LUPIN SKY BLUE (Russell Hybrid)
Spires of beautiful blue
Stately spires of blue flowers, each with a white eye.
They make a stunning sight with blooms closely packed up 90cm. towers of flowers from mid-Spring to mid-Summer.
And best of all, your Lupin clump will increase in strength each year, making ever more numerous and impressive spires.
Lupinus LUPIN SKY BLUE is pure elegant beauty.
Superb cut flowers for a large vase
Lupin flower spires make superb cut flowers for a large vase.
So if you just cut them straight from the garden and pop into the vase – they last well.
But with the “boiling water treatment” – Lupin flowers last for ages in the vase.
When you bring your armload of Lupin spires in, re-cut the stems underwater; dip the cut end of the stem in 5cm. of boiling water for 1 minute, before placing in vase of cool water.
If stem ends are soft when you remove from the boiling water, just trim off before placing in your arrangement.
Lovely light honey scent
These hybrid garden Lupins have a pleasant light honey scent.
The fragrance is lovely wafting from a clump in full flower, or from a vase indoors.
Bees, other beneficial insects, and butterflies are drawn to Lupins like magnets. The pea like flowers provide rich bee food.
Resistant to those pesky rabbits and deer
Many members of the lupin family contain alkaloids which make the leaves and stems bitter to the taste, including Lupinus Lupin Sky Blue.
So, they are a long way down on the menu choice for rabbits and deer.
Cattle will not graze them over the fence, though a hungry sheep will nibble
Though sheep can digest the alkaloid, fortunately they regard bitter Lupins as food for poor times only.
So the only protection required is against snails and slugs in early spring when the shoots are newly emerging and low.
Happily once shoots are taller than a snail – they are fine.
Hardy & resilient
Lupins are extremely frost hardy, and can withstand quite severe frosts down to well below -10C.
They also withstand periods of dry well, as long as they are given a deep watering occasionally during the driest, hottest periods.
Because they have such a strong rhizome like root system and deep tap roots, they can cope with periods of dry between watering.
Growing: Lupinus Lupin Sky Blue
– Height with flowers: Flower spires 60cm – 90cm approx. with the foliage clump approx 30cm. high for Lupinus Lupin Pink Shades.
– Width: Each plant forms a dense clump of foliage to 60cm. diameter approx. with multiple flower spires.
Planting 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, even 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 of flowers 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 every 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.