Friday, September 6, 2013


One of my favorite companion plants of TALL BEARDED IRIS is LUPINE. Pictured here are just a few of the wide range of colors that  the little seedlings grow up and bloom into. The interesting thing about them is that they aren't true to the parent plants. The down side is that you don't necessarily know what you're getting until they bloom. However, their colors go well with the iris blooms that I have in my yard. There are about 25 different color combinations that I've counted in my yard--all coming from the same parent plants. They are BIENNIALS, meaning they need to be replaced every 2-3 years. However, since they reseed readily, there are always plenty in the yard.  They DO NOT transplant well. If I want a lupine in a particular spot, the time I transplant it is when it is in a small seedling stage--about 3 inches tall. I have also found that of the ones I have, the yellow seemed to be the least prolific, so I did buy some yellow seeds and scattered them. When the seeds sprouted, I was able to thin or move the seedlings where I wanted them. They like full sun to partial sun, well drained soil, and appreciate a well-balanced fertilizer in the early spring. Deadhead regularly for extra blooms later in the season. Their tall stalks need no staking.

They are prone to powdery mildew. Spray early in the season, before the problem presents itself; prevention is the key--once you see the problem it is likely too late to control it. Spray with sulfur 7-10 days apart then stay on top of it when temperatures are below 80 degrees. 

You can make your own spray with a mixture of 1 part milk and 8 parts of water in a gallon of water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

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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