How to Care for Lupine


Lupines, with their tall stalks of brightly colored flowers and easy-care habits, are popular with home gardeners. Some lupines are hybrid. Hybrid lupines come in a wide variety of colors, tend to be very top-heavy and have a slightly peppery scent. Others are wild. Wild lupines have a more pleasant scent and lacy leaves, but have fewer flowers and are usually purple or blue. Lupines, which grow best in colder climates, are low-maintenance plants and require only basic methods of culture to thrive.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location. Lupine plants need at least six hours of full sun exposure per day in order to thrive.

Step 2

Prepare the soil. Lupines have long tap roots. Till the soil down to a depth of at least 12 inches to loosen it up. They will grow in most soils save hard, clay soil.

Step 3

Sow the seeds 12 to 18 inches apart directly onto the loosened soil. Cover them with a light dusting of dirt, and water thoroughly.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, until the plants sprout. Water once a week on average during the summer. Do not let the soil become very dry and hard. During hot periods, you may need to water two or even three times a week.

Step 5

Deadhead (pinch off) spent blooms to encourage new flowering. Watch for aphids. If the lupine becomes infested with aphids, spray the plant with soapy water, or use a strong stream of water to knock them off the flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Lupine seeds
  • Garden fork or tiller
  • Watering tool
  • Ziplock bag
  • Paper towels


  • Plant Natural: Growing Lupine

Who Can Help

  • USDA Forest Service: Lupinus perennis
Keywords: Lupinus perennis, how to, care for lupine

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.