Lupinus arboreus (blue form) BLUE TREE LUPIN –
Spectacular tall blue and white spires bloom throughout the warmer months. Lupinus arboreus (blue form) is a silky shrub that makes a great statement in any sunny position in the garden.
– Height with flowers: Flower spires 120cm – 150cm approx. with the foliage clump approx 30cm. high.
– Width: Each plant forms a dense clump of foliage to 80cm. diameter approx. with multiple flower spires.
Growing in the Garden
– Position: In cooler districts Full Sun produces the tallest and most prolific flowers. But in hotter districts Lupins will also flourish and bloom beautifully in Part Shade, as long as there are good light levels or Dappled Sun.
– Soil: Lupin clumps are long lived and hardy. So it is worth getting the spot right first. They prefer a slightly acidic soil, with good compost, but no fresh manure. Though they are renowned for being able to tolerate infertile soil, they certainly reward good feeding with bigger better and more flowers. They love fertilizer rich in phosphorous and low in nitrogen. They love good drainage and dislike soggy conditions.
– Frost:Extremely frost hardy in hard frosts to well below -10C.
– Growth: Perennial clump.
– Fragrant: Flowers are lightly scented with a honey like fragrance.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees just adore the pea like flowers, and one stem is a feast.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Joy – Lupins contain alkaloids which make the leaves and stems bitter and resistant to rabbit and deer munching.
Easy low care
– Care: Easy care and low maintenance.
Cut back spent flower stems, so preventing the clump from setting seed. This will prolong the flowering season, and persuade your clump to repeat with yet more flower spikes. If happy and deadheaded they will produce a second, though lesser, flush of flowers again in autumn. For continued top flower production your clump should be divided need to be divided after five years approximately.
Fascinating history & a gardening hero
– Origin: The wildflower, Lupinus polyphyllus, arrived in Britain from North America in 1826. It was a simple, small spike of mainly blue flowers.
– Along came Gardening hero George Russell: Almost a hundred years later, George Russell, a horticultural worker from York, started to cross breed Lupins in his spare time. After a lifetime of tireless work, breeding and selecting generation after generation of seedlings, this humble and selfless man released his plants to the gardening world for free. By 1937 he had succeeded in producing Lupins with a long blooming season, hardy constitution, and towering flower spikes close packed with flowers. He shyly accepted the Royal Horticultural Society’s highest award, but not a penny of money. The world has loved his Russell Lupins ever since.