How to plant lupins

Easy to grow and loved by pollinators, lupins will bring elegance, stature and interest to the garden border with their tall tapering spires of pea-like flowers. For a glorious early floral display, mix with geraniums, delphiniums and oriental poppies. Alternatively, try planting with hostas, peonies, tulips and narcissi to hide their fading foliage. They make excellent cut flowers.

Plant in light moderately fertile, well-drained sandy or slightly acid soil in full sun or partial shade. Cut back to the base as soon as the flowers fade to encourage a second late flush and cover crowns in winter in frost prone areas.

Lupins are supplied in 9 cm pots. Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant. Take care! Their seeds should never be eaten as they can cause severe discomfort.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

  • Snails and slugs: these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!

  • Bacterial/fungal rots: these soil-borne diseases may cause the plant to wilt and its foliage to yellow. If left untreated, the plant will eventually die. Waterlogged and heavy soils are known to encourage rots.

  • Leaf spots: these bacterial/fungal diseases can usually be seen as sooty growths or spots on the leaves ⁠— these will progressively turn brown with a yellow margin before eventually dying. Remove and dispose of any infected leaves.

  • Powdery mildews: these fungal diseases usually caused by planting in the shade or by poor air circulation can be seen in the form of white, powdery coating on the leaves. Cut off any infected material before disinfecting your scissors.

  • Viruses: viruses can cause a number of problems ranging from the appearance of deformed leaves and flowers to colour patterns and streaking. It is advisable to lift and destroy any affected plant at first sight.
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