Lupines, also known as lupin flowers (Lupinus spp. ), are fleeting perennials that produce thick spikes that are covered with blooms. Their name originates from the Latin word “lupus,” which translates to “wolf.” Lupin flowers come in a variety of hues and bloom during the months of May and July. When determining which other plants to grow with lupine, it is important to bear in mind that these plants are hardy in plant zones 4 through 8 according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Types of Lupin Flowers
According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, natural species of lupine are very challenging to produce as ornamentals in the home garden. However, hybrid variants of lupine have been created throughout time expressly for this purpose. The South Dakota University Extension suggests the widely used Russell hybrids, which have flower spikes that are thirty inches in height. The blooms of hybrid lupine, which resemble peas, may appear in a wide variety of hues, including blue, purple, red, yellow, and white.
There are certain lupine cultivars that have flowers that are two-toned, with white often being one of the two hues. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, for instance, Lupinus ‘The Governor’ is characterised by an arresting mix of blue purple and white in its flowers. The fact that hybrid lupine plants developed from garden seed will not have the same appearance as their parent plants is one possible drawback of cultivating lupine hybrids. If that is what you want to do, you need to begin your lupine blooms from cuttings. You may also get lupine seeds or potted plants from a gardening shop if you want to grow your own.
Lupine Culture Requirements
The optimal conditions for growing lupin flowers are soils that are somewhat acidic, wet, well-drained, and rich in organic material. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, lupin flowers grow in colder climatic locations that have chilly summers because they are intolerant of heat and humidity. These places include the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and New England in the United States. If you want to successfully cultivate lupine in the warmer climates of the south, you will need to make sure that it has access to some kind of afternoon shade. The use of a layer of mulch will assist in maintaining a cool environment for the lupine’s roots.
Powdery mildew is a leaf disease that is brought on by a fungus and may develop on these plants if they are not properly cared for. If you leave enough space between your lupine and companion plants and do it in a manner that encourages healthy air circulation, you may be able to avoid the development of powdery mildew. Lupine plants very seldom survive for more than five years, even when grown in optimal circumstances. According to Better Homes & Gardens, you should consider them to be annuals if you live in zones 7 through 9 on the USDA plant hardiness zone map.
Lupin Flower Companion Plants
As a general rule, you should plant lupine among other blooming plants that share its predilection for chilly weather, particularly those in the north or by the shore. According to Better Homes and Gardens, if you are growing a blue lupine and want to match it with other blue flowers, one possibility is the mountain bluet (Centaurea montana; zones 3 through 8), which is also known as a “perennial cornflower.” Lupines, on the other hand, may be combined with any species from the genus Centaurea, such as bighead knapweed (Centaurea macrocephala; zones 3 through 8), which is also known as gigantic knapweed and blooms with yellow blossoms and flowers throughout the months of June and July.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, another choice for lupine companion plants is Jupiter’s beard, also known as red valerian and fox’s brush (Centranthus ruber, hardy in zones 5 through 8). Jupiter’s beard may be grown in zones 5 through 8. This herbaceous perennial comes into bloom in May and boasts rose-colored flowers on its stems. It comes highly recommended by the Missouri Botanical Garden for use as a ground cover. In spite of this, you should remove the spent flowers from this plant to prevent further self-seeding.