How to deadhead 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. Not a hugely long-lived perennial expect them to last in a British garden for around 6 years, they can last much longer in perfect conditions, however. 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 behead the old spikes to give the new ones chance top flourish.

Lupins in full bloom

Lupins in full bloom

How to deadhead lupins

First, locate the finish spike, they are really easy to spot as the flowers will have turned to pods. They look like furry pea pods. You then follow the stem down to where they meet with some new growth and snip! Use a pair of sharp secateurs, scissors or a knife for this job. You can continue to deadhead your lupins throughout the summer.

Leaving some spikes to seed

If you want some seeds to sow some new lupins then you can tactically leave some spikes that have gone to seed. You can then harvest these seeds later in the season to grow fresh lupin plants.

Why deadhead lupins?

As gardeners, we deadhead any flower to prolong its flowering season. By design, a plant will begin to put its energy into creating seed rather than flowers once it has had one good display. We want to avoid this as much as possible and to extend their flowering time. By taking away the dead flowers which are turning to seed we take away the plants ability to put its energy into the seed.

The plant will then focus on creating new blooms as this is its only way now of creating seed. You can repeat this cycle to extend the flowering season by months.

Should you deadhead lupins?

If you want to extend the flowering season then deadheading lupins is essential. If you want to let your lupins go to seed to grow new plants then you can still deadhead while leaving a few spikes to turn to seed. This way you get both an extended flowering period and also seeds to grow new plants.

What to do with the deadheads

You can chuck them on the compost heap or if you aren’t lucky enough to have a compost heap yet then they can go in your garden waste bin or be tucked away in a hidden spot in the garden and left to rot.

Hey, I'm Daniel. Having worked as a professional gardener for years as well as keeping a private allotment I decided to create this website to help spread my knowledge. I love gardening and hope to show you just how rewarding it can be!