What to do with lupins after flowering

what to do with lupins after flowering

Lupins provide a stunning flowering display which is what makes them so popular with gardeners up and down the country. but what do you do with lupins once they have finished flowering and the slower spikes are starting to die off? Let’s have a look below.

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 extending 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 frozen.

Did you also know that lupins can self-seed into your soil! So keep an eye out for any little seedlings the following spring growing around your lupins.

Gorgeous Lupins
Gorgeous 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 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. What kind of display you get depends on how far apart you plant your lupins, you can have compact swathes of lupins or plant them further apart as individual plants.

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.




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!

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

  2. 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.

    • 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.

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. Watch out for slugs in Spring!

  7. We have some lupins in a really shaded bit by the house. Question is can I mulch them with a geotextile and gravel? Basically will they still come back?

    • I honestly dont know Giles and I would be interested to find out. I think I will test this with one of my Lupins next spring and see what happens.

  8. I am going to experiment as well. We have a really big problem with Rosebay Willowherb which is why i am interested in trying it, after the garden was basically abandoned for 10 years before we moved in.

    The other option is to leave bare soil and be super careful in applying glyphosate but I prefer to avoid that

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