Lupin, with their tall spires of vibrant summer colour, are a brilliant addition to flowerbeds. Grouped together by colour, they are an eye-catching display and last for many, many years with little care. Buying lupin plants just doesn't make sense when it is so easy to save the seeds to grow your own and watch them grow bigger every year.
Begin by observing the lupin after the blooms fade. Seeds develop where the blossoms were. You must wait until the seed case is drying out to harvest or the seed will not germinate.
Examine the seed case by holding one hand under it in case it breaks open. If the seed pod is dried out enough to make the seed viable it will crack easily in your hand and expose 3 to 10 brownish-black seeds. The pod is not ready if it is soft and green.
Place the hard-shell seeds in the plastic zipper bag and label it with the permanent marker. If you are positive of the colour, you may want to mark the colour as well.
There is a very fine line between not quite ready and too late when harvesting lupin seeds, so watch them carefully. One day they are "almost ready," and the next day the pods may have burst and scattered the seeds.