Lupins, that cottage garden favourite, will have been in flower for a few weeks now and the flower spikes will be beginning to fade. Don’t just sit there – deadhead the plants and they will produce new spikes for much of the summer!
Much loved by bumble bees the lupin needs to be in full sun or partial shade and the tall spikes may well want staking as they quickly reach for the sky.
Although lupins are pretty tough they are much loved by slugs and snails meaning that protection may be needed for young plants. Since 1981 lupin aphids have become widespread throughout the UK but can be managed as you would a normal aphid attack. Lupins are hardy but can be vulnerable to hard frost so covering the crown with mulch will give some additional protection.
Looked after well your lupin plants may last for many many years. Suttons customers, Michael and Lesley Rudge from Wales, recently sent us the following photo of their beautiful plant. Raised from Suttons lupin seed about 35 years ago the plant was proudly sporting 22 flowers at the time the photo was taken. Not bad at all for an old ’un.
Do you have an elderly lupin that has aged to perfection? If so we’d love to hear from you. We’re wondering if Michael and Lesley’s plant at 35 years old may be a record.