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 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.

Wild lupins in california
Wild lupins in california

When do Lupins flower?

Lupins here in the UK will begin to grow back in spring, after the final frosts of the winter. They grow back vigorously due to having a strong root system in place. Depending on the year’s weather you can expect to see your first flowering spike sometime around May/June.

How long will they flower for?

I’m sad to say that Lupins are a short flowering plant. The flowering spikes are fantastic but they don’t like to hang around. They normally only flower for a few short weeks before quickly turning to seed. There are however a few steps to can take to prolong the bloom. Following the below steps can help prolong your lupin flowers well into august.

Cutting the seed pods

This is a tactic I have recently started employing with my own lupins. As the flowers die they will inevitably turn to seed pods, as far as the best display is concerned this is far from ideal. So you can begin to cut this pods off as soon as they appear. They will start at the bottom of the spike and work their way upward. If you begin to remove the individual pods as soon as they appear the pant will put more of its energy into new flowers rather than developing seed.

Deadheading the spikes

Once your spike is completely done you should deadhead it. This way you will often find you get a second bloom from your lupins. While often not as spectacular as your first bloom it is still well worth the effort. The second bloom of lupin is often smaller than the first but still beautiful in its own right.