This 1937 selection from England contains an array of colors on tall spikes that are quite dramatic when planted in mass, and in groups in a mixed border. A short-lived perennial in USDA zones 4–7, Russell lupines were developed to be grown as annuals in warmer climates, so everyone can enjoy its statuesque beauty.
Botanical Name: Lupinus polyphyllus
Native: North America
Hardiness: Short lived perennial in USDA zones 4–7. Grown as annual in mild climates.
Plant Dimensions: 36″–48″ tall
Variety Information: Multiple ½” flowers on spikes. May include white, yellow, pink, orange, red, salmon, lavender, blue, purple, and bicolors.
Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Period: Late spring to summer
Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant
When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date. In mild climates, can be sown in late summer for bloom the following spring.
When to Start Inside: 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date. Roots are sensitive to disturbance; sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly into the ground.
Days to Emerge: 15–25 days
Seed Depth: 1/8″
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seed every 18″–24″
Thinning: When 1″ tall, thin to 1 every 18″–24″
Special Care: Scarify; soak seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours or nick with sandpaper before sowing.
Harvesting: For longest vase life, harvest in the morning when 1/3 of the flower buds have opened.