How to Grow Russell Lupine

Written by jessica jewell
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How to Grow Russell Lupine
Like peanuts, Russell lupin are legumes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Russell lupin is a hybrid perennial that thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Lupins are legumes, which means they produce seeds that resemble beans. The plant can grow between 4 and 6 feet tall and wide and the flowers bloom in a variety of colours. With the proper planting and care, you can grow Russell lupin in your home garden.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Sandpaper
  • Clear container
  • Cling film
  • Planting soil
  • Water-soluble fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Start the Russell lupin seeds indoors two months before the last frost. Lupins have a tendency to grow slowly; if you can, start the seeds indoors in the winter. Slightly abrade the seed with sandpaper and plant it 1/4 inch into a clear container, such as a glass or plastic jar, filled with high-quality planting soil. Cover the container with cling film and place it in a room that is warm but not in direct sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist by watering it several times a week, but do not flood the soil. The seeds will begin to grow sprouts and when there is no longer a chance of frost, you can prepare an outdoor planting location.

  2. 2

    Take the seedlings outdoors in the containers and allow them to adjust to the outdoor climate. Do not take them outdoors unless there is no longer any chance of frost or freezing. Leave them outside during the day, then take them back inside at night. You should aim to do this for two weeks before you transplant them outdoors.

  3. 3

    Find a planting location where the Russell lupin will receive full sunlight. If you live in a location that is very hot, then you can select a location that receives partial afternoon shade, but in most locations, Russell lupin needs full sunlight.

  4. 4

    Remove the seedlings from the containers and plant them into the outdoor planting soil, which ideally is sandy and slightly acidic.

  5. 5

    Water the seedlings immediately, but do not flood the soil. Russell lupin requires a moist soil, but it can develop mildew and various types of rot, so make sure that you don't overwater the plants. Check the soil with your fingertips before watering to make sure that more water is required, but never let the soil dry out completely.

  6. 6

    Fertilise the lupin once a month with a well-balanced, water-soluble fertiliser.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep Russell lupin seeds out of the reach of children and domestic animals, as the seeds can be poisonous if ingested.

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