If you’re looking for a showy summer-flowering perennial that will stand out from the crowd, lupine is a sure front-runner. The tall, lush spires of vividly colored flowers are like floral traffic cones, compelling you to slow down and take notice. In addition to their irresistible beauty, lupines are also valued for their ability to flourish in challenging environments, including sandy nutrient-poor soils, high elevations, and areas with cool summers.
When to plant: If planting lupine from seed, direct sow in the garden in late fall or early winter for blooms the following spring. You can also sow seeds in the spring 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, but your plants will bloom later in the summer.