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What to do with lupins after flowering


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 chance top flourish.

Close up of flowering lupins

Close up of flowering lupins

What to do with lupins after flowering?

You have two main choices for what to do with your Lupins after they have flowered, you can deadhead the flower spike. This will encourage new flower growth giving you another beautiful floral display and extend the flowering season of the lupin.

Or, you could let the flower go to seed. You can then grow new lupins from the seed pods.

Getting your lupin ready for winter

After dealing with the flower spikes you need to start 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 forzen.

Vikki Margieson

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Can I cut right back and then transplant from my back to my front garden ?


Friday 3rd of September 2021

Hi Vikki, yes this should be fine. Just try and dig up as much of the root as possible!

Joan Gauge

Friday 13th of August 2021

Thanks for the ‘lupin advice’ wasn’t too sure if I’ve left it too late to deadhead ans they are looking a little straggly now but will give it a go.


Monday 12th of July 2021

Very helpful with guidance on dead heading lupins. Thank you.

Judy Ketterman

Monday 5th of July 2021

I have not had success with lupines probably watering them too much. When is the best time to plant seeds. I have always bought already grown plants from various places, How long do they take to germinate.


Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Hi Judy, I like to get them started really early to stand much chance of getting a good display in the summer. So February for me, obviously indoors.

Usually around 2 weeks to germinate, and give them a good soak in some water before planting the seeds.


Monday 28th of June 2021

Thank you for your pages, succinct and easy to follow for a novice gardener like me