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Do lupins die in winter?

Lupins provide a gorgeous display over the summer, but they then start to die back in the winter and can disappear altogether. But do lupins die in winter or is there something else going on? Let’s find out.

Lupins in bloom
Lupins in bloom

Do lupins die in winter?

Lupins die back in winter but the plant is still alive. Come springtime the plant will bounce back into life as long as the roots have survived.

Lupins develop a really strong rootstock and even if all the above-ground growth is dead the plant is still alive but just dormant over the winter period. As soon as warmer weather returns in spring your lupin plant will burst back into life and begin growing.

Lupin in mid spring
Lupin in mid-spring

Above you can see one of the lupins I grow on the border of my allotment. Just a few short weeks ago there was nothing here and now I have a large lupin! You just know that this plant is going to provide tonnes of flower spikes this summer and I can’t wait.

Getting your lupin ready for winter

As the autumn nights start drawing in it will be time to think about cutting your lupin back. To help your Lupin survive the cold winter nights it is highly advisable to cut it right back to base in late Autumn.

While this may seem harsh the plant will be just fine as all its energy will be stored up in the roots. The plant will then be ready to explode back into life come spring, bringing you better than ever growth and flowering.

Overwintering your lupins

The vast majority of Lupins will be just fine left outdoors over a British winter. It is worth noting however that pot grown lupins will be more vulnerable to frost, as all pot grown plants are, so moving them into a greenhouse or another sheltered spot is advisable.

The heart of your lupin plant is deep down in the roots so they survive cold spells just fine when left in the ground. When in a pot, however, the heart of the plant is beneath much less soil, particularly from the sides and as such can end up getting frozen.

Purple Lupins
Purple Lupins

More about 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 summer 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.