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Silver lupine is back in stock

Silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons) is back in stock after being sold out for a couple of months. Silver lupine is one of our best selling seed packets, and each year we try to collect enough seed to meet the high demand. We now have 30 seed packets available and more are on the way as we continue cleaning and packaging the seed we have collected this summer. We get enough requests for silver lupine seed packets that having it back in stock is worth a blog post of its own.

One of our favorite plants due to its beauty and rugged character, silver lupine is a go-to plant for drought-tolerant native gardens, xeriscape native landscaping, or dry-site habitat restoration projects. For a small amount of work required to establish this plant, you can receive knockout blue, purple, to violet blooms! Silver lupine blooms in late spring in the Klamath-Siskiyou region. The attractive, evergreen, silver leaves are lovely year-round and the plant generally grows 2-3′ tall. It is also tolerant of soil with low fertility. There’s no need to amend your soil to grow this plant, as this plant is a soil builder! Silver lupine is a nitrogen fixing plant, pulling nitrogen out of the air and fixing it into the soil.

Silver bush lupine requires no summer water after its established, but can handle occasional watering. Too much water may cause root rot and a shorter lifespan. It generally doesn’t like to be pruned. It does not sprout back from the root after fire or cutting back, and it relies solely on seed for propagation.

Silver lupine is not a long-lived species. It generally doesn’t live over ten years. Growing multiple plants will aid cross-pollination and better seed set. When multiple plants are grown together, this species can be a prolific seed producer. Just let the seedlings grow and you will have continuous generations of self-seeded silver lupine. You can also collect the seed and sow the seed where you want the plant to grow in future years.

Yellow faced bumble bee foraging on silver lupine.

In the wild silver lupine is found on dry, rocky, sunbaked slopes, chaparral, open grassland, dry meadows, sandy or cobbly streambanks, ridges, and openings in oak woodland and coniferous forest. It can be found as a solitary plant, or in large populations, and is native to Oregon and California.

Silver lupine is a pollinator magnet when it is in full bloom. It is very attractive to bees, especially bumble bees. It is also a larval host plant for some butterflies. 

Although deer may nibble on silver lupine at times, we would consider it a very deer resistant plant overall. Deer resistant, drought tolerant, and beautiful — what’s not to love?

Lupinus albifrons seedlings
Silver lupine seedlings in ellepots

Seed Germination & Plant Propagation

No seed pretreatment is required to grow silver lupine. You can simply sow the seed outside in fall to early spring. However, seed germination can be uneven — some seeds will germinate right away, and other seeds may take some time to germinate, germinating at different times. To encourage more even seed germination you can soak the seed overnight in hot (not boiling) water before sowing the seed. This helps break down the seed coat for more even seed germination.

Direct Seeding: Direct seeding silver lupine where you want it to grow is the most reliable method of propagation. The seed germinates well, even without irrigation in years that we have moist spring weather; however, if we have dry spring weather, some occasional water may help the seedlings grow.

Container Growing: Silver lupine can be easy to grow in the nursery setting too, and plant starts tend to grow well initially, but these drought tolerant plants are prone to root rot in nursery containers. The best success is achieved by using well drained potting soil and by transplanting your seedlings in the spring or fall in the first year of growth, as they can be difficult to overwinter in containers. Nursery methods and containers that encourage well drained plants and air pruning will help seedling survival.

You can purchase silver lupine seed packets at the link below.

Lupinus albifrons-Silver bush lupine