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This is my first post on a site like this. I am a complete novice in the garden but v keen to learn and become an expert!

I planted a lupin last year that died off quite soon after, I cut it back to ground level and this year I was delighted when it produced several large flowers (almost too large dare I say?!). The problem was no sooner had the bright flowers bloomed they began to die off to seed pods. Is this normal? 

Coupled with this the leaves have been badly eaten, I'm assuming by slugs and snails. I put down pellets and egg shells as recommended by my mother in law, but to no avail.

Should I now cut back to ground level again as it looks very poor and sorry for itself. How can I avoid these issues next year?

TIA for your help


Cut off the flower spikes and leave the rest of the plant to die down naturally. If the seeds are ripe [ dark brown with the casing starting to split open ] then you can save them and grow more plants [ I often sow lupin seeds now ] Next year the plant should come again. Lupins are a favourite of slugs and snails so you should consider prevention once the plant starts to grow again.

Hello luckyVal.....very warm welcome to the forum.

Lupins seem to be attacked badly after flowering.....usually tiny snails. They do look unsightly then ( that's why I dig them up, split them and pot up.  I use the space for summer flowerer)

They should flower for a few weeks with lots of smaller flowers to come after the main spikes have gone over.  For me, as soon as the main flower spike starts to go over, I remove it, ASAP.  You will get a much longer,flowering period if you don't delay.


Yes val thats normal with lupins it's all over very soon, but a great show while it last. You could as punkdoc say's collect the seed pods when ready and plant up for free plants next year, the one you have will be back spring next year for an early summer flower. If you chopped the dead heads of sooner, without the plant wasting energy on seed making, you might of got a second flush of smaller flowers. I find the second flush is always much smaller.


lol verdun we must of been typing at the same time. we do the same with our lupins.


Stacey Docherty

Wow great idea with the lupins.... I cut my flower spiis off this year afree they had flowered and am now enjoying a 2nd flush, although not as big they are still a delight! Have you tried coffee grounds? Starbucks and costa will give you bags of the stuff I put it on my compost heap last year but I have been told it deters slugs and snails! Plus smells great after rain lol

Great minds Zombie!  

Interesting idea Stacey re costa.  I might just ask for some.  Best around acid lovers I think.


My Lupins are looking really ratty, I cut the spent flower spikes off, so have had two flowers, but now they have a bad case of Mildew and are being eaten at a rate of knots by some beasties. Should I chop them back or let them die back natrually


I have cut my really bad Lupins back. Everything seems to have mildew this year, lack of rain I guess.

They should recover fine if they have strong root systems.

Those "beasties" are prob tiny snails Tintyc.  

Cut back to clean back all the greenery. Remove dead and dyiNg  debris.  Scatter a little fish blood n bone. ,spray with fungicide.  

hollie hock

If you cut the first flower stems off when they are done, your likely to get a second and maybe third flush depending on your plant. They do get eaten a lot, but they are tough plants once they get established and should come back for many years.

They do tend to get eaten by lots of things. If you protect the new shoots next year when they are just poking thorough, that will give them the protection they need to get going.

The dried stalks of the plants I think would make great homes for hibernating insects so I tend to them until Spring before I cut them down.

Basal cuttings are really easy to do, you keep your favourite plant and it's a lot quicker than growing from seed


I cut back all 6 lupins of my brand new lupins a few months ago, after they had given a great display - if not a little battered by the avid munchers determined to devour them whole!

I am a little worried that only one out of the 6 has any new growth on it, the other 5 look dead! Is that normal?  

Lupins will often start regrowth quite late I find. A large plant cut back in summer is only now showing fresh shoots. ,

However, check thoroughly for snails that may still be there

Thank you Verdun, I will keep an eye. They just look dead to me as they are brown! I was going to dig them up yesterday, but will try to find some patience!

Hi all. Had lupins for a few years now. This year, for the first time, I used a sharp pocket knife to remove seed pods as they start to form. Cutting gently in downward direction , the pods cut off easily. The lupins continue to flower up the spike but also they produced more flowers on each plant. You do end up with a stem with flowers at the top but I think the extra blooms are with it. All the best. Dar.


Dar, my thinking exactly.  As soon as flowering starts to go over removing the first signs of seed pod formation will keep the plants flowering for much longer


Mine have been in for three years, they are coming out now for replacements.


I have lots of small lupin plants grown from seed this year.  I have kept them in the wheelbarrow for protection against slugs and snails.  How do I over winter them ready for planting out next year?  I don't have a greenhouse, shed, or conservatory so should I plant them in the ground now? - (with lots of slug pellets).


But what to do with the really thick stems?  Cut them right back?

Greenfly cluster.  Soap and warm water in a spray seem to do the trick.


I've cut my spires back but they always do get mildew and become a little straggly. This year we've also been blessed with Lupin aphids (slightly bigger than the regulars). I've found lambs wool is helpful at deterring the majority of slugs and snails. You can pick them up at Garden centre's!

Last edited: 20 July 2016 18:20:37