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My neighbours have some lovely lupins (yes - I have neighbour envy...) and I fancy some in my garden too but I always thought they were difficult to grow. However, I know the neighbours are leave alone gardeners! so perhaps I could with a little advice from someone here. My soil is flinty, chalky & free draining.
Lupins are easy to grow. Just keep them moist and add some muck / comost to planting hole.
You can also produce more easily from seed or cuttings.
The only drawback is slugs and snails are very fond of them.
............not only slugs and snails, but the dreaded lupin aphid. If your area does not have these, then go for it - they are lovely plants. I used to grow them until the lupin aphid reached here (east midlands). The aphids are huge, grey and disgusting, and the birds ignore them - they lay waste to lupins in avery short time. I tried a tree lupin but they liked that just as much. I no longer grow lupins, but love to see them where they are well grown.
Thanks for that - not many pests then...! Off to GC this afternoon!
Lupins like a free draining, not too rich soil and don't do well in very chalky soil.
re Lupin Aphid - Try diluted Black Soap (from Marseilles) (dilute as washing up liquid) works immediately. OR use your ladybirds - just pop one on a bud (preferably with an aphid within reach) and wallop your ladybird will be in heaven and call all her chums over.
Re: Growing - Plant really well grown plants as opposed to seedlings and you stand a much better chance of success.
I'd agree with biofreak- the sturdier the plant the more chance of success. If your neighbours are growing them easily you should be ok re conditions. you could always ask if they do anything specific too. We usually have wet springs up here so the slugs go mad for them but many years ago when I had my first proper garden I had huge probs with greenfly so didn't really bother with them after that. I grow my plants 'hard' so that they can stand on their own feet - so to speak! Having a good supply of predators in your garden is a great benefit too- get some feeders out first and get the birds in!
Yes I think they are easy to grow, I have a few here and they tend do their own thing. slugs and snails do love them but if the plant has a some well developed leaves, they will pull through. I have a couple in heavy wet soil and some more in some lighter free draining soil, I think they do their best in partial shade. Agree with the others it's worth buying one that you really like first off.
I have grown them from seed but will be going down the cutting route in future for any extras.
One tip i was given was to not cut the leaves off in autumn, and leave them for the winter. Then remove them in spring to tidy them up. The theory is that the hollow steams if you cut them down make a tunnel for the cold to go straight down into the plant, so best to leave the leaves on to protect the plant over winter.
I agree with that unless you like providing nests for earwigs and woodlice!!
I have Lupins and find them very easy to grow. They come back every year and just look so beautiful.
i grow several lupins. they dont like it too alkaline but will still grow in it. for me they prefer ordinary garden soil ...rich soil produces heavy top growth that often needs to be supported if heavy rain and strong winds occur.
the lupin aphid is a large one initially from America I think. i dont like sprays but a soap spray as buds are forming works for me. slugs arent a problem either but snails are...after flowering and they devour the foliage
lupins are such beautiful plants and there is nothing quite like them in our gardens at this time of the year
i grow several lupins. they dont like too alkaline but will still grow in it. for me they prefer ordinary garden soil ...rich soil produces heavy top growth that often needs to be supported if heavy rain and strong winds occur.