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(13 Posts)
dolkapots Sun 29-May-16 00:20:43

Was in the garden centre yesterday and was met by the most gorgeous, ginormous West Country lupins. I so want one, but am concerned about their end of life appearance. They would be going in a container, and I categorically avoid buying anything that does slowly and spends the winter looking brown/dead.

So I suppose I am asking for advice to whether I should buy one or not? CanI just cut it to ground level or does it need to be left? Also will it come back every year or is it biennial?

bertsdinner Sun 29-May-16 07:49:09

Lupins are perennials and will come back every year. If you deadhead it will usually repeat flower. The leaves will die back towards autumn and you can cut any scruffy bits to ground level at the end of the season.

Liara Sun 29-May-16 20:33:05

If you have problems with snails in your garden stay away from lupins. Snails just love them.

PollyPerky Sun 29-May-16 20:38:52

If they are in flower all ready you may only get another 4 weeks or so flowering. They are early summer plants. After that they will need de-heading then foliage cutting right back in autumn. My own feeling is they are too big for containers unless you are planting in a trough.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 29-May-16 20:44:10

They are just expensive snail food I'm afraid.

dolkapots Tue 31-May-16 09:21:33

Thanks for the replies. I'm afraid i have a prolific issue with slugs/snails, so on that account alone I will have to admit defeat. There are already in flower, so if I am only getting a few weeks out of them then there is probably little point. 'Tis a shame, they look absolutely fantastic.

shovetheholly Tue 31-May-16 09:40:24

Try putting them in a fairly large container with compost - you can buy copper rings that go around the top and stop slugs getting in. I have a huge slug issue (damp, northfacing garden) and I can grow even that most notorious slug flood plant, hostas, this way. Just remember to water them, because water stress brings on slug attack!

shovetheholly Tue 31-May-16 09:43:55

I just re-read your post and realised you haven't bought them yet blush I wouldn't maybe risk them if you have a site like that. What about foxgloves instead, if you like the vertical structure?

I doublechecked my advice because alarm bells were ringing, and lupins have a really long taproot, which means they don't really like being in a container so ignore my advice above as stupid!

JT05 Tue 31-May-16 16:35:15

I have grown Lupins from seed, in containers. They are 3 years old now and still going strong. For me it's the only way to keep the slugs off them.

shovetheholly Tue 31-May-16 17:01:51

Really JT? Maybe there is hope for me yet - I have dreams of lovely white lupins!

bookbook Tue 31-May-16 18:25:26

oooh! same here with the hope. Mine lasted about 2 nights after planting last year, from enormous, beautiful plants to a bare stalk sad

dolkapots Tue 31-May-16 19:18:23

I was wondering if I planted them in a container and added nemotodes and coffee grounds would that suffice to keep them at bay?

JT05 Tue 31-May-16 20:14:36

If you have the patience and somewhere to overwinter them, growing your own from seed seems to produce stronger plants. I kept mine in a well lit shed during the first year, as seedlings. A well insulated cold frame would
work. The family called them my 'babies' and helped in the nurture!

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