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Lupin from seeds

I'm a total and utter newbie and apologise if I've posted in the wrong place for this. Basically I want to try to grow lupin from seeds and was hoping somebody could give me an idiot's guide to what I need to do? I've googled this extensively and can only seem to find websites that assume people have some knowledge/experience and I really don't! My dad says to buy one from a garden centre but I'm a new garden owner and can't afford to spend much on plants (plus it's basically a blank canvas at the moment so will take a lot of filling).

So for lupins, can I start growing in my conservatory or will it be too cold at night?

I've seen an article that says to soak the seeds in water for 24 hrs before sowing and then harden them off before planting out in May but I don't know what to plant them in and when I would need to transfer them to a pot? Also, what actually does 'hardening off' consist of and for how long? 

Sorry if I sound completely dense! image

Also, if anybody has any tip for good plants to grow from seeds then that would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance




  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,757

    Hi there. You can sow Lupin seeds now, although they may not flower this year. There is no need to soak them.

    I sow mine into modules [ a seed tray that is divided into smaller sections; I would use a 15 module tray. ]

    I would start them off on a window sill, then move tem to consevatory once germinated.

    You will need to transplant into bigger pots as they grow.

    When they are a few inches high, the pots can go outside.

    I would not plant them in the garden till they are at least 6 inches tall, as that will increase their chances of survival.

    You may be wise to cut off any flower stalks that appear this season, as that will give you stronger plants for next year.

    Hope that helps, seeds really want to grow.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Thanks for the reply- that's all very helpful. How do I know when it's time to move from the tray to pots though? 

  • MuddyForkMuddyFork Posts: 435

    Move them when the roots are visible coming out from the bottom of the tray/pot.  When planting in the garden I would also scatter slug pellets to protect them as they are caviar for slugs and snails

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,178

    Use special seed compost for the initial sowing in modules then transplant them into smaller 3" pots filled with something like a John Innes no 2 or no 3 compost to grow them on.   Different composts have different levels of nutrients suited to different stages of growth.

    Good luck. 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Brilliant, thanks for all the replies image

  • "hardening off" means that the very young plants need to get accustomed to lower temperatures than, say, a greenhouse or conservatory before you put them in your flowerbed.  You'd need to put them (still in their pots) in a sheltered spot for a few days so that they won't suffer too much of a shock when they are finally planted out.  If you don't harden them off first, they might be affected by changes in temperature outside in the garden.

  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    I collected seed from lupins that were already in my garden last year and sew them straight away into multi-purpose compost. I had around 80% germination rate. They survived been dug up by an enthusiastic blackbird, and been blown upside down, and they were left out all winter, such that it was. I planted them out about three weeks ago and they are doing well. If you know anybody with established lupins, you could fill your garden on the very cheap by being given a head of seedpods.

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Hi Thistle!

    I too am on the learning curve, but everyone here is really helpful.  I grew my first plants from seed last year (tomatoes) and got such a buzz when they germinated. I texted photos to my mum, bounding around all giddy!  (No-one was around.) Later in the year, I  smuggly confirmed to guests, yes my tomatoes were home grown from seed ( as if I always do it)... image Safe to say I'm hooked!  Enjoy!

  • Thanks everyone, hopefully I'll be reporting back with a success story! Supernoodle, I imagine I'll be much the same image I don't have any children so this is the next best thing hahahaha!


  • LynLyn Posts: 22,004

    I grow lots of lupins as someone said, you can scrounge seeds and they will germinate in anything. I dont plant mine out the first year though, I keep them in a cold greenhouse, just for. a bit of protection, young lupins dont always like the first winter out.h

    I am planting mine out now and I know they will bloom this year.

    We are all different though, with different ideas, depending on where we live,  its a bit of trial and error really till you find what suits you.


    If you want lupins that will flower well all this summer, try the pixie annuals. They go on blooming till autumn if you dead head regularly.  Mind out for slugs though.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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