Baptisia australis
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Baptisia australis

Baptisia australis

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Quick Facts
Common Name: False Indigo
Hardiness Zone: 3-8S/9W Exposure: Sun
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Blooms In: Jun
Mature Height: 3-4' Spacing: 18-30"
Read our Growing Guide Ships as: BAREROOT
Deer Resistance: Yes
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Product Details

Product Details

Baptisia australis, which is properly revered as one of the great backbone plants available to American gardeners.  It is a tall (3–4′), 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.

Baptisias, native to North America, offer beauty along with a tough character and carefree nature. Part of the Pea Family, the Lupine-like flower spires of Baptisias can rise up to 4' tall in spring, offering a wide range of magnificent colors for the perennial garden. The attractive blue-green foliage lasts long after the bloom. These sun-loving perennials are drought tolerant, low maintenance, long lived, and not picky about soil. Deer resistant and pollinator friendly too.

For more information on growing Baptisia, click Growing Guide.




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.


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. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the 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: 4 out of 5 stars (10 Reviews) Write a Review

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Grows very large.

South Carolina slave plantations grew this plant in the 17th century to get purple dye from the pods. It's a fast grower and is very large: three feet wide and two feet tall. Way too big for gardens. It's blooming show period is very short. Mid April until about mid May. Go with some nice purple native plants instead. I use purple cone flowers or even Nepeta instead.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Agreed. One tough plant

Purchased about 6 of these 20+ years ago from WFF. New homeowner at the time, with zero gardening knowledge. Planted these in a poorly chosen location that had partial sun, but eventually became 90% shaded by nearby spruce trees. Baptisia are still strong and surviving, as the spruce trees are beginning to thin out at the base and allow in more light these hardy perennials continue to grow stronger each season. Have grown to really love them.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Be patient and you won’t be disappointed...

I bought this plant 14 years ago when I lived in Massachusetts. It took 3 years to strut its stuff. I ordered another one once I moved to Maryland in 2011. Again, it took 3 years to do its thing. Now it catches everyone’s eye and provides interest all year long.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no


Please notify me when baptisia australis is available. Thank you

0 of 8 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

One tough plant

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!

29 of 29 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

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Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

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.


Baptisia Australis
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