Gardening Questions And Answers
The two most common species for consumption are the white lupin (Lupinus albus) and the narrow-leafed blue lupin (Lupinus angustifolias). They can then be used in stews, salads, burgers or ground up into ‘lupin hummus’. Lupins can also be ground into a flour which can be made into cakes and pancakes .
The simplest way to plant lupines is to sow untreated seeds directly into the ground. These should be planted outside in late autumn or during winter in warm climates. Because lupines need at least some exposure to cool temperatures to develop their roots, spring planting may delay growth for up to a year.
Whiteflies are white, winged insects that lay eggs on the undersides of the lupine plant’s leaves. Adults are only 1/16 inch long, and the eggs are almost too tiny to see with the naked eye. Their entire life cycle only lasts a month, but when the weather is warm, the insects reproduce prolifically.
The most important thing to note before planting Lupines, is that they are available as both annuals and perennials. While Lupine seeds may yield both annual (life cycle complete in one growing season) and perennial (long-lived, coming back each spring) varieties, potted Lupine plants are typically perennial cultivars.
Slugs and snails feed on the sap in the lupine plant’s foliage, and some species are very destructive. Young slugs damage the surface of the leaves, while mature slugs chew holes in the leaves and create unsightly trails of slime. Planting lupine plants in sunny locations should help reduce slug and snail populations.
A powerhouse of goodness, lupins contain three times more plant protein than quinoa, three times more fibre than oats, three times more antioxidants than berries, three times more potassium than bananas — and three times more iron than kale. You can pickle or salt lupins, and eat them as a whole-bean snack.
If Lupine leaves are turning brown and dying then it is due to root rot. Fungal diseases like Powdery mildew and Downy mildew can kill Lupins too. A serious infestation of aphids/whiteflies can cause great damage to Lupins too. Lupine plants are nitrogen fixers and are beneficial to your garden in many ways.
While Lupine seeds may yield both annual (life cycle complete in one growing season) and perennial (long-lived, coming back each spring) varieties, potted Lupine plants are typically perennial cultivars. Cover lightly with soil (1/8”) and tamp down the seeds well – making sure they make good soil to seed contact.
CARING FOR LUPINE After planting lupines, keep the soil evenly moist to ensure good root development. Once your plants are deeply rooted, they can tolerate dryer conditions and will only need water during periods of drought. Applying a layer of mulch will help lock in soil moisture and keep the roots cool.
Lupines Attract Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds As the flowers fade, the spots turn magenta, letting insects know that the nectar and pollen are depleted. The insects benefit from saving energy on a fruitless quest and the flower benefits from keeping old and stale pollen from weakening the gene pool.
Soil: Lupine needs well-draining soil above all else. It prefers soil on the acid side and will not tolerate high levels of alkalinity or water-logged conditions. Russell hybrids and L. polyphyllus have more tolerance for moist conditions than many other species, but none are lovers of high heat or humidity.
In a nutshell, it is an invasive plant that can crowd native species out of their preferred habitats. Also, their seeds are toxic to animals if too many are consumed, which could threaten both grazing farm animals and native herbivores. This does not mean that Bigleaf lupine is always harmful, however.