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Unhappy Lupins leaves turning yellow & red

jongjong Posts: 15
edited April 2020 in Problem solving
I bought some lupins from the local garden centre, kept them in the pots they were delivered in for 2 weeks but some of the lower leaves started to turn yellow in the pots.

I put them in the ground hoping they would get a little happier but the lower leaves are now turning red and shrivelling up.

What could be wrong here?  Can these be saved?  They weren't cheap so don't want to lose them!


  • jongjong Posts: 15
    edited April 2020

  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    Has the soil you planted the lupins into recently been enriched with manure? Lupins in my experience do not like too rich a soil and prefer a poorer soil to settle in, too rich a soil and the crown might rot. 
    You do have new leaves forming from the base so that's a promising sign. I would carefully snip off the red/ yellow leaves at the base and if that is manure around the plant clear it away from the area around the plants.
    Lupins can be a little tricky to establish I have found from pot raised plants, I have found better results from just scattering a few seeds around where I'd like them to grow, but that needs patience and you're never sure which colour you will get.
  • jongjong Posts: 15
    Thank you very much for your reply :)
    Yes, it's enriched with manure.  Although the plants were not looking happy before they went in so was wondering if that didn't help.

    Should I try to dig around them and fill around them with a poorer soil?
  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    When did you plant them? Did you enrich the whole bed or just the planting hole for the lupins?
    If you have a poorer area of soil you could move them if recently planted. Or you can remove any visible manure from the soil. If you do decide to move them just check that it wasn't root bound, i.e. a tight crowded rootball with roots circling at the bottom. If rootbound just gently scrape a few roots loose with a fork from all round the rootball. Not too much and just on the outside, it will have a tap root forming in its core that should not be damaged,  that will help its roots establish. 
    I'm sure they'll be fine once they get their roots established.
    What colours are they @jong? I love lupins, they smell lovely and bees love them. 
  • jongjong Posts: 15
    I planted them just last week.  It's a completely new bed that I've dug out of the old driveway so needed to fill it with brand new soil.  I know very little about this so got a local company to recommend some soil for a new border - which was enriched with manure so maybe it's not suitable.  I can swap soil in their immediate vicinity for some poorer soil from the back garden that hasn't been enriched.

    They are Manhattan Lights so purple and yellow!

    Thanks for all your help.  Will let you know how they get on.

  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    They will look amazing, very striking😃.
    You did completely the right thing enriching the new soil. New beds need organic matter, well rotted manure, compost, leaf mould etc to give life to the soil. Many perennials would love and thrive in that soil. Some like lupins don't like too much richness that's all. I think they all derived from wild lupins that grow in meadows , so they prefer poorer well drained soil. I'm sure they'll be fine there in the end. 
    What else do you plan on planting in your new border?
  • jongjong Posts: 15
    We've got loads in there!  We had someone make a planting plan for us and got the following:

    Choisya Sundance
    Hebe Santa Monica
    Sarcococca Winter Gem/Purple Stem
    Achillea Fanal
    Brunnera Jack frost
    Canna Tropicanna
    Dahlia Red
    Echinacea Purpurea
    Geum Prince of Orange
    Helleborus Orientalis
    Hemerocallis Bonanza
    Hosta sieboldiana
    Kniphofia Tawny King
    Lupinus Manhattan Lights
    Miscanthus Red Chief
    Rhodanthemum hosmariense
    Rudbeckia Goldsturm
    Salvia Mainacht
    Stipa tenuissima
    ... and a small apple tree to follow

    Bit small at the moment but we've got time to wait for them to grow.  Keeps us busy during the lockdown.  Here are photos of some of it.

    As mentioned before we don't quite know what we are doing, but nothing like going in at the deep end :)
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    That's a super range of plants, good luck with it and enjoy 
  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    That is going to look wonderful! That is a great selection of plants you have chosen.
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