Lupinus polyphyllus Westcountry Series

Common name: Lupine, Lupin*

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United States

Description

Nothing quite creates the “wow effect” in a garden like Lupines. The Westcountry Series varieties are a truly remarkable group featuring distinct,  never seen before colors. They thrive especially well in well-drained, slightly acid soils of the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and other mountainous regions of the US where days are sunny and warm, but nights are cool. In warmer, more humid southern regions, plants do best as showy container plants for garden accents. Comes to Must Have Perennials from Sarah Conibear, Westcountry Nurseries, United Kingdom. Read her story on the history of development of these stately flowers in the May 2018 issue of The English Garden magazine.

Westcountry Series hybrids are strong stemmed and shouldn’t need staking like their seed-propagated cousins. Deadhead flowers after faded—a second flush might appear in late summer.

*Editorial Note: In North America, the common name is spelled “Lupine”, whereas in the United Kingdom and Europe, it is spelled “Lupin”. However both spellings are pronounced the same: “LOO-pin”. 

Uses & Attributes

Garden Borders, Containers, Butterfly and Bee-Friendly, Deer and Rabbit Resistant

Growing & Marketing Advice

Transplant liners or plugs in late summer or fall into well drained media, pH 5.8 to 6.2. Plant one Westcountry Lupines liner per 2 -gallon pot.

Build a strong root system in 6 to 8 weeks. Grow Lupines at 55ºF to 75ºF (13ºC to 24ºC). Provide bright light and plenty of air flow. In a two- or three-day rhythmic pattern, manage soil moisture between levels 2 to 4. Use low to moderate fertilizer rates. Lupines respond to plant growth regulators, weekly if needed.

Control disease with appropriate irrigation routines, low humidity and preventive fungicides. Lupines are susceptible to Colletotrichum (anthracnose) and typical root rots as well as alternaria leaf spot and mildew. Before vernalization, apply a final fungicide drench.

Vernalize for six weeks below 45ºF (7ºC) to promote uniform flowering. Lupines have a tap root that can sustain the plant, so irrigate only when soil moisture is quite dry (level 1-2).

Shortcuts: Save months of production expense by transplanting vernalized liners in February or March. Plants will be more compact with smaller and fewer flowers.

Tall Flowers are produced in 10 to 12 weeks when temperatures warm to 55ºF to 75ºF (13ºC to 24ºC) in spring. Manage soil moisture strictly and use preventive fungicides. Spray plant growth regulators in tight pot culture.

Give Westcountry Lupines plenty of growing space! Plant 36”/91cm apart to support their robust flower display.

Also see this culture guide from Beth Gulley, of Gulley Greenhouse, Inc—one of our licensed propagators for this crop.

Size

Habit: Upright clumps. See chart below for guide to relative mature garden size and height in flower. Actual size and height may vary by locale.

Growing

Light: Full Sun/Part Shade
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-7

Appearance

Blooming time: Late Spring to Early Summer. Relative appearance of flowers within this time by variety is listed as "Season" in chart below.
Foliage Color: Soft, gray-green

 
VARIETY PLANT BREEDERS RIGHTS FLOWER COLOR HEIGHT SPREAD SPACING SEASON
'Blacksmith' USPP# 29943 bicolor dark purple and white 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm mid
'Desert Sun' USPP# 23073 yellow 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early
'Magic Lantern' USPP# 29860 bicolor dark purple and yellow 30"/76cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early-mid
'Manhattan Lights' USPP# 18868 bicolor purple and yellow 36"/76cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm mid
'Masterpiece' USPP# 19739 wine 30"/76cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early
'Persian Slipper' USPP# 18733 dusty periwinkle blue 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early
'Rachel de Thame' USPP# 29833 bicolor pink and white 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm late
'Red Rum' USPP # 18709 red 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early
Tequila Flame' USPP# 23047 bicolor red and yellow 30"/76cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm late
'Terracotta' USPP# 23044 bicolor peach and yellow 36"/91cm 25-30"/64-76cm 36“/91cm early