The latin name for lupin, Lupinus, is derived from lupus meaning wolf or destroyer. Because lupins will grow in poor soil they have also attracted the misleading idea that they can destroy the fertility of the soil. This is not true; lupins make their own nitrogen enabling them to grow in poorer soils but not chalk. Ideally a well drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil will ensure 100% success but most soils will be fine.
Pretty much any climate will be tolerated by lupins. They are very hardy herbaceous perennials, withstanding frost to at least -25C. In very wet conditions, lupins may succumb to crown rot but if well established, will survive most conditions.
Just like us lupins love the sun and their flower spikes will follow its movement east to west on a bright day. However, we have lupins growing on a north facing site which thrive just as happily. Full sun is said to improve the colour of the flower spikes too.
Because lupins flower primarily in the month of flaming June they coincide with a popular time for couples tying the knot. If you want to be original take some beautiful lupin florets as confetti, strip the blooms just before you set off. As a statement plant in the border, few plants can match the tall, colourful lupin spire. They make excellent pot plants too which is not an idea usually associated with this genus. Put one or two on your patio and enjoy a heavenly morning and evening scent reminiscent of peppery moss.