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How to Grow Lupins From Seed

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Lupine is an herbaceous perennial that flowers in the months of May and June. The plant produces 2-foot-tall flower spikes in the colors of red, purple, yellow and white, which are attractive to butterflies and bees. Lupine plants require full sun to part shade and a well draining soil. The lupine plant will reseed itself annually if the soil conditions are not too dry.

Collect lupine seeds after blooming when the seed pods start to turn yellow. Ripened seeds will rattle inside the pod. Place the pods in box until they explode and release the seeds. Store the seeds in a dry location until the following planting season.

Start the germination process with method one by chipping the seed coats and soaking them in warm water for 24 hours.

Start the germination process with method two by placing the seeds between two damp paper towels and put inside a plastic zipper top bag. Place the bag in a refrigerator for 7 days.

Work the ground soil after the danger of frost has left by digging or tilling the area to increase aeration. Remove all weeds and vegetative matter. Mix a handful of bone meal into the soil. There is no need to apply chemical fertilizer to the soil at planting.

Sow treated seeds in narrow rows that are 1 to 2 inches deep. Gently cover the seeds and water the area thoroughly.

Water newly planted lupine seeds daily by keeping the ground moist but not wet.

Fertilize lupine plants with a high phosphorus and low nitrogen fertilizer once the plants have matured.

Cut back faded flowers immediately to promote new shoot growth and prolong flowering.


Things You Will Need

  • Lupine seeds
  • Storage box
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic zipper bag
  • Shovel
  • Tiller
  • Hand pruner


  • Lupine seeds can be started indoors approximately 8 weeks prior to planting outdoors. Follow the germination steps for planting outdoors.
  • Lupine plants are easy to care for and do not like to be moved once established.
  • Plant lupine in a well draining soil that is partially sand. The plants will not grow in clay soil.


  • Lupine is considered a poisonous plant when ingested by humans or animals.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.