How to Plant Lupine


Lupines are a member of the legume family. These bold flowering plants make a statement in the garden, but their usefulness does not end there. Because of the nitrogen-fixing abilities of legumes, lupines included, this plant can turn poor soil into a rich, fertile field in a few seasons. Even the home gardener can benefit from this plant's ability to absorb nitrogen from the air and transfer it to the soil. Planting lupines, whether as a crop or ornamental, improves poor soil and adds color to your garden or farm.

Step 1

Soak lupine seeds in warm water for 24 hours prior to planting. The water should be warm to the touch but not boiling.

Step 2

Fill small seedling pots with peat moss. Seeds should be started six to eight weeks before the last frost. Refer to USDA zone map to determine the date of the last frost in your area.

Step 3

Place each seed in the peat moss at a depth of 1/8 inch, place in a cool sunny spot and water. Temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees F are ideal.

Step 4

Dig holes in your planting areas that are slightly larger than your seedlings' planting pots and 18 to 25 inches apart. You can transplant outside as soon as the last frost has passed.

Step 5

Remove your lupine seedlings from the starter pots and place each one in a prepared hole. Make sure the base of the stem is level with the ground. You can plant lupines in rows in a field, or scattered throughout a vegetable or flower garden.

Step 6

Fertilize with a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium; lupines are a nitrogen-fixing plant, which means they absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and transfer it to the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Lupine seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Starter trays or pots
  • Fertilizer


  • NDSU: Lupine
  • Queensland Government: Lupin

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum
Keywords: planting perennials, planting flowers, nitrogen fixing crops

About this Author

Pricilla Bell has been a freelance copywriter and journalist for five years. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine with noted herbalist Susan Parker. Pricilla Bell is currently pursuing a degree from Boston University. Bell has been working with Demand Studio since March 2009 writing articles about herbal and alternative medicine.