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A quintessential cottage garden favourite, lupins are brilliant for borders to add height and colour on tall stems. Find out how to grow lupins in your garden.

Planting lupins

Lupins grow best in a spot with full sun or partial shade. Position them in a space with moist but well-drained soil – they also prefer a slightly acidic or neutral soil. Due to their height, growing to around 90cm tall, they do best in a sheltered position where they won’t be damaged by strong winds.

Dig a planting hole and when positioned, firm in place and water well. When planting in summer, it is ideal to add support as they are tall plants. Bear in mind that younger plants tend to grow best and establish better compared to more mature ones.

Rose-petal-salad-2

Although they are popular in traditional cottage garden designs, they are also well suited in contemporary, courtyard, and city gardens too.

Take care

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

To keep the plants looking their best, deadhead when the flowers have faded. Not only will these help them to look tidy, but you may be pleased to see a second round of flowers.

Once you have collected the seeds, cut the plants down to the base and await growth the following year.

Propagating lupins

There are a few ways to increase your stock of this cottage garden favourite. If growing from seed, remember that lupins don’t flower true to type. So, if choosing this method, they will flower in a variety of different colours. Also, they will self-seed, so leaving them to do so and lifting seedlings and potting them on is another method to getting more plants.

Propagation by division is possible, however it is not common or the easiest method. This is because the plants have a strong tap root.

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Instead, the easiest way to propagate lupins is to take basal cuttings in spring and potting them into compost to root.

Types to try

Lupinus (lupin) ‘Persian Slipper’

Growing to 90cm tall, this lupin has deep-violet blue and white flowers on a tall spike.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 90cm tall
  • Well-drained, loam or sandy soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Lupinus (lupin) ‘The Chatelaine’ (Band of Nobles Series)

For dense spikes of rosy-pink flowers and white flowers, look no further.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall
  • Well-drained, loam or sandy soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Lupinus (lupin) ‘Red Rum’

Deep red flowers for dramatic colour in your border that will grace your garden from late spring into summer.

  • Flowers in spring and summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall
  • Well-drained, loam or sandy soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Lupinus (lupin) ‘Terracotta’

Next is a variety with striking colour. The spires of flowers are peachy-pink and yellow coloured provide interest and depth to the border.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall
  • Well-drained, loam or sandy soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

So, try out lupins in your garden to achieve a cottage garden look in your borders. Alternatively, add them to a contemporary planting scheme to add some height and colour.

Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
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Pinterest Board


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