouting their second set of leaves. Remember to bring them inside during the night.
⦁ Fill around one-third of the new planter of potting soil mixed with peat moss. Ensure that your planter has enough draining holes.
⦁ Gently take the seeding out of the old container and use a sterilized knife to clean the root ball.
⦁ Place the root ball inside the new planter and cover it well with some more of the potting soil, covering the root ball completely.
⦁ Water the plant to set the soil and place the planter at a spot with enough sunlight.


Lupin Plant Problems



Often attacked by pests


The Lupine is vulnerable to several plant problems. Thus, it becomes important that you keep an eye out for preventing the plant from any potential damage. Here are some of the common problems that you can watch out for.


⦁ Several pests attack the plant during the spring season. Some of the most common invaders are the Aphids, snails and slugs. One can easily get rid of these by using pesticides or some horticultural oils.
⦁ The plant might also develop some brown spots as a result of being infected by brown spot fungus. If this happens, get rid of the affected plants at once. Also, avoid using that space for planting Lupines for the next several years.
⦁ The formation of powdery mildew is yet another concern in Lupine plants. These powdery white formations are indicative of the absence of good air circulation around the plant. It can be treated in several organic and chemical ways.


How to Treat Powdery Mildew on Lupins



Clean the plant often


A Lupine plant might get affected with powdery mildew as a result of insufficient air circulation. The absence of good air circulation around the plant leads to the formation of powdery white patches on the Lupine plant.


An easy way to prevent this from happening is to clean the plant with some good quality fungicide. Use it once in a week or so, depending on the kind of weather. Use it in shorter intervals if the kind of weather encourages fungal growth.


To treat an already-affected plant, use a mixture of milk and water in the ratio of 1: 9. You can also mix one tablespoon of baking soda in 8 pints of water and mist it on the plant to get rid of the powdery mildew.


FAQS


Here we have answered some FAQS to help you know more about Lupins.


Do lupines come back every year?

Yes, Lupines are a perennial variety of plants. They bloom year after year. Just make sure that you get rid of the faded flowers to encourage the next bloom.


Do lupines like sun or shade?


The Lupines are a versatile variety of plants. They can thrive well in full sun and also in partial shade.


Where do lupines grow best?


Lupines grow best when planted in some good quality well-draining soil. They need the full sun or partial shade to be growing well.


Do lupines like the full sun?


Yes, Lupines love the full sun. As Lupines naturally grow in the wild, they can very well grow both in full sun as well as partial shade.


Where can I get edible (sweet) lupin seeds?


There are certain varieties of the Lupin plant which produce edible seeds. These edible seeds are easily available online.


What does a lupine flower symbolize?


The Lupine flower is believed to symbolize admiration, imagination and overall happiness. The Lupine flower is also said to boost a person’s inner energy and help them come out of trauma.


What does lupine mean?


The term lupine is a Latin word that means wolf. The plant was given this name as it had been attributed certain wolfy qualities. This was because people then believed the plant to be harmful to the environment.


What is the proper care and feeding of Lupine?


The proper care of Lupine involves planting it in some good quality well-draining soil and placing it in a sunny spot. It also requires regular watering. Use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen to boost foliage growth in the plant. A fertilizer rich in phosphorus helps to promote blooms.


How long do lupines bloom each year?


There are several varieties of Lupines, each with different qualities. Most of these varieties bloom only during the spring or summer season. But some varieties are evergreen and bloom throughout the year.


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