What is wrong with a Lupine plant

Asked May 22, 2013, 12:49 PM EDT

I had a lady call inquiring about her Lupine plant. She said it has light green leaves and it is supposed to have medium to dark green leaves. Does she need to fertilize or something?
I realize this is not much information but whatever information you can give me that I can pass along, on the care etc. of this plant would be greatly appreciated.

Barry County Michigan horticulture flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials

1 Response

Not much to go on here is right. Does the plant otherwise look healthy? Are there other lupine growing around it? If so how do they compare? If not is the plant new? They can take more than one year to mature and usually don't flower first year. Lupine is normally a hardy native needing little or no help from us. You need to know something about the soil type it is growing in. Here is an exerpt from the University of Minnesota:

IV. Environment Requirements:

A. Climate:

Lupine is a cool-season crop, and is relatively tolerant of spring frosts. The flowering process is affected by high temperatures which cause blasting of flowers and a subsequent yield reduction. In areas which normally experience high temperatures in early summer, such as many parts of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, the risk to the crop is great.

B. Soil:

Lupine is adapted to well-drained, coarsely textured, neutral to acidic soils. Iron chlorosis and disease problems often result from plantings on poorly drained, higher pH soils. Reports from Minnesota, New York and parts of New England indicate that many lupine production problems are due to planting on soils too heavy, too wet, or too high in pH. An area of adaptation in central Minnesota on the more acidic, better drained soils has been identified, as have other localized areas in the state. Many alkaline soils with high clay content are considered inappropriate for lupine production.

If the plant looks otherwise healthy , you could take the wait and see approach or submit a soil sample for a soil test. http://www.msusoiltest.com/ If you do the soil test, be sure to tell them what you wish to grow in it.

Good luck!