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Can Lupins self-seed?

If you are growing or planning on growing lupins in your garden then you may well be wondering what happens if you let the seeds fall from the flowers without getting rid of them. Will new lupins grow? Can lupins self-seed? Let’s have a look and find out.

Yellow lupins
Yellow lupins

Can lupins self-seed?

Yes, they can. Lupins commonly self-seed and will happily grow from seed in the garden. In fact, this is the common reason given for the believed phenomenon when gardeners think their lupins have mysteriously changed colour. What most professional growers actually believe that has happened is a new plant has self-seeded and grown in the old plant’s place.

A self seeded lupin at my allotment
A self-seeded lupin at my allotment

Here you can see a little lupin seedling that has self-seeded from the plant behind it. This is actually in my allotment and means I have two choices now, I can leave it and let it be or dig it up and pot it on or move it to another area of the garden.

I think I will be digging it up and potting it on before deciding where to put it as I really don’t want it where it has decided to grow.

What to do with the seedlings?

Well, to start with you can just leave them be and let them grow. But if they are not in an ideal position or you want to give them a little more care and attention then you can dig up the seedling and pot it on.

Make sure you dig with plenty of room around the plant to avoid damaging the root structure. Damaged roots can be fatal for any plant but even more so for a young seedling.

Gorgeous Lupins
Gorgeous Lupins

Will the flowers be the same colour?

No, they will not. Lupins do not seed true to colour. What this means is that seedlings grown from any plant may not be the same colour as the plant they came from.

Lupins tend to be more purple/blue when grown from seeds taken from your plant. There is nothing you can do about this and it is just a fact of growing lupins, well the Russell hybrids anyway.

If you want to grow the same coloured lupins then you will need to take a cutting from the plant and grow this on.

Lupins in a border
Lupins in a border

More on Lupins

Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year.

They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin to flower around may and can last well into June. The flowers do go to seed quite quickly but your lupin will continue to produce more and more new spikes.

To get the best out of these spikes though it is essential to deadhead the old spikes to give the new ones a chance to flourish. Also cutting your lupins back in autumn can help them the following spring. The seeds are edible but if not treated properly first they can be poisonous to animals and humans. Greenfly can be a common problem for lupins here in the UK.

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