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.
Choose a sunny location. Lupine plants need at least six hours of full sun exposure per day in order to thrive.
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.
Sow the seeds 12 to 18 inches apart directly onto the loosened soil. Cover them with a light dusting of dirt, and water thoroughly.
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.
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.