A compact variety that sends up spikes of rich, grape-colored flowers. The distinctive foliage remains attractive long after the flowers fade. Ideal for smaller gardens. PP 26,587
Baptisia is a genus of about 35 species of North American perennials, a handful of which are excellent garden plants. They look attractive on their own against walls and fences, or combined in a border with other June bloomers such as Achillea, Aquilegia, Geranium, and Roses. 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.
For more information on growing Baptisia, click Growing Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
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Utopia Farm from southwest Ohio
We've had wild indigo (Baptisia australis) for many years in our front beds. I wish I had known more about it when I first put it in. The flowers are lovely, but brief. Because this is a smaller variety it might not flop over the way ours do - once they reach full growth in mid-summer they require staking. Interesting seed pods in fall. BUT - plant it where you mean to keep it. Baptisia has a very long and deep taproot as well as side shoots and is quite difficult to relocate. It's a prairie plant at heart, thus the taproot.
Latin Name Pronunciation: bap-tiz'ee-uh
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.