The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Perennials

Question: What is the best way to insure that Lupine will come back next year? I currently have 2 plants that came from nursery stock and are planted in the ground, but I also have several small plants that I started from seed that are in a container.

Answer: Lupines can be annuals or perennials. L. nanus, the Sky Lupine, is a summer annual. Silverstem and the Russell hybrids are perennials. If your lupines are perennial, cut back the spent foliage after the first frost and lightly mulch over the plants with organic matter. The roots are hardy on these plants and as long as the drainage is good, the plants will survive the winter and produce new growth in the spring. Container grown plants can be protected by simply sinking the pots into the ground to keep the roots from over-exposure to cold weather.

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