Thursday, March 24, 2011


The little leaves of the LUPINE are emerging right now.  It is one of my favorite perennials.  They like moist, well-drained soil and I think they do best in part shade, part sun.  They really like areas with cool summers.  They like slightly acidic soil, and you can get excellent results if you use a 5-10-10 fertilizer early in the spring and again in the summer.  Don't get lime around the plants.  I sprinkle seeds in the beds in the fall and they readily reseed, but they also seed in early spring--and some think spring sowing ensures huskier plants that are hardier in the winter months.  Old lupine don't transplant well, and don't usually survive.  Young plants, however, if divided or transplanted in early spring, do much better, especially if you take care to protect their roots, which are kind of long and thick, like a tap root, although I wouldn't really consider it as such.  I love their umbrella-like multiple segmented leaves, which, on the down-side, do get powdery mildew later in the season around here.  But, I just snip them off, and new growth starts again.  Lupines are short-lived, but as long as you reseed every year, you'll always have a nice supply.  They flower in May, or early summer, and, if deadheaded, you can usually get a second bloom later on.  They are about 4' tall, with a verticle form.  They are great used in arrangements.  Hummingbirds and butterflies love them.   I love their beautiful colors--jewel tones, and pastels of all colors, as well as bi-tones.  I plant them among my iris, peonies and poppies, but they would also look nice around other perennials, or as specimen plants.
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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