By: Garden Gate staff
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Loaded with color!
Lupines (Lupinus spp. and hybrids) are so gorgeous, they almost don’t seem real. These early-summer bloomers have tall flower spikes that open in white, yellow, pink, red, purple or blue, and they grow 12 to 48 in. tall.
First, let’s take a look at a very easy-to-find lupine. The Russell hybrids, like the red ones here, come in a wide range of colors. You can purchase single colors or mixes as plants or seeds from many local greenhouses or nurseries. They stand 18 to 48 inches tall — perfect for the back of a border.
Click ahead for more lupine varieties and growing tips, and don’t miss our how-to on starting them from seed!
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Best in the middle
The Gallery series, like this white one, is a good choice for the middle of a border, topping out at about 20 inches tall. You’ll find the Gallery series in the same dazzling array of colors as the Russell hybrids.
Lupine does best in areas with cool summer and mild winters, but if your summers are hot, plant them where they’ll get morning sun and afternoon shade.
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While the hybrids are gorgeous, there are many beautiful species, too. One of the toughest and most readily available is the blue-purple sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis), at left. It reaches 12 to 24 inches tall, and its flowers are a little looser and floppier than the hybrid lupines. No matter where they go in the garden, make sure all lupines have moist, well-drained soil.