Creating the perfect garden takes a lot of care and consideration. It is easy for one plant to ruin a beautiful garden because it is the wrong size, it doesn’t grow the same environment as the other plants, or because of various other reasons. If you are struggling to find an ideal plant to add to your garden, home, or field, consider lupines. These flowering plants are great for beginner and veteran planters alike. Here are some characteristics that make lupines a perfect addition to your life:
- Annual or perennial
- Array of colors
- Source of soil nutrients and food
- Highly compatible
- Highly adaptable
In this article, you can learn about these characteristics and more!
Annual or Perennial
One of the best features of lupines is that they have a large variety of species. Some species, such as the Lupinus concinnus and the Lupinus hartwegii, are annuals. They last approximately one year. These flowers are great for people who want to change their garden frequently.
Other species of lupines are perennial, such as the Lupinus perennis. Perennial flowers grow in warmer seasons, die around winter, and naturally return each spring. Perennial lupines usually last from two to five years. These flowers are ideal for people who want a long-term garden or who do not want to worry about replanting each year.
Array of Colors
An amazing perk about Lupines is that they come in a wide variety of colors. Some species may only come in one or two colors, but other species, like the Lupinus polyphyllus, come in over 10 different colors and bicolors. These flowers are also very vibrant, making them a brilliant focal point in a garden or a lovely accent to a home.
This color variation is not surprising when considering the flower’s meaning. Lupines symbolize creativity and imagination. In this way, it’s no wonder why there are so many colors and patterns to choose from. If you’re a creator or someone who looks to nature for inspiration, consider planting the colors that speak to your imagination. Colors like yellow, pink, and red are stimulants that get the mind excited. To the opposite effect, colors like blue and deep purple are mentally calming. The effect colors can have on one’s mood is important to consider when planting flowers. Thankfully, the wide variety of lupines allows you to find the flower perfect for whatever mood you wish to create.
Source of Soil Nutrients and Food
Another advantage of planting lupines is that they provide nutrients for the soil. Lupines have the ability to fix nitrogen, which means they convert nitrogen gas into another form of nitrogen that can be used by other plants and animals. Coupled with lupines’ ability to thrive in nutrient-poor soil, this makes lupines a great option for those who want to improve the quality of their soil naturally and over time.
In addition to fixing nitrogen, lupines are also very efficient at absorbing phosphorus, a vital nutrient for plants and animals alike. Apart from phosphorus, the only other major nutrient lupines need is potassium. Altogether, this makes lupines not only beneficial for surrounding plants but also low maintenance. As an added bonus, certain types of lupines, such as the Lupinus mutabilis, produce beans that edible and nutritious for humans.
The beans produced by certain lupines have numerous nutritional benefits. They are a go-to source for a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, manganese, and zinc, to name a few. They’re also packed full of plant protein, making them ideal for those who do not eat meat or who simply want an alternative to meat protein. Additionally, since these are legumes, they are gluten-free. These beans can be used as an alternative to soy in many cases, which can be reassuring to those with soy-related allergies.
Lupine beans can be pickled for a tasty snack, eaten similarly to other beans, or cooked into a delicious dinner recipe. This makes lupines perfect for a vegetable garden or any other garden where the goal is to consume the products of hard work. However, be mindful to conduct research on which species of lupines are ideal for bearing beans. Most species of lupines are toxic to humans and pets. For your safety, do not plant toxic lupines near edible ones!
Lupines are easy to pair with a variety of other plants. For example, lilac is a beautiful flowering plant that thrives in similar environments to lupines. These flowers bloom around the same time as lupines but may last a little longer in the fall. This can help extend your garden’s beauty even after lupines have died, allowing you to gradually adjust your garden for the winter instead of needing to uproot everything all at once.
Lupines are compatible with a plethora of other plants, but they are perhaps most compatible with themselves. There may come a time when it is difficult to choose between different colors, heights, or other features of lupines. Rather than choosing, consider filling your garden with an array of lupines! The many variations of lupines allow you to mix in match within the same family until you find the perfect combination. Remember to research each species to ensure they are safe to grow near each other.
The biggest perk of lupines is by far their adaptability. As you have seen throughout this article, there is a lupine for almost every garden need. Coming in a large variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, lupines are easy to adapt to a certain theme, mood, or creative vision. Whether you are looking to impress the neighbors or feed them, lupines are worth considering. Whether you want to alter your garden every year or keep it the same, there’s a lupine for you. From the largest, most diverse gardens to the smallest, simplest gardens, lupines are a highly viable option. This adaptability is one that very few flowers can beat.
No matter if it’s in a garden, a home, or a field, lupines can make the perfect addition to your life!