A Baptisia australis plant with its blue flowers
Baptisia
Baptisia Australis is beautiful and a sure bet to introduce into your garden. Slow development; it is not uncommon to wait 2 years before the first flowering. Adapts to all soils. Flowers are great for cutting.
Botanical Name: Baptisia australis (blue), Baptisia tinctoria (yellow)
Nom Français: Baptisie bleue - Faux-indigotier

Features

Bloom colour: Blue | White
Blooms: Summer - Zone 5
Pollinators: Bees | Butterflies
Sun or Shade: Full Sun
Plant Type: Perennial
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter)
It's native range is central and eastern North America
It grows well in hardiness zones: 5-9

Baptisia lives up to its name as a perennial plant. It blooms for a long time. It has healthy looking foliage, so it looks nice even after it's done blooming.

Planting

It is happiest in very wide, natural ranges.
Water requirement: Low water requirement.
Tolerates most well-drained soils.
Plant with organic 3 in 1 transplanting soil. Baptisia's take a few years to reach their full potential and therefore demand some patience. Roots are pretty wide spreading so make sure you leave enough room for them to grow between plants.

Care

Do not like to be transplanted. Are extremely tolerant to drought. Leaves turn black quickly in the fall, some people trim them then, whilst some people leave the leaves.
Slow development; it is not uncommon to wait 2 years before the first flowering.
Insects are generally not a serious problem on baptisias. A weevil may damage seeds, but does not change the appearance of the plant. May be toxic to many insects, but is a host plant for several butterfly larvae. Diseases are very rarely a problem. Fungal problems may occur in crowded or moist conditions.

Pruning

Spread: Flowers contain upright racemes of blue, white or yellow flowers. Spikes can be 12 to 24 inches tall and are typically pea-shaped.
Easy to cut back and use as a mulch plant when it's done flowering.

Considerations

Baptisia is deer tolerant.
Native to Canada
Baptisia's are in the legume family and are a nitrogen leveler. However, they are not edible.

Styling and Use

Most baptisias grow best in deep, rich, moist, well-drained soil. Once established, they are quite drought tolerant, due to their very deep root system.
Comes in a variety of different colours, contains pea-like flowers, very ornamental.
Legume family.

Other

Great for creating hybrids with exceptionally beautiful colours.

History

The Baptisia name comes from the Greek root bapto, (to dip or to immerse.) People used the juice extracts to dye their fabrics. Throughout the years, baptisia's provide indigo dye to create a blue color to a variety of textiles and fabrics. False indico was the first subsidized agricultural plant in America.

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