I am a big fan of lupines. However, I’m not a big fan of their tendency to peeter out after three of four years of gloriousness, the cost of buying fully grown plants (especially when one wants a dozen or so). So, one starts lupines from seed.
This is ridiculously easy to do. Buy a packet of seeds (roughly $2, depending on your source. If you need a source, GOOD HEAVENS, I will give you ten.). Take a damp paper towel, fold it in half and spread the seeds so they aren’t touching each other on half of the surface, then fold again, covering the seeds with the paper towel. Carefully place the bundled seeds into a ziplock bag and place somewhere warmish but not hot, and check in a few days. I will bet that by the third day you will have some sprouts, and a week later most will have sprouted for you. If not, don’t worry, just keep the seeds moist and most of them should come eventually. You can tell if the seed isn’t going to sprout because it looks shriveled and hard even after being in a damp towel several days.
Mine got away from me this year…
I should have planted these a week ago. As you can see, they are actually growing roots through the paper towel. I had to carefully tear the paper away from them so as not to break the roots.
This is more like what they should look like when you plant them:
My germination rate was quite good!
If yours get too far along too, just pot them up with the ‘leaves’ above soil surface and put them in indirect sunlight for a day or two so as not to scorch them. Then move to full sun and watch them grow like crazy. 🙂
One last thing; Lupines do not like being transplanted, and I am not a fan of peat-pots, so I make newspaper pots for my lupines. Plant them directly in the ground, and the paper disintegrates within a few months.