Native to the Pacific Northwest, the tall lupine, Lupinus polyphyllus, was combined with L. perennis to create hybrids with bright, bonnet-shaped flowers on spires that ascend from gray-green, lobed foliage. The most common color is a heavenly blue that will add care-free color to any garden or meadow.
Choose a planting site with good drainage and in full sun.
Prepare the soil by amending it with a coarse media like sand--lupines thrive in well-textured soil. Till the soil to make it loose and provide room for the roots to spread.
Use a file to create a divot on the surface of each seed. This is called scarification, the process of penetrating the seed coat for faster germination.
Plant seeds in early spring, 3/4 of an inch to 1 3/4 inches deep. Mature plants can grow up to 2 feet across, so allow 7 to 10 inches between seeds. Germination should occur in a few weeks with consistent temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees F.
Keep the soil moist while the seedlings establish themselves.
Cut back the stalks after the first set of flowers appear, typically in the first half of the growing season.
Allow the plant to drop seeds in the fall before cutting back foliage for the winter. Lupines will establish and return every year by self-seeding.