Position – Full sun
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Baptisia are perennial plants that are native to central and south eastern America. Slender branched stems of three pronged leaves and dark blue-green foliage fashion clear pea-like blooms throughout summer. Each plant can adorn up to 50 spikes and can reach a height of up to 1-1.5m (3-5’) and a spread of 0.1-1 metres (0.4-3’). After the flowering period, the ripened black seed pods create a unique ornamental feature. These plants make a fantastic addition to borders, beds and pots within a cottage, wildlife or informal garden setting.
Baptisia are best planted in well-drained soil of loam or sand within an acidic or neutral PH balance. Baptisia thrive in full sun and are drought resistant once the roots are well established. If planted in an area of part shade, you may need to stake the stems to prevent sprawling. Ensure you provide your young plant with plenty of room to grow, spacing it at least 3 feet away from surrounding plants and shrubs. Water thoroughly when first planted and in periods of dry weather.
Once Baptisia are well established, they require very little attention. It is recommended to use a generic garden fertiliser annually to encourage further health and growth. They are best left undisturbed where they can thrive.
It is possible to propagate Baptisia by ripe seed that are sown in pots within a cold frame. Alternatively you can propagate by division in the early spring time, however take extreme care as it may cause damage to the plant due to its dislike of disturbance.
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