anybody transplanted mature lupines?

deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)June 11, 2011

I have some lupines I started from seed that are in their second year (a small few bloomed last year). They are in a part of the garden where they end up getting ignored. When I planted them last year I thought they'd be in a great spot, but they're just a little too short to be seen well. I was hoping to transplant them, but now I read about their big taproot being a problem.

I can always grow more from seed, but I'd love to be able to move these. Has anybody successfully transplanted a mature lupine?

If that's not possible, can I harvest seeds from them THIS YEAR and plant them right away, hoping they'll sprout this summer and be a second year plant next year?

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spedigrees z4VT

I dug up a bunch of mature lupines long ago and they thrived for many years until they fell victim to excavation for a new foundation on our house.

Now I can't grow lupine to save my life. I think voles or excessive rain are killing them. I'm giving up on lupine and replacing my plants with iris which do grow well here still. But that's another story.

I think I'd try transplanting your lupine if they seem to do well in your garden. Mine adapted well to their move.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:10PM
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ravenh2001

Lupine here is an invasive weed, just try to kill it. My wife doug som in a friends field and brought them home. I said put them on the island in the farm pond (clay pushed up when digging the pond). The next thing I said was if I see any in the blueberry field yours will be watered with roundup. 15 years later they have taken the Island over but she watches the blueberrys closer than I do.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 1:48PM
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diggingthedirt

I could swear that lupines are, technically, biennials, even though it sounds like others here treat them as perennials.

So, if you transplant a mature one, and don't dead-head it, it should self-sow and reappear next year in the new location.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 4:32PM
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pixie_lou

That's why my lupines probably didn't come back this year. I dead headed in my front garden to keep it "looking pretty" last year. I'll know better this year!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 6:29PM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

Wow, Diggingthedirt, I didn't know that. I guess I might as well just collect seeds from these. Regarding this level of detail the net is lacking, esecially considering how many different lupine species there are, but I did find one site with great detail that said many will die, but some might live past the first year of blooming. In that case, I won't move them until AFTER I've collected seed. Then I'll move the plants to the new spot AND spread the seeds in that spot. Hopefully I'll have all my bases covered!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:30PM
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cloud_9(z5 CT)

Lupines aren't a biennial, just frequently a short-lived perennial: 3-5 years. That doesn't mean that they can't live longer or shorter than that. They grow easily from seed, so seedlings may make it hard to notice that the original plant has died off. You may as well try moving them if they are languishing in the wrong spot, just try and dig down as deep as possible since you know they have a taproot. And then maybe start some from seed as a backup.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:21AM
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spedigrees z4VT

That is interesting. My former patch of thriving lupine must have been re-seeding themselves.

My first guess is that my recently planted lupine are being eaten by voles, and my second guess is they could be dying from fungus due to all this rain, but voles seem the most likely culprit.

Hope you have better luck, Deanna. It sounds like yours are off to a good start though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:34PM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

Thanks for the input! They do look good this year, and I am pleased. I hope they live long with not necessarily neglect, but ineptness. If they prefer the inept gardener then they'll have many happy years with me. I'll move them after they've set seed, just to be sure I get seed.

I do have one question about them dying and reseeding. I thought Russell and other lupines were a hybrid so the offspring would not be true to seed. If that's the case, why don't people notice that their lupines are "changing color," really meaning they are dying and offspring are sprouting up? You should see your garden lupines change color every few years, shouldn't you?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:53PM
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diggingthedirt

I stand corrected! You're right, cloud9 - they act a lot like biennials, including being easy from seed, but they're short lived perennials.

What I don't understand about the hybrids is how they can sell seeds ... do you just get a 'surprise' if you start with seed?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:28PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I had a few Lupines that bloomed for the first time last year (a no-id purple lupine), but they died out over the winter, so they acted like biennials. Either they were short-lived or the voles got them, I'm not sure. I collected some seed pods last fall and scattered the seed around the garden bed. There were about 2 dozen little seedlings this Spring.

I also winter-sowed some commercial seed 'The Chatelaine' - which has pink and white blooms and planted those intermixed with the purple. Hopefully this time next year there will be a nice show!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:48PM
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pixie_lou

I've always been amazed by the show of lupines along the sides of the highways up in Maine. Plus the fields of lupines you see in Veremont. There's even some fields of lupines growing along the Mass Pike. You would think they would be easy to grow - since obviously they are not getting a lot of TLC on the side of a highway. You would think that lupines would be one of the easiest plants to grow.

But then - I have had horrible luck getting lupines to grow. I had originally thought it would be fabulous to have a field of lupines out behind my pond - but every time I have attemepted to plant a lupine there, it has died. I even bought a huge ziploc bag of seeds from some lady in Maine and scattered all the seeds back there. None of them took.

This year I have found 2 volunteer seedlings in one of my side gardens. I have them staked so they don't accidentally get trampled or weeded. I am hoping and praying that I get lupine flowers next year. And can I hope even more that they self sow next year, and the following year I'll have lots of little seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:48PM
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