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 chance top 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 on Lupins
Greenfly is a common garden pest and they just love lupins. If left alone they can cause serious damage so it is essential that you take action as soon as you spot greenfly on your lupins.
What to do
I like to garden organically so I will not be advocating for the use of any strong pesticides here. I find that organic gardening gives me a real sense of pleasure and achievement so I strongly advise you try it too.
Soap and warm water
Fill an old spray bottle up with soap and warm water and give those critters a good spraying. This will knock them off, harm the greenfly and also harm their ability to just climb straight back up your lupins. While not strictly 100% organic I feel comfortable using this method if I use a good natural soap, something like Ecover for example.
Ladybirds are the greenflies, natural predator. One reason you may have a greenfly problem is that you don’t have enough of these little hunters in your garden. But what can you do about this, I mean your not going to turn into a ladybird breeder, are you. Well, thankfully you can purchase ladybirds online and have them delivered to your door, the wonders of modern living. The ladybirds come in a little box with some food to keep them going on their travels.
It is important you release the ladybirds into your garden late in the evening. This way they will normally settle down for the night on your patch before foraging for food in the morning. If you were to release them in the middle of the day the chances of them just flying straight out of your garden are much higher.
The old fashioned manual method, grab some paper towel and knock those little green pest off by hand. This method works well but it’s time-consuming. As horrible as it sounds, try and squish the greenfly as you knock them off, otherwise, you may come back the next morning to find all your hard work undone as the greenfly have just climbed straight back up your lupins.