Lupine


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origin

Originally the lupine comes from North America. It was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the 19th century and has been growing wild in Germany ever since. There are both perennial and annual species. In the garden are predominantly cultivated varieties of perennial multi-leaved lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus). The lupine convinces by fast growth and a remarkable flowering, which lasts from early summer until August. The variety of the numerous varieties brings richness of color to the cottage garden. In beds, the perennial shrub serves as a reliable gap filler, since it also sows itself.

Appearance and growth

The garden lupine is 80 to 120 centimeters high, of which take the wonderful dense flower candles up to 50 centimeters. Depending on the variety they shine in white, purple, pink, red or yellow, often you will also find two-tone variants. The flowers open from the end of May to the beginning of August, always first the lowest of each candle. The hand-shaped feathery, divided into nine to 17 lanceolate leaves is particularly decorative.

lupine

Even from afar, the imposing flower clusters of the lupins arouse our curiosity

Location and ground

Their full effect in growth form and color intensity develop lupins in open, sunny locations. At more shady places, the flowering willingness diminishes and they decline in steadfastness. Lupins grow in any non-nutritious, low-liming soil. If the soil is too calcareous, the leaves turn yellow. They do not tolerate waterlogging. Ideal is a well ventilated, medium to light soil.

Sowing and planting

One-year-old lupins are sown in the bed directly in May. The bushy representatives should be planted in the spring, as they often do not grow properly in the fall.

care Tips

If necessary, you should support the flower stems of the higher growing lupine varieties. An immediate pruning after flowering usually stimulates a re-flowering in the summer. The total pruning of the plant often leads to complete failure. Slight loosening of the soil around the plant, especially after rain, rewards the lupine with better flowering. Lupins should not be fertilized too much as the plants will otherwise be more susceptible to diseases and pests. However, fertilization with bone meal can promote the stability of the stems. By contrast, fertilizers with a high nitrogen content are completely unsuitable because the additional nitrogen causes the roots to rot.

Lupins multicolored

Lupines are among the plants that are spontaneously associated with rural gardens

It is advisable to give lupines a "makeover" about every three years: Divide dug out rhizomes in the spring and put the new shoots back in the garden.

use

For the perennial garden especially the so-called Russel hybrids come into question (Lupinus polyphyllus). Advantageously, lupins are in small groups of three to ten plants in front of a hedge or woody group. In addition to later flowering perennials such as myrtle aster (Aster ericoides), summer phlox (Phlox paniculata) or coneflower (Echinacea), the perennial is particularly beautiful. In the cottage garden, the perennial multi-leaf lupins spray their rural charm between daisies, poppies, irises and night-birds. A true color wonder are the Westcountry lupins. The robust series from England shines with extreme luminosity. Varieties such as 'Masterpiece' stand out due to the large inflorescences. Even in the vase, the lupine loses nothing of its effect, also spread many varieties a pleasant scent.

Lupins are nitrogen collectors. At their roots are so-called nodule bacteria (rhizobia), which stores the nitrogen that the plant has absorbed from the soil air in the Wurzelkn├Âllchen. This can be used for soil improvement in the garden. Especially when bedding is newly created, first the sowing of narrow-leaved lupine (Lupinus angustifolius), yellow lupine (L. luteus) or white lupine (L. albus) is advisable. All three species, also known as sweet lupins, not only enrich the soil with nitrogen, but are also deep roots - their tap roots penetrate up to two meters deep into the ground and can thus loosen compacted layers.
Sowing is from April to August, when sowing you can still give algal lime or stone meal in the soil, which promotes the nodule bacteria. Mow the one-year-old plants at the latest after winter and leave them first as mulch layer. Finally, dry the dried-on plant residues flat in the soil. So the nitrogen gets into the soil and is available to the following plants. From the rotting organic material also creates valuable humus. About four weeks later, the beds can be ordered as desired.
In cottage gardens, the Blue Lupine used to be even used as a coffee substitute.Food and medicine have been extracted from lupine seeds since antiquity. But be careful with experiments: Lupins are poisonous in all parts.

Important species and varieties

Today, many species and especially varieties of lupine are commercially available. The large variety of varieties emerged in the early 20th century by crossing the native of America multi-year multi-leaved lupine with other annual and perennial species. Widely used to date are the variants of the English breeder George Russell (1857-1951). For example, the so-called Schloss series include the varieties 'Miss' (white), 'Chandelier' (yellow) and 'Edelknabe' (carmine red). These grow 80 to 100 centimeters high and bloom for many weeks in strong, but also delicate shades.
The different colored varieties of the dwarf garden lupine are much lower (Lupinus-Nanus-Russell-Hybrid 'Gallery'). They grow 50 to 60 centimeters high and are thus also suitable for planting pots. In addition to these well-established perennials, more and more recent variants are gaining ground. These also come from an English nursery and are summarized under the name Westcountry series. Many of the tall, yet stable lupins are two- or multi-colored and thus the absolute stars in the perennial flowerbed. Extravagant varieties such as 'Masterpiece' and 'Salmon Star' are preferably surrounded by subtle companions such as cranesbill or lady's mantle so that they do not steal the show from the lupines.

Lupine blossom with bees

The attractive butterfly blossoms of the lupine attract insects

proliferation

In general, the propagation of lupins is done by sowing from April to July. The seeds germinate better if they are roasted and allowed to swell for 24 hours in water. If you propagate lupins through cuttings, the offspring will be the same color. For the reproduction of cuttings in the spring, cut five to ten centimeters long young shoots from the plant base and remove all but the topmost one or two leaves. So that the soft shoots do not rot, they put them in loose substrate, for example expanded clay in pots. Submerge the cuttings halfway and place in a damp, warm place, but not fully sunny. After four to six weeks, the rooted cuttings can be individually planted in potting soil. Pour now and then plant out into the bed about six weeks later.

Diseases and pests

The lupine is occasionally attacked by lupine aphids. This pest, introduced to the United Kingdom in the 1980s, usually occurs in large colonies and simply causes the lupins to tip over. If only a few specimens occur, the problem of collecting can be mastered. Larger colonies usually only require the use of insecticides. If you discover that your lupine is dying of young shoots, necrotic spots appear on the leaf margins, or cracks on the stems and older leaves, your plant probably suffers from anthracnose. Here it only helps to remove the infested lupine. Furthermore, it can come to an infestation with powdery mildew. Even with snails, the fresh budding of the lupine is popular.

Video Board: Lupine - Lupinus species - How to grow Lupines.

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