Lupins are versatile plants in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Due to these variations, there are always lots of questions when it comes to lupin gardening. You may want to know how tall these beautiful plants grow, the best type of soil, and when to plant them. Such questions will help you create a stunning lupin display in your garden.
Lupins typically grow between 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) tall. The variation in height is majorly due to differences in variety. For instance, the yellow bush lupin is among the tallest and can reach about 5 feet (1.5 meters). However, climate and water also affect how tall a lupin grows.
In this article, I’ll discuss the favorable conditions for lupins to attain optimum height, different types of lupins, and how to increase their growth. You’ll also know the best way to plant lupins. Keep reading to learn how to get the best out of your lupins.
According to the North Carolina State Extension, more than 300 perennial and annual lupin species exist. The following are the most common types of lupins:
The Manhattan lights lupin is one of the early-season lupins that reach a height of 32-36 inches 80-90cm when mature. They are common in late spring and early summer, and this is when you’ll feel the aroma of their scented flowers. This species can be an excellent option if you love flowers with intense aromas in your compound.
This species grows up to 90cm (35.4in) tall, and that’s why it has the name “Towering Inferno.” The flowers of this species are in shades of orange and yellow. If you’re looking for a lupin that can add some bright colors to your garden, then the Towering inferno is an excellent option. It flowers mainly in summer.
The pink poodle lupin is a unique lupin species with flowers in shades of soft pink and white that grow to a height of around 2.5 feet (76cm). The Pink Poodle is an annual species that blooms in late spring and early summer. You can grow it as a border plant or use it to add some colors to your garden beds.
The salmon star is the best species if you’re targeting the May to July season, and it can grow to a height of around 1 meter (3.2ft). Its pink-orange flowers are ideal for flower beds, patio beds, and containers.
If you’re the type who enjoys the presence of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, this species is for you. The pink-orange color resonates well with these pollinators.
Although the name sounds strange, this lupin species is worth knowing. It bears scented white flowers that make it ideal for adding some fragrances to your garden and grows to a height of 2.2 feet (70 cm).
The Polar Princes Lupin blooms in early summer, and you can grow it as a border plant or use it for mass planting.
It’s every farmer’s joy to see their plants attain the expected height. If you want to see your lupine, scientifically known as Lupinus, shooting up with blooming flowers, you must provide favorable conditions for these. These conditions include:
According to Oregon State University, insufficient sunlight causes stunted growth in plants. Lupins are no exception to this because they’re plants.
Lupins are primarily grown in areas with a Mediterranean climate where they can receive six hours of direct sunlight. Such regions have pretty cool summers. This low-temperature preference explains why these flowers are common in North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado.
The ideal temperature for growing lupins is between 65 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 25 degrees Celsius).
If you live in an area with a hot climate, it’s best to grow your lupin in partial shade. This way, you can protect the plant from the harsh afternoon sun that usually scorches plants. When planting lupins in partial shade, ensure that the area receives at least four hours of sunlight daily.
Lupins grow best in well-drained soils. The soil should also be rich in organic matter to give the plants the nutrients they need for growth. Sandy loams are the best type of soil for growing lupins.
To improve the drainage of your soil and make it more fertile, you can amend it with some organic matter. Some of the best amendments for lupin soil include compost, manure, and peat moss.
You can also use inorganic fertilizer to feed your plants. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much fertilizer will burn the plants’ roots, as the University of California cautions.
Lupins also grow best in regions with moderate humidity. Excessively high or low moisture levels in the air can cause fungal diseases like lupin anthracnose.
These plants perform well in regions with cool summers. Besides exposing the plant to fungal diseases, hot and humid climates also cause the flowers to wilt.
For efficiency, you can add a layer of mulch around the plants to ensure they get the optimum moisture. Mulching keeps the soil moist and also protects the roots from extreme temperatures.
Like any other plant, planting lupins requires you to follow the correct procedure. Failure to adhere to the requirements, such as depth and spacing, will lead to the death of the plant.
You don’t want to plant lupins only to have them fail to grow and bloom because of a few mistakes. Here are the factors to consider before planting lupins:
- The climate in the region: Ask yourself if the climate in your region is favorable for lupins. It may not be wise to grow lupins in hot, humid areas like the Southern United States unless you use artificial means like growing tents.
- The type of soil in the region: Ensure the soil in your area is organic and well-drained. If not, you can grow lupins in pots or raised beds.
- The amount of sunlight: You need to be in an area where your lupins can get at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. The sun ensures that your plant can carry out photosynthesis essential for optimum growth as it supplies the necessary nutrients.
- Season: Timing is essential when planting lupins. The best season to plant lupins is late fall or early winter for them to bloom in spring.
Now that you know what to consider before planting lupins let’s move to the actual planting.
You can plant lupins in either of the following two ways:
- From seeds
- From transplants.
Planting lupins from seeds is the most common way used by many people. Here’s the procedure for planting lupins from seeds:
- Soak the seeds in water overnight before planting. This soaking is because lupins have a hard seed coat that you need to soften for germination. Alternatively, chill the seeds in a refrigerator for a week before planting.
- Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. A partial shade will do if you live in an area with a hot climate.
- Dig holes 0.3 cm (⅛ in) deep and space them about 30 to 60cm (11.8 to 23.6in) apart.
- Plant two or three seeds in each hole and then cover with well-drained soil.
Getting transplants from a nursery is the second way you can plant lupins. This method is excellent if you want an early start on the growing season. Below is the procedure to plant lupins from transplants:
- Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil on your farm or grow a tent.
- Dig holes spacing them about 30 to 60cm apart, and plant the transplants at the same depth they were in their containers.
- After planting, you can mulch the area to minimize water loss.
How To Boost Growth in Lupins
Most people plant lupins for their diversity in colors and flowers. If you want to get the best out of your lupins in terms of growth, here are a few tips:
- Fertilize the plants with phosphorus and nitrogen-rich fertilizer early in their development. According to a study by Research Gate, phosphorus stimulates and enhances bud development and blooming, while nitrogen fertilizers promote strong foliage growth.
- Pinch the plants when they’re about eight inches high. This pinching will cause them to branch out and grow more vigorously.
- Water the plants regularly and mulch to keep the soil moist, as water promotes growth. However, it would help if you were careful not to overdo it and make the soil soggy.
- Deadhead the spent flowers to encourage more growth. Deadhead involves pinching or cutting off the faded flowers.
- Ensure your lupins are exposed to the sun as it promotes growth and blooming. Sun is essential for photosynthesis, which is necessary for producing food for plants.
- Keep your lupin plantation free from weeds. Weeds compete with lupins for space, water, and nutrients. Your lupins risk stunted growth if they don’t get a sufficient supply of these nutrients.
Lupins are a great addition to your garden or compound due to their beauty and the colors they bring. You should, however, be keen on their height as some species can grow quite tall.
The wide range of colors makes lupins more enticing. You’ll never miss a favorite color to plant in your home. Alternatively, you can be creative and combine several colors to make your garden more appealing.
You may also like:
- What To Do With Lupins After Flowering – Everything you need to know
- Why Is My Lupins Wilting and Dying?
- When To Cut Back Lupins?
- Can Lupins Be Grown in Pots?
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.