Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer
Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; stratify if sowing indoors From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel Scarify seed before sowing
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
On Jul 16, 2012, Delhunt from Edmonton Canada wrote:
I picked up my plant for $3.00 at Canadian Tire in Edmonton, Ab, Canada (Zone 3-?) 3 yrs ago. I liked the foliage of the little plant and while I didn't remember the name of it, instructions said to lift it in the fall. I forgot and was very surprised it grew the following spring. We have severe temperatures here in winter 25 to 30 below a few times during winter. I took no special care with covering it during winter and it came up the second year. The third year it grew again beautifully, it is now 18 inches high - and in May it was covered with beautiful blue blossoms, about 15 in all. Needless to say, I'll be more careful readying it for winter this fall. This has been our "Mystery Plant" and we're happy it now has a name.
I got a start of this plant last April at a historic home garden attraction my garden club went to. There had been a sale the previous weekend and we were allowed to browse the left-overs. They made a fortune off of us, lol. I was thrilled to see the baptisia because I had been looking for some that wasn't expensive like the mail orders. I planted it in a front bed with full sun. It did well last summer and is coming back up. I don't know if if will bloom this year, but I am glad it survived the icy winter.
On Apr 26, 2011, gacornhusker from Snellville, GA wrote:
It did take this plant 3 years to bloom for me in my garden.
I would like to try the real indigo so that I might learn how to make the dye that will not fade. Does anyone have any idea where it is available for purchase at and where it will grow?
On Apr 25, 2011, peteunia from Clear Spring, MD wrote:
I have had these plants for years and most of them are in part shade.
They bloom every year without fail. However, I have one that only has one shoot coming up. This plant was one of my best bloomers but I don't understand why I only have one shoot. I have coneflowers coming up close to it. Could they have wrapped their roots around the shoots before they had a chance to pop through? I've carefully dug out the coneflowers and hopefully the Baptisia will still have a chance.
On Apr 25, 2011, mac41 from Wellsford New Zealand wrote:
Baptisa grows well in our part of NZ, but although the plants have been in for almost 3 years there is no sign of flowers, which is disappointing. It certainly tollerates drought and clay soil, which is good.
On Apr 25, 2011, hinshawbaker from Liberty, NC wrote:
I first saw this plant in blue/purple at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, NC. It was about 4 ft tall and in full bloom. It was so close to being blue that I just had to have one. That was about 4-5 years ago and the seedling I started out with was VERY small. Now, it reaches a smidge over 4 ft, and is covered with blooms each year. My plant is on the end of my house which faces west, so it gets full sun from mid-day until about an hour before sundown. It is very hot in that location, but it seems to handle it just fine. I have had seedlings pop up around it, but have not attempted a transplant yet. In the same bed I also have a white version and an electric yellow version which both have the same cultural requirements, but don't get as large as the blue/purple. The yellow seeds freely, but the white only produces a few pods. This past weekend I purchased 2 new False Indigos called Carolina Moonlite from Big Bloomers Flower Farm in Sanford, NC. Judging from the mature plant I saw at the farm, it will attain approx. the same size as the blue. The color is a very soft buttery yellow. I was told that it takes several years to attain the size I saw, which puts it on par with the others I have. I have also heard from my mother (who lives in Tx) that she has a pink False Indigo. She is an avid gardener, so I trust that she has it, but I have not seen the plant nor pictures.
I have never fertilized any of my Indigos. (they dont seem to need it.) They grow very well, get large and flower freely. We have heavy red clay soil here & the only amendment that I made before planting was to till a good amount of peat moss into the soil.
On Oct 25, 2010, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
I grew this from seed. It was slow to establish in the garden (of course I moved it the second year, which many have something to do with it). It is now about 24" tall and has lovely shape and foliage. It is not yet bloomed, however, but I am hoping it will next spring. This is the first year since I started this from seed three years ago that it has become a reasonable size, so perhaps it is simply slow to mature from seed.
On Jul 27, 2010, bizzielizzie from Montgomery, TX wrote:
I love this plant. It's in full sun here in hot and humid Texas and it bloomed beautifully this year which was it's second year. The first year it was puny and dissapointing.Then the leaves turned black and shrivelled and I found loads of tiny caterpillars all over it so I cut it back about 3 weeks ago. Then it started sprouting again and is about a foot tall but again the caterpillars are back and are stripping the plant and turning the leaves black. Does anyone have any experience of these wretched things. They are nearly an inch long, greeney yellow with black markings. I'd rather not use inecticides and I guess the best way will be to try and pick them off. Any advice will be appreciated.
On Jun 1, 2010, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:
I've had Baptisia growing in my Zone 7a yard (Petersburg, VA) for ten years or so, and it has been moved around and survived. It does take it time to adjust, but it has not died. I have also started new plants from seed. I have not scarified them but leave them outside in pots over the winter. I have been pinching the seedlings back, hoping to promote thicker growth. I enjoy its lupine-like leaves and blossoms, as lupines do not thrive in our summer humidity.
On Jan 20, 2010, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:
We planted several of these in late 2003. They have developed handsomely. They come up so quickly that people should think of it as a late spring flower with handsome growing foliage through the summer and into the fall. The mature clumps are so big that they hold up against our big clumps of ornamental grasses. Seedlings have come up under several of ours. We even appear to have a shoot coming up from a root that had grown out through the bottom of a pot.
The available plants are surprisingly variable seedlings. Different plants will give flowers at different places on the scale from sky blue to nearly purple. They will also bloom at slightly different times and display slightly different growth habits. One of the big garden differences is the degree to which individual shoots will bear blooming branches. The more the shoot branches and blooms, the longer it will be in bloom.
While the continuing growth of new leaves does keep the plant looking fresh, the clump will darken and show a silvery dusting as the summer progresses. Just under the ground, the crown will set far more buds than it will grow on. As with Pokeberry, this is a scheme to deal with the loss of shoots to grazing and really hard frost. When the hormones from the removed shoots stop keeping them down, some of the extra buds will sprout.
4 November 2010
Voles did considerable damage to my several of my clumps this spring and to nearby Daylilies as well, but there are seedlings, and I planted a half dozen clumps of named varieties as well.
On Oct 26, 2009, SoDakMom from Sioux Falls, SD wrote:
This plant did not bloom for me until the 2nd year. At that time, I did get several flowers in the spring, however it grew much taller (5 ft.) than I had expected. I am in Zone 4. We have had an exceptionally cool summer & I believe that it may have had a different growing pattern if our weather had been normal for this area. The flowers were beautiful.
On Jul 10, 2009, littlelamb from Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Love this plant! The color of the leaves are grey/green and the flowers are a beautiful purple for the Spring. It remains very attractive once the flowers are gone so it makes a great backdrop plant for later blooming plants. It's also great for hot/humid areas and can go awhile between waterings/rain. If you have the space, it's a care-free must have.
On May 24, 2009, DonnaJG from Indianapolis, IN wrote:
Although I too had heard that it was not advisable to move this plant due to its tap root I was able to successfully move it after it had been growing at least 4-5 years. Actually I hired two young men to dig very deeply and take a very large root ball with it. We replanted it immediately and it has done very well. That was about 8 years ago and it continues to do well with minimum or no care. I do cut it back to the ground in early spring.
On May 18, 2009, Brella from Greenville, OH wrote:
We moved into a rental and this large shrub like plant was growing there. Very unusual, but beautiful! Nobody knew what it was. We moved two years later and took a cutting with us. That was two years ago, and it it thriving. We have clay soil and the plant is in a morning sun only location. It didn't bloom last year, but is doing so this year. It has about 12 stalks and is about three feet high now. The original plant that we took a clipping from was about five feet high. Just wanted to let everyone know that you can grow this plant from cuttings.
On Apr 11, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
Definitely need more light - I have two - one is too new to judge yet, and the other one is in more shade - partial from the look of the things. It makes healthy foliages and develops into a large clump but the flowers are fewer, shorter and more "shy" - almost hidden in the foliages. Very touchy about transportation so it's better to get new plants than to transport old speciments. I just enjoy the foliages since that speciment is over 6 years old now while the trees to the south of it have grown taller, blocking the sun and good sunny locations in my yard is hard to come by.
On Apr 1, 2008, 1alh1 from Sidney, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I, too, made the mistake of planting Baptisia in a shady area, and in my zone 5 garden, it's just now starting to sprout again. Do I take the chance and try transplanting it now before it shoots up any further? Last year, it grew quite tall and spindly with just a few blooms. This will be the third year.
On Jul 5, 2007, Windy from Belleville , IL (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have two plants growing next to my driveway. I noticed the one at the bottom, nearest the street had been stripped of the seed pods while still green. We have deer across the street in a wooded area. I believe they ate the seed pods leaving just the naked stem which carried them.
Another plant to protect from deer if that is possible.
I made a mistake and planted this potentially beautiful plant in a mostly shady spot, and while the foliage looks great, healthy and tall it has yet to produce more than one bloom. Last month I observed a single lovely blue bloom and no more- it was a tease. This is the second year it has been in my garden, so perhaps it's not blooming because it's getting more established. I have a feeling it's the shade though, and I hear this plant doesn't transplant well. It has doubled in size since I first planted it in my garden.
From what I've seen in pictures, Baptisia is absolutely lovely with blooms that look like sweet pea or lupine blossoms, and I love both sweet peas and lupines but neither grow well for me here in NC so I thought I'd give Baptisia a try. I'm going to attempt a transplant before next spring- wish me luck!
I purchased this plant from the historic gardens of America's original plantsman, John Bartram, in Philadelphia. I agree, it does take a year or two before it flowers, but it is well worth the wait. It produces beautiful blue flowers, the seed pods look wonderful when they mature and the plant itself stays attractive all summer long.
On Jul 26, 2006, cwestauto from Bethlehem, PA wrote:
This plant does well in full sun. I have 2 large plants and have had them for at least 4 or 5 years. I was able to thin them out and give them to friends with success. We really like the flowers and the color of the leaves. My plants have gotten to be alittle over 4ft tall. The seed pods are just now ready to be removed from the plant (July 26,2006). I have also had success in starting this plant via seeds. This is one of my favorites. Also makes a good cut flower.
On May 11, 2006, EandEsmom from Ashburn, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Saw this plant at a botanical gardens and purchased one immediately, purchased a very small plant and it took two years to get any blooms, but the foliage was very pretty and never needed staking in full sun. When it bloomed it was gorgeous and well worth the wait.
A native flowering perennial of the eastern U. S. with an appetite for long term growth and expansion. Quite nice in any perennial garden, but give it lots of space since it can easily cover a square yard in 3-4 years. And it can grow to 4-5' in height. Late spring blooms add a verticle dimension to borders. Very hardy, drought tolerant plants have attractive foliage and flowers. There is also a natural hybrid of the species in white, and another in purple. I have it planted in three spots with one in light shade.
This is one of my favorite plants. I've had mine 3 yrs, it's now established and had many flowers which are beautiful but dont last more than 3 weeks here. I cut mine back when it starts to get colder-the leaves turn black from frost. The foliage is a beautiful silvery color. Very drought tolerant, and hummingbirds have started coming to mine!
On Aug 30, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Blue-green foliage is an attractive background plant. Showy seed pods are useful in dried arrangements. Used by the Native American as a purgative and anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown this plant to be an immune system booster.
In SE Michigan- this is a wonderful plant!! Although it took one entire season to establish itself. The root needs an entire season to tap itself (I read this). The second season it was absolutely gorgeous.. likes full sun and needs no care - in the fall - all vegetation dies off and blows away like a tumbleweed.
When blooming is over (summertime) it appears to be a shrub - people are always asking about this plant - very impressive.
Wonderful plant, now 5 years old. No pests, nice large lupine-like flowers (good for cutting). I cut back to the ground in early spring; also cut back about 1/3 after bloom. Floppy the first two years, but now does not need staking, although it gets only about 3-4 hours of morning sun. Highly recommend.
On Jun 5, 2003, langbr from Olathe, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:
I leave the cane-like stems throughout winter for interest. Cut back to ground in 5b in early Spring before new shoots appear. Great foliage through summer, but flowers only for a short time here. Very little care required. I never water as they flop if they get too much!
On Nov 4, 2000, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Grows to about 4' high and 3' wide. The leaves are blue/green in color. Flowers are spikes and in my opinion resemble a lupine flower. Flower color is purple. Flowers early to mid summer. Best cultivated in full sun and well drained soil. Pretty drought tolerant. Propagate by seed or division. Hardy zones 3-10.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (3 reports) Washington D.c., Auburn, Alabama Glencoe, Alabama Toney, Alabama Vincent, Alabama Edgewater, Colorado East Haddam, Connecticut Keystone Heights, Florida Aldora, Georgia Athens, Georgia Dallas, Georgia Snellville, Georgia Villa Rica, Georgia Wrens, Georgia Belleville, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Gages Lake, Illinois Lincoln, Illinois Machesney Park, Illinois Marseilles, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Rockford, Illinois Washington, Illinois Waukegan, Illinois Westmont, Illinois Galena, Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana Lafayette, Indiana Logansport, Indiana Macy, Indiana South Bend, Indiana Tipton, Indiana Warren, Indiana Lawrence, Kansas (2 reports) Olathe, Kansas Barbourville, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky London, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Munfordville, Kentucky Prospect, Kentucky Bossier City, Louisiana Greene, Maine Westbrook, Maine Brookeville, Maryland Frederick, Maryland Mardela Springs, Maryland Pikesville, Maryland Thurmont, Maryland Beverly, Massachusetts (2 reports) Cochituate, Massachusetts Marlborough, Massachusetts North Lakeville, Massachusetts Sandwich, Massachusetts South Weymouth, Massachusetts Spencer, Massachusetts Springfield, Massachusetts Howell, Michigan Owosso, Michigan Richland, Michigan Temperance, Michigan Utica, Michigan Andover, Minnesota Big Lake, Minnesota Columbia Heights, Minnesota Ely, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota (3 reports) Pleasant Lake, Minnesota St Paul, Minnesota Florence, Mississippi Madison, Mississippi Ripley, Mississippi Bucklin, Missouri Elsberry, Missouri Dalton, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska Barrington, New Hampshire Franklin, New Hampshire Hanover, New Hampshire Nelson, New Hampshire Salem, New Hampshire Collingswood, New Jersey Frenchtown, New Jersey North Plainfield, New Jersey Pennsauken, New Jersey White House Station, New Jersey Alden, New York Chester, New York West Kill, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2 reports) Fuquay-varina, North Carolina Gorman, North Carolina Liberty, North Carolina Mint Hill, North Carolina Mountain View, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Winston-salem, North Carolina Dayton, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Greenville, Ohio Huber Ridge, Ohio New Miami, Ohio Reynoldsburg, Ohio Sidney, Ohio Tulsa, Oklahoma Dallas, Oregon Eugene, Oregon North Plains, Oregon Portland, Oregon Bethlehem, Pennsylvania East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania (2 reports) East Norriton, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Mercer, Pennsylvania Point Marion, Pennsylvania Tionesta, Pennsylvania West Goshen, Pennsylvania Chapin, South Carolina Conway, South Carolina Dunean, South Carolina Fort Mill, South Carolina India Hook, South Carolina Lincolnville, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Simpsonville, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Sioux Falls, South Dakota Knoxville, Tennessee Frisco, Texas Lampasas, Texas Montgomery, Texas Provo, Utah Salisbury, Vermont Ashburn, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Roanoke, Virginia Rushmere, Virginia Virginia Beach, Virginia Kalama, Washington Olympia, Washington Vancouver, Washington Sissonville, West Virginia Eau Claire, Wisconsin Howard, Wisconsin Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Wind Point, Wisconsin