There’s no debating that lupine flowers make a beautiful purple addition to any garden. So the last thing you’ll want is for them to become a mere form of prey for the various animals and insects that either frequent your garden. Which begs the question, who exactly are the predators we’re talking about?!
So, what eats lupine flowers? From slugs and snails to worms and aphids, and sometimes even deer, there is a range of creatures out there striving to fill their appetites by feasting on lupine plants.
I’ve outlined the main culprits below, as well as shared how you can best prevent your lupines from being eaten, full stop.
So simply keep reading to find out more.
What Is Eating My Lupines?
Let’s start with deer! Whilst deer don’t actually enjoy the taste of lupine flowers; they’ll give them a try anyway.
The reason being they don’t tend to pick and choose the plants they consume.
Rather, anything that lies roughly three feet above ground is at risk! This is particularly true when they can’t spot any alternative food options.
Fortunately, their general disdain for lupine flowers means that they’ll move on rather quickly rather than continue to eat.
And worry not!
Even if your lupines have been chomped by a deer or two, their foliage will regrow quickly and healthily when their growing season, Spring time, comes around.
Slugs and Snails
Both slugs and snails have long been known to prey on lupine plants.
You’ll know if they’ve been at it by the slimy trail that they leave behind, as well as the not-so-inconspicuous holes in the leaves.
For these two common garden bugs, lupine flowers are an absolute treat.
They love them!
Unfortunately, whilst these bugs are small, their impact is certainly mighty.
Essentially, they pose a permanent threat to your lupine plants.
Whilst the more well-established, mature lupines are likely to recover, the younger, much less durable ones, are at a legitimate risk of being entirely wiped out.
Worms, often of the nematode variety, are another creepy crawly that thoroughly enjoy devouring lupines.
However, rather than opting for the plant’s flowers and leaves, they are most commonly found feeding on the plant’s core infrastructure; its roots and inner stem.
Hence, resultantly it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to spot the worms outright. Rather, you’ll be able to identify their presence by the state of your lupines.
If they’re wilting or undergoing significant flower fall and notable leaf discoloration, you may indeed have some worms to take care of.
Aphids are incredibly common garden pests, of which lupines are just another victim.
Whilst lupine aphids are present all year round; they can be found in abundance during the Springtime when the plant attempts to flower.
In regular aphid style, they work by sucking on the sap of the lupine’s leaves and stem, thereby depleting the plant of nutrients and making it more susceptible to diseases.
Oftentimes, under such conditions, the plant is unable to survive.
How Do I Stop My Lupines From Being Eaten?
Don’t worry! It’s not all doom and gloom.
In fact, there are multiple effective methods that can be adopted to reduce the risk of your lupines being eaten.
Scatter Slug Pellets
First off, you can scatter slug pellets on the soil around the lupine to deter future slug invasions.
These little pellets are essentially poison for slugs, laced with attractants so strong that the slugs will slither towards them rather than the lupines.
Once they consume the pellets, they’ll die. Simple! Or not. It is important to note that the pellets are highly chemical, and as a result, their threatening nature goes beyond slugs and to wildlife as a whole.
If animals eat either the pellets or the slugs that have consumed the pellets, they, too, will wind up poisoned, which could have fatal consequences.
So if you do use them, we recommend that you do so sparingly and carefully.
We prefer the natural approach of placing gravel, or even crushed eggshells, around the lupine plants.
These materials are a great and long-proven deterrent for both slugs and snails.
Add New Plants
An additional approach is to surround the lupines with plants that slugs and snails dislike.
Said plants will act as repellents, and slowly but surely, you’ll find the area around your lupines clear of slugs and snails.
Deer Repellent Sprays
Dealing with deer warrants a different approach.
Given that deer don’t actually like lupines but may simply take a bite or two here and there, many gardeners choose to deter them through the use of generic approaches.
These include spraying outdoor plants with deer repellant sprays, dispensing human hair around them (which is less eerie than it sounds), and placing bars of soap near them.
Finally, worms and aphids can be effectively controlled through the use of insecticides, which can be found in any garden shop, or even online on Amazon.
However, do take note that insecticides tend to be fairly chemical and, as a result, are harmful to beneficial insects, too, such as bees.
For aphids, your best bet is to knock them off the lupine with a stream of water from a hose.
Simply spray the entire plant with water until there are no more aphids in sight.
How Do I Get My Lupines To Flower Again?
You can get your lupins to flower again with some protection from predators, a little patience, and a little fertilizer!
Getting your lupines to flower again is, on the whole, not that complicated of a task.
The plants, particularly those that are mature, tend to be quite resilient, and even after they’ve been eaten, are perfectly capable of healthy regrowth.
Patience during the process is key!
Namely because once you’ve adopted the above methods to remove predators and routinely conducted checks for pests thereafter, you’ll typically find that the lupine’s foliage will regrow in a healthy manner come Spring time, i.e., the plant’s growing season.
Additionally, fertilizers can be utilized to encourage their growth further and are especially useful if the plant has recently undergone an infestation.
Deadhead Faded Lupines
Another must-do is to deadhead the lupines once they have faded in color.
Doing so will bring about a healthy second bloom. This will evoke the emergence of a healthy second bloom.
Provided your lupines have sufficient sunlight and water, and your soil is in a neutral state, your lupines are sure to thrive again in no time.
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