My lupins have been chomped and don't have a single leaf left on them. Should I dig them up and try to bring them on in pots or is it best to leave them be and hope for better luck next year?
Lupins don't like to be moved once they've settled in and now, when they're trying to grow as strongly as possible would be about the worst time to try.Try some slug deterrent of some kind. They may still recover this season
If the soil is very dry I would also consider a gentle watering regime. I have lupins - I think they are best described as short-lived perennials. Mine self-seed, and I keep an eye on where the seedlings are. I've found that small seedlings can be moved. The seedlings then get bigger every year, but after a just a few years they have reached their peak and are consumed by aphids, slugs and other wildlife.
Lupins are a favourite of slugs and snails. I had a similar problem with a newly planted centaurea. However, I mulched the entire garden with stable manure (only partially composted) and I haven't seen them return at all.
My Lupins suffer that fate each year. I keep mine in pots and put into the border once flowering so I can seee the flower spikes but eventually the leaves are munched away. I cut them right back then and return the pots to my potting bench, where they often put on new growth and maybe even flower again later in the Summer.
I haven't heard about stable manure being a good slug deterrent - that a new one for my armoury list!
I have come to the conclusion, that the best way for me to grow lupins, is to grow new each year.
I have sown seeds in June, they are now a few inches high and will be planted out next spring as good size plants, which will flower next summer.
This also solves the problem of how tatty they look by late summer, as they can be replaced by something else.
Mine were planted last year and got destroyed, but have come up again well this year. I finally got them to flowering stage without being eaten by being extra vigilant checking for slugs/snails and mulching with a shredded Christmas tree (they don't like the sharp needles).