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How far apart to plant lupins?

If you are just putting some lupins into your garden and have already found the perfect spot then you might have one other question on your mind. How far apart to plant your lupins? Let me help you out and provide some advice gathered from my years growing lupins.

Gorgeous Lupins
Gorgeous Lupins

How far apart to plant lupins?

The general advice for planting lupins is to try and plant them 30cm apart. like most gardening advice though there is a lot of leeway on this and the decision really comes down to what type of display you are after.

Lupins are quite happy to be crowded and will grow into each other just fine so you can plant them a bit closer than the usually recommended 30cm. This is how they often grow in the wild, producing vast swathes of uninterrupted lupins.

lupins in iceland
lupins in iceland

Lupins can get quite large or they can happily survive crammed up next to each other as the photo above shows. A general rule of thumb is that the closer you plant the lupins together the smaller the overall plant will grow.

This is down to a number of different factors including how much room the root structure will have to develop and therefore how much nutrition the plant can take from the soil. The amount of light hitting the leaves will also change depending on how close the other plants are, this will again, in turn, affect how big the plant grows.

Lupin in mid spring
Lupin in mid spring

So if you want big healthy plants then you can plant them further apart, something life 50cm or above. But if you want a condensed swathe of non-stop lupins then you can plant them much closer than this. You do want to leave a minimum distance though, at least 20cm or the plants will really struggle to get themselves established at all.

This could lead to poor flower displays as the plant just cant produce enough spikes. It will also leave them more vulnerable to pests like slugs which love to feast on lupins and can do a lot of damage to smaller plants.

Purple Lupins
Purple Lupins

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.