A genus of about 35 species of North American perennials. Prominent among them is B. australis, which is properly revered as one of the great backbone plants available to American gardeners. It is a tall (3-4ft), rugged character whose intense blue flowers appear in June above handsome, gray-green leaves that remain an attractive feature of the garden all summer. Bloom is followed by prominent dark seedpods that complement the foliage. Plants look well on their own against walls and fences, or combined with Peonies, Bearded Iris, Poppies, and other June bloomers in a border. In full sun (required even in the South) and well-drained soil, plants are extremely long lived. They can hardly be pried out of the garden once established.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
Average Customer Rating: (6 Reviews) Write a Review
Bunkeybear from Rochester, NY
It is used at the back of our borders. The blue color is clear and bright. It combines well with our irises. The formal structure of the irises plays off well with the rather informal nature of the baptisia. Make sure you plant it where you really want it. The plant starts out small but, when it takes off, it can be a large presence in the garden. We enjoy the display every year.
jenny from Macclenny, Florida
Living in N. Fla did not know if would last. This plant comes back year after year and has been mowed over several times and still flowers. Would recommend this plant as description states it takes hold and stays with you. I have it sitting in the middle of yellow daylillies and receive many comliments.
Mosquito Bait from Cincinnati, OH
We ordered two of these plants last year and planted them in a sunny, neglected spot in the yard. They were instantly trampled on (though not eaten) by the local deer population, which had been using that spot as a path, the leaves fell off, and we left them for dead. Much to our surprise, this spring both plants came back, and they are doing well. They are still both small (one, in a slightly shadier spot, is about 4" tall; the other in full sun is about 10" tall) and it's unclear whether they'll flower this year (ask again in June), but the stems and foliage alone are quite attractive, and I am favorably impressed by the plants' tolerance of extended neglect and abuse.
loves gardening from east central Indiana
Planted this flower about five years ago in our clay soil. The rabbits immediately ate it down to the ground. I thought it was gone so I planted cone flowers there. Low and behold this past summer (2014) it popped up about three feet tall covered in gorgeous blue flowers followed by huge seed pods and it had spread!
These substantial plants are very long-lived and vigorous. Initially a bit slow to establish, Baptisias are also tough and drought tolerant, requiring little maintenance. These members of the Pea family have lupine-like flowers ideal for cutting and are very hardy to zone 3. They grow three to four feet tall and as wide, with lovely blue-green foliage that stays healthy all summer, providing a perfect backdrop for later blooming perennial companions. Plant 18 to 30 inches apart, depending on variety.
Light/Watering: Plants are at their best in full sun. They will tolerate some shade, but will then need staking. These plants are very drought-tolerant once established although evenly moist soil is always in a plant's best interest.
Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Baptisia prefers slightly acidic soils, so do not add lime. Well-drained, deep, rich soil is best, although Baptisia does quite well in soils of low fertility. Fertilize in early spring with a balanced fertilizer with supplemental summer applications, or use a slow-release form.
Pests/Diseases: Long-lived and healthy, Baptisias are generally free from insect pests and foliage diseases.
Companions: Baptisias bloom along with Siberian Irises and Peonies in late spring to early summer. Their attractive foliage makes them an asset even when they are not in flower.
Reflowering: Baptisias flower once in late spring and will not reflower if deadheaded, a practice which will also prevent the development of the attractive seedpods. Plants do look their best if cut back by one-third after flowering and shaped; this will eliminate any late-season floppiness.
Dividing/Transplanting: These shrub-like plants are relatively slow growing and division is not needed for ten years or so. Because of deep taproots, transplanting is difficult but can be done successfully with careful efforts, especially while plants are still small.
End-of-Season Care: The lovely foliage of Baptisia turns black with the first hard frost and the plants fall over by January, so cutting back close to the ground in late autumn during general cleanup is beneficial.
Calendar of Care - Baptisia
Early Spring: Apply a light application of balanced or slow-release fertilizer or side-dress with compost and organic amendments when new growth appears. Supplement nitrogen during periods of prolonged rain to counter natural leaching. Water well if it is unseasonably dry, as plants prefer evenly moist soil. Mulch if desired.
Mid-Spring: Plants grown in part shade will need support. Train foliage through Peony rings or tie to sturdy stakes.
Summer: Pinch off dead flowers if development of seedpods is not desired. Groom plants by removing yellowing or dead leaves. Plants can be cut back by one-third and shaped now for most attractive habit through the rest of the growing season.
Fall: Cut foliage back right above soil level.