Lupine is a tall, hardy plant that flowers in long spikes with flowers along the stem. Flowers can be many colors, including yellow, white, mauve, and pink. There are both annual and perennial varieties of lupine. Lupines start easily from seed, and are suited to cool and temperate regions. They prefer full sun and very well-drained soil that is not too acidic. Lupine seeds can be collected after flowering for spring sowing, or you can leave them to reseed themselves.
Sow annual lupines directly into the garden in spring after the last chance of frost has passed. You can also sow them indoors in pots and transplant outside them when the weather gets warm.
Soak perennial lupine seeds overnight before planting them. Perennial lupines do best when sown indoors. Start the seeds in early spring for summer blooms. If you sow perennial lupines directly into the garden, do it in the fall and they will bloom the following summer.
Space lupines about 3 inches apart, and then thin them to 10 inches when the plants are established. After planting, water the soil regularly to keep it moist. Lupines sown in spring should flower in mid-summer.
Prolong a lupine’s blooming time by cutting off the flower stalks as soon as they bloom. Lupines are good, long-lasting cut flowers, and the plants will bloom a second time if they don’t go to seed.
Collect seeds from your favorite plants by leaving the pods on the plant to dry. Harvest the seeds when the pods start splitting open. Remove the seeds and store them in a cool dark place for autumn or spring sowing.