The Maine Writer
Lupines in a field in MaineThe Maine Writer

Driving through Maine in late spring you will see carpets of color with lupines dotting the roadsides and in some fields. Lupines are perennials that are native to North America and can grow up to four feet tall with spikes of flowers that look like pea pods. There are over 200 species of lupines and they come in several different colors although the wild lupine is blue and the one you will likely see in Maine. Another state you can see lupines is in April in Texas. They are called bluebonnets in Texas and they are the state flower. Lupines are great cut flowers for a vase because they are sturdy and they hold up nicely. Lupines are also a favorite of hummingbirds and they are deer resistant. If you are in zones 4-8 you might want to consider adding some lupines to your garden.

How to plant lupines

Lupines need full sun for at least six hours to get nice blooms. Lupines grow best in loose and well-drained soil and as a bonus, they will fix any nitrogen issues in your soil. Lupines are not fussy about the type of soil except for clay soil which they do not like. It is best to use lupine seeds directly sown into the ground in the fall. You must soak the seeds overnight in a bowl of warm water because the seeds are pretty tough. If you don't want to mess around with the seeds then you can find mature lupine plants at your favorite local garden center. Just remember they can grow to four feet tall so make sure you place the lupines towards the back of your garden and they need at least a foot between each plant.
Bees love lupinesThe Maine Writer

How to care for lupines

Lupines are pretty easy to care for they are very low maintenance. Just make sure you keep the soil moist but don't overdo the watering. If you deadhead them as soon as you see the blooms fading it will prevent them from setting seeds and instead you will see more blooms a few weeks later. They will bloom from late spring into early summer. You can collect the seeds from your plants if you don't want them to reseed themselves.

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Maine resident living in Piscataquis county that enjoys writing about current news that you should be aware of along with news from my state of Maine and news about First Amendment issues. I always provide no spin, facts only reporting-- guaranteed.

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