They are one of my favourite flowers in the garden and I just hate it when my lovely Lupins start to go over!
What I hate more though is having to cut off a flowering spike on a Lupin! It feels wrong, almost murderous, but I know that by cutting down a spike which is almost finished blooming, it will help the plant to produce more beautiful blooms.
The time to cut off the flowering spire of fabulousness on the Lupin is when it is half dead looking. Lupin flowers die from the base upwards on the spires so when the bottom half starts to wilt or even start to turn brown, that’s the time to remove the spire to stop the plant putting its energy into making seed.
Cut the stem of that particular bloom all the way down and cut off as far down as you can. You’ll often see a side shoot has already formed with the beginnings of a new bud, make the snip just above that.
It may break your heart to cut it as it does mine, but you will have put the energy back into the plant and will be rewarded with wonderful, new blooms!
Be brave, make the cut!