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Perennial Lupine

Perennial Lupine

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Perennial Lupine
Lupinus perennis

'Perennial Lupine' is awesome when witnessed in full bloom in large, grand plantings. A meadow or field of wild lupines is quite a spectacle. It is also a beautiful addition to flowerbeds, cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, as well as along borders and fencelines; especially when grown in large clusters and clumps. They are an excellent choice for simply enjoying their blooms "in situ" or harvested as cutflowers when about three-quarters of the blooms on each spike are open.

Once they become established, the plants, with their attractive grayish-green leaves, grow from twelve to thirty inches tall, begin blooming in the spring, and with regular deadheading, continue well into the summer.  Beautiful shades of purple and blue.

By removing the dead flowers before they begin maturing their seed pods, you are allowing the plants to put their energy back into growing more blooms and growing larger.  Secondarily, you are preventing them from producing seeds.  That said, if you want them to self-seed, you certainly can allow pods to develop.

The seed coats do tend to be hard, so soaking in lukewarm water for several hours or scarifying them prior to sowing, will improve germination results. Start seeds indoors, six to eight weeks before your last expected frost date, by sowing about one-quarter inch deep, three or four seeds per pot, but thinning to the strongest plant. Their roots are sensitive to do not try to pull and save the weaker plants; simply clip them off. Prepare the plants by hardening them off and as soon as you can transplant outdoors, do not wait. If they become root bound in the pots, they will not be as healthy as they could be.

After all danger of frost has past, plant in a location that receives full sun but they will tolerate some shade. They like lots of water in well-drained soil. Like any new addition to your yard, baby them a bit the first year. Once established, they require minimal attention and can be multiplied by diving in the early spring. A perennial in USDA zones 3 to 8. Each packet contains one gram, which is approximately 40 seeds.

See also 'Russell Lupine' and 'Yellow Lupine'
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