Why you should plant lupines in your pollinator garden
- 15 lovely lupine varieties
- Easy to grow annual and perennial varieties
- A North American wildflower, lupines provide habitat for native pollinators
- Loopy Lupine Flower Seed Mix contains the seven best cultivars
all about lupine seeds
A member of the legume family, lupines are cousins with garden peas and sweet peas. Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, and while garden peas like sugar snaps and snow peas are delicious to eat, lupines and sweet peas are toxic when ingested! Enjoy your lupine flowers, but don’t let your kids or your pets take a bite.
Lupine seeds resemble beans, and it is recommended to soak the seeds overnight prior to planting. This process softens the seed coat, allowing lupine seeds to better absorb water in the soil. lupines have one strong taproot, so be sure to loosen the soil to a depth of ten inches for the healthiest plants. Lupines can be direct-seeded or started indoors, but take care with transplanting to not disturb the delicate taproot.
how and when to plant lupine seeds
Plant your lupines in spring in colder climates, and in fall or spring in temperate regions. To direct sow lupine seeds, push the seeds into the ground about twice as deep as the side of the seed itself. Cover with soil and water your lupine seeds thoroughly. If starting lupine seeds indoors, sow seeds one to two months before the last frost. Sow lupine seeds in 72 or 50 cell trays so that the seedlings won’t need to be bumped up into a bigger pot before they are ready to be transplanted outside.
Lupines do best in full sun, but may benefit from afternoon shade in hotter climates. Lupines grow from a taproot, so incorporate sand into your planting site to improve drainage and aeration. Lupines benefit from a technique called pinching—cut the plants back when they are about a foot tall by going through and cutting out the middle stem. This encourages the plants to branch, producing a multitude of stems where there would have been only one.
Ranging in color from cream and yellow to magenta and blue, lupine stems are striking in the vase. To harvest lupines for cut flowers, cut the stems after two to three buds on the spire have opened. Make a clean cut about 12 inches down and immediately put the stems in water. Harvested at the right time, lupines may last up to a week in the vase.
choosing your lupine aesthetic
A little stuck by all the beautiful options? Unsure what variety to grow in your region? No worries! Eden Brothers has curated a lupine seed mix for those gardeners who want it all! “Loopy” Lupine Flower Seed Mix contains a blend of five annual varieties and two perennial varieties for blooms all season long. This mix contains our favorite varieties like Wild Perennial Lupine, Arroyo Lupine, Russel Lupine, and a few other varieties that are guaranteed to thrive wherever they’re planted. For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting lupine seeds, see the Lupine Seeds Planting Guide.