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Mr. Smarty Plants - Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons

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Tuesday - October 07, 2008

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Soils, Wildflowers
Title: Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?

ANSWER:

Look at our webpage on Lupinus albifrons (silver lupine) and you will get the basic information. We found this website from San Francisco State University  The Biogeography of Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons) which goes into considerably more detail. To summarize, it will live in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 10. In Bexar County, you are roughly in Zones 8a to 8b, and so should be able to grow it there. It can grow on sandy slopes as well as rocky areas, and in an acidic range from 6.0 (acid) to 8.0 (alkaline). It does need very good drainage. This plant is native to California, but is found outside of California, particularly in Oregon; it is confined to western North America. In terms of soil mix, just about any plant will profit from an addition of organic materials such as compost to the native earth. The lupinus genus is a legume, and therefore will fix nitrogen in the soil, for its own benefit, but also benefitting other plants sharing its space. The propagation instructions on our webpage are that it should be planted from seed. Fall is a good time to plant lupines in Bexar County, they are really a winter annual. The rosette will show up in mid-winter, protected from cold by the warm earth, and bloom probably in mid-March. If you wish to harvest seed, you will need to leave the pods on the plants until they are almost completely dry. 


Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons

 

 

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