Lupines

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Lupines are a traditional Maine flower. Of all things, the white pine cone is the official Maine state flower, chosen no doubt by someone with a sense of humor and too much alcohol in his system. Otherwise, the lupine would be the Maine state flower since they are made for our kind of weather, and they grow everywhere, particularly in northern Maine.

    Once they get established, you couldn't hope for anything as maintenance free as a lupine patch. They grow thick enough that they can compete with the weeds, and they readily move out of the garden area into the surrounding ground, even if it's never been broken.

    A few years ago, I planted a couple of lupine plants in a crude raised garden made of logs and compost, on our land up north, and they've taken over the ten-foot long planting area already, and are popping up all around it.

    Some people may not like them in their garden because they pretty much take over everything. After the first couple of years, they produce a huge amount of seed every year, and they spread rapidly. But they come in a lot of colors, and are quite attractive.

    I built a rock garden in our front yard the year we've moved in here, and I've been having trouble getting anything to grow there. I prefer perennials to annuals, but most of the perennials I've planted there never come up the second year. We do have one flowering plant, who name I don't remember, that comes up every year but it's been otherwise empty, except for the annuals that I end up putting in so as to avoid the emptiness of it.

    I have given up on it and am turning it over to the lupines. I planted two lupine plants there two years ago, and they seeded last year, so I've spread some of them, and expect them to come up soon. Additionally, I just added a few more of another color.

    lupine-1.jpg
     
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  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    They are called Lupins Here...and I love them...there's nothing prettier IMO that seeing a field or meadow full of wild flowers, and a lot of varying colour Lupins..
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We have wild lupines in northern Idaho, too, and not so much as a garden plant there. The wild ones up there are the bluish lavender color; but the cultivatd ones come in all of the colors like yours in Maine do, @Ken Anderson .
    We had a lot of wild ones on the property where my little trailer house was, and the came back every year up there as well.
    Another intersting plant that grows up in north Idaho is called mullein. It gets 3-4' tall and has pale yellow flowers and fuzzy leaves. The leaves are used medicinally , and it is supposed to be good for things like emphysema.
    Do you have mullein in Maine, too ?
    The picture in this descriptive article shows a plant when it first comes up in the spring, and looks like a rosette. Then the tall stalk grows, and the tiny flowers on the top, almost like a miniature ear of corn.

    http://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/herb-to-know-mullein-verbascum-thapsus.aspx
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    They are not generally a garden plant here either, although people do keep a field of lupines in lieu of a grassy yard sometimes. Blue is the most commonly seen color here as well, although yellowish and purplish ones are also not uncommon. I had never heard of mullein, and Wikipedia tells me they are native to Europe and Asia, and recently arrived in North America. From the pictures, they look like something that I think I remember seeing in Michigan but not by that name, or by the name of velvet plant, which is the other name Wikipedia has for them.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  5. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    We have highly cultivated versions for gardens in the UK the most common is the hybrid Russell lupin.
    They are very common wild flowers in Russia they grow in great swathes along the railway tracks, I like the delicate scent they have as well

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I like these Lupines. I'll have to read up on them and see how they fair in Ohio or the mid west's weather.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I think I see my lupines coming up in the front garden. I'm not certain that's what they are yet but between the seed that was produced by my plants last summer and some that I bought this spring, I planted several, and I believe that's what they are. Once they get a little larger, I'll be able to tell for sure.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I planted a lot of lupine seeds up north this morning. I had several packets of lupine seeds, so I picked up five bags of topsoil, three bags of compost, and one bag of peat moss to finish out the planting area that I had put together there last year, and to cover some of the seeds that I planted in other parts of the land. I noticed that the mature lupines that grew up from the roots this spring were much larger than the ones that grew up from the seeds produced by those lupines last year, but the ones that had grown from seed had flowered already while the mature lupines hadn't. They'll flower later this spring, I'm sure; they have probably been putting their energy into producing a large plant while the new plants were tiny, but flowering. By next summer, I expect to have a lot of lupines there.
     
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    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  9. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I enjoy lupines, I'm not sure why I've never planted them. That's something I'll have to consider. It sounds as if you had good luck with the seeds, @Ken Anderson did you buy them locally? I'm not having much luck with my garden this year. I don't know if it's due to the torrential rains we've been having, or something else. I am having an issue with I believe they're spider mites on the mandevillas. I sprayed them with soapy water, and hopefully that will do the trick of keeping them at bay.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Some are ones I have saved from last year, but most are ones that I bought on Amazon.com in large packets. All of the lupines I had there were blue so I wanted to add some variety, and hope to get to a point where they start spreading to other parts of the land on their own, since they do well in that part of the country.

    As for spider mites, have you tried diatomaceous earth? That should work well on them. It can be spread to form a border around whatever you want to protect or applied directly to the plant. Here some other suggestions, which includes diatomaceous earth.
     
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  11. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Ken, I'll check those out when I get home. The Mandevillas are on the balcony, so pests usually aren't much of an issue, but for some reason, I'm having a problem with them this year. Maybe it's related to moving the bird feeder up there, I'm not sure. Hopefully your link will have some information that will help me alleviate the issue. I love my Mandevillas, and don't want to lose them. I took a quick look at the link, and they look just like the 2nd picture, with the tiny black spots. Ugh, hopefully I'll be able to get this rectified and can once again enjoy taking pictures of my flowers. They're not quite as pretty with black spots.
     
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