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Although they are perennials, lupines are in the
class of short-lived perennials. They put all their energy into those
magnificent flower stalks and wear themselves out in the effort.
Lupines live in the range of two to five years.
If you want to keep lupines blooming in your
garden, you have two choices. If you watch their spots in spring and
nothing appears by late May, you can simply buy new plants. The ones
for sale in local nurseries should be plants starting their second
year and should bloom this summer.
If you do not want to keep reinvesting in new
plants, you can keep your own lupines growing from seed. There will
be progeny every year to grow up and replace their dead ancestors.
Presumably you care how the flower garden looks throughout the
summer, and lupine seed pods do not contribute to its beauty. By all
means cut off the old flower stalks whenever they reach a point where
you do not want to look at them.
But leave a little for the future. Choose a few
inches of developing seedpods on one stalk on each plant. Pick a
group which will not be in your face whenever you look in their
direction. Cut off all the other flower stalks, as well as the top of
the one you choose to save.
That is the only effort you will need to make. By
the end of the summer you will find those seedpods, now brown and
twisted and empty. They have ripened their Seeds and flung them
around the area. Let nature be in control. The ripe seeds will winter
on the ground, and some will sprout next spring. If you are not
obsessive about cleaning up the garden this fall, enough lupine seeds
will remain to start the next generation.
If new lupines come up in the wrong places, they
are easy to move. Older plants whose taproots have developed usually
die if dug. First year seedlings hardly notice their relocation.
Approx. 45 Seeds/Pkg.