Arroyo Lupine Information: Learn How To Grow An Arroyo Lupine Plant

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Arroyo lupine plants (Lupinus succulentus) are thewelcome signs of spring on the rocky slopes and grasslands of the WesternUnited States. Here the spiky violet-blue, pea-like blooms are easily spottedby spectators. The lush, palm-shaped leaves are an added benefit. Pollinators,including bees and butterflies, are highly attracted to these plants. The seedssustain birds and small animals. Wondering how to grow an arroyo lupine? Readon for more arroyo lupine information.

Growing Conditions for Arroyo Lupine Growing

Arroyo lupine plants tolerate light shade, but they bloombest in full sunlight. This popular wildflower adapts to nearly any soiltype, including loam, gravel, sand, or clay. However, they often struggleand may not survive in highly alkaline conditions.

Well-drained soil is essential, as arroyo doesn’t toleratesoggy, waterlogged soil. Be sure not to plant arroyo lupine where the soilremains wet during the winter.

How to Grow an Arroyo Lupine Plant

Plant arroyo lupine in early spring. Amend the soilgenerously with compostand coarse sand to improve drainage. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate theroots. Alternatively, plant arroyo lupine seeds in late spring, and they willbloom the following year. Before planting, scuff the seeds with sandpaper orsoak them in water for 24 to 48 hours.

Water this lupineplant regularly the first few months or until the roots are established,but allow the soil to dry between waterings. Afterwards, your plants will onlyneed water during extended periods of hot, dry weather. A layer of mulchwill conserve water and keep weeds in check; however, the plants may rot ifmulch is allowed to pile up on the crown.

No fertilizer is required in the care of arroyo lupines. Athin layer of compost is a good idea though, especially if your soil is poor.Be sure to keep the compost away from the crown of the plant. Arroyo lupineplants reach heights of 1 to 4 feet (.3 to 1.2 m.). You may need to stake tallplants in windy areas.

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Care for Lupines

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Lupines (Lupinus spp.) are tall bloomers that shine in the back of a flowerbed where they serve as a backdrop for smaller perennials and annuals. Lupine consists of hundreds of perennial and annual species, many native to the western United States. The plant reaches heights of up to 4 feet with spiky blooms in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, purple, white and yellow. This low-maintenance plant tolerates nearly any soil except for clay. Lupines grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, 9 or 10, depending on the variety.

Cold Stratification

There are many ways to break the physical dormancy of lupine's hard seed coat, but the easiest technique for home use is cold stratification. A 2011 study published in the journal "Northwest Science" found that seeds of bigleaf lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus), a common native species, responded well to this treatment. Store seeds at 41 degrees F, roughly the temperature of your refrigerator's crisper drawer for six weeks to simulate winter conditions. In USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10, natural outdoor garden temperatures will stimulate germination following cold stratification. In other climates, alternate between temperatures of 45 degrees and 60 degrees to simulate day and night conditions during spring Mediterranean climates.

How to grow lupines

Lupines like acidic soil and lots of drainage, so heavy clay soil just won’t do. These lupines are happily growing in hard-packed gravel.

Lupines are a perennial I always notice and admire, but I’ve had no luck growing them in my own garden. They grow abundantly on the east coast and in other places (some may say too abundantly), but they do have a few “special requests.” I decided to ask a friend of mine who has grown from seed for years in her Ontario garden for a few tips on how to grow lupines.

1) Lupines like acidic soil. Sphagnum peat moss, conifer needles, oak leaves, coffee grounds and ground sulphur will lower the pH of soil to some degree and help make it more acidic. However, I know gardeners in Ontario who have had great success growing lupines without ever purposefully lowering the pH of their soil (though they do add compost, which probably helps).

2) Lupines don’t like to be transplanted or have their roots disturbed. When growing from seed, try biodegradable pots, like the ones made from peat, that can be planted with the seedlings inside, or try a tactic that my friend uses. She sows her lupine seeds in big, six- to eight-inch (15- to 20-cm) deep trays. When they’re ready to transplant, she scoops under the seedling to avoid disturbing the soil and plants them quickly in a hole that has been thoroughly soaked and has sand and/or gravel in the bottom. Which leads me to the next important tip….

Lupines like acidic soil and lots of drainage, so heavy clay soil just won’t do. These lupines are happily growing in hard-packed gravel.

3) Lupines need good drainage. Try planting them on a high site so water drains away and doesn’t sit around their roots, or add gravel to the bottom of the planting hole. They won’t survive in heavy clay soil that retains water, but they can grow in hard-packed gravel. When starting seed, some people use sand as their growing medium, or you can try a thick layer of vermiculite in the bottom of the pots or trays.

4) Lupines send out a long taproot, anchoring itself to where it’s planted. When a seed is started in a pot, the first thing it will do after sprouting is send a taproot out the drainage hole and form a knot, which you can’t disturb without potentially killing the plant. You can try starting seeds in deep trays with no drainage holes and lots of vermiculite and gravel to improve drainage around the roots, or try cutting the container off from the taproot before planting.

5) Tip #4 means that growing lupines in containers can be tricky. However, I like to tell myself that you can grow just about anything in a pot if you overwinter it properly, and after seeing it done successfully in the past, I placed my lupine in a deep pot this year, with lots of drainage.

6) Lupines will self-seed, and you can divide them in the spring, but not in the fall. If you wish to save the seeds to sow at another time, wait for the green seed pods to turn brown and dry out. You can then pick the pods and save the seeds within. If you wait too long, though, the pods will explode and release the seeds themselves.

Watch the video: All you need to know about Lupins! - Detailed guide on care u0026 pruning. Gardening with Doug EP1

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