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19/06/2012 at 15:25
Are they attractive to pollinators and other wildlife?
19/06/2012 at 15:34

The bees love 'em

19/06/2012 at 16:29

so do slugs and snails

19/06/2012 at 21:37

Agree with both of the above, but I love seeing the bees on them

20/06/2012 at 11:06

I little trick I do to prolong the flowering time is when seed pods start to form but there's still lots of flower buds to open, I hold the top of the flower gently and rub the seedpods off.  As most plants' aim in life is to reproduce, when it has made seeds then it decides it doesn't need to flower anymore, so by rubbing off the seeds I trick it into thinking it hasn't done its job.  I get loads more flowers then.  The end of the stalk looks a bit funny eventually (photo below) but it's worth it for more flowers.  When I think the last flower spike comes along I let the pods stay on and use the seeds to make more plants and I always get some good colour combinations.  

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/9002.jpg?width=1024&height=350&mode=max

 

22/06/2012 at 14:48
Haha great pic lol! you look like the Fire starter with those two Lupins behind you !!
23/06/2012 at 13:33
There's a little patch in Sutherland, the far NW Highlands of Scotland, where lupins are growing wild. I love to see them there whenever I return. I was very surprised when I first saw them there, especially as there aren't a lot of gardens around (too many rocks), but now I understand - the terrain is very similar to New Zealand!
24/06/2012 at 10:59
I've had Lupins almost every year for the past 12 years and each year they either a. get eaten alive before they flower b.get drowned and blown to pieces by the Northern Winds and Summer monsoons... [Chorley Lancs].last year I had some fab blooms, but this year-they've completely disappeared!! never grew back after Winter, and new ones I've planted have not thrived, they're weakly with few and tiny flower spikes.Maybe the wettest Summer and coldest temps. are to blame but I never get significant and SUSTAINED success-and I do love them so!
24/06/2012 at 11:00
that seems a really good idea, i also get seed pods way before the spikes have completed their bloom.will try this in future thanks
26/06/2012 at 12:48

I would love to grow them but they seem to really dislike my heavy clay soil. Does anyone know if they do well in pots?

26/06/2012 at 13:09

I'm confused

Just how 'short-lived' are they supposed to be ?  I've had the same pink and white Lupin in my garden for over 9 years, and it's travelled to 3 different gardens with me.  It's now found it's forever home, so I'll be disappointed if it suddenly decides to die, as it's going great-guns this year  I too love to see the bumblies on the flowers, the way they settle on the bottom of the flower and it just drops down so they can get inside to all the goodies is fascinating to watch.

26/06/2012 at 14:05

They vary, but can last quite a few years, as you've found. You may find that you have seedlings coming up which replace the original plant in time without you realizing it, too.

26/06/2012 at 14:54

Sesame.

We live in North East-have wonderful show of Lupins-best ever this year with 20-30 spikes per plant. If trouble with snails or wood pigeons try covering young plants with 2Ltr. lemonade bottles-base and neck removed with sharp scissors-!works well for us.!

26/06/2012 at 22:32

Well I'm not holding my breath in my slug heaven garden, but the one I got for 50p yesterday is now planted out with a copper strip collar. Nothing to lose. J.

26/06/2012 at 22:59

I found some growing wild near us and took some basal cuttings. Hopefully some will take!

27/06/2012 at 19:01

Mine seem to be quite happy in my clay soil... I cut off the dead heads and they seem to carry on flowering a lot longer than the neighbours  which is always good. I love watching the bees on them!

28/06/2012 at 08:27

My lupins have changed colour. I had the most gorgeous display of a pale yellow lupin but now its a deep pink. I had photos of my border from the previous year to prove it to myself

31/07/2012 at 13:32
Copper is effective against slugs. I've protected an old fashioned violet with a circle of copper pipe. I think it needs to form a complete circle though. Don't lupins prefer it a bit on the dry side an not too alkaline...they can become chlorotic so sequestered iron in spring if leaves look yellowish helps. in my experience small young snails attack lupins after they have flowered so knowing this I just go out at night with a torch...just for few nights.....and pick them off
31/07/2012 at 15:30

last year mine were attacked by the biggest fattest grey aphids you have ever seen in your life, this year the snails got them. but then the snails got everything in my garden this year

 

02/08/2012 at 23:05
I too have seen giant aphids, small snails and slugs on my lupins. They don't like too wet a border either. I can't see why you couldn't try them in containers.

I am fond of them and grow more every year, always the optimist!
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