The Q&A Archives: What to do about Lupine spikes?

Question: We had beautiful pink,red and purple Lupines this spring and summer,and they are now dying off. I know we are supposed to deadhead the pods, but what do we do with the spikes? Do we leave them on for next summer or cut them down too? If we deadhead them only, do they grow back? If we leave the pods, do they open up and seed the garden?

Thanks again for all your help!

Answer: Now that the flowers are spent, you can cut the entire flowering spike down. If you do this now, the lupines will produce two new little flowering spikes for a second flush of bloom this season. If you allow the spikes to remain on the plants and produce seeds, the seed pods will burst open when the seeds are ripe and will reseed the garden. So, if you want seeds, leave the plants alone. If you want a second flush of blooms, cut down the flower spike. Next spring, before new growth begins, you'll want to cut away the old foliage and old flower spikes to make way for new leaves and flowers.

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