Baptisia australis



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Baptisia australis


A long-time garden favourite, and deservedly so!
Because I love the large spires of intense indigo-blue flowers, that come in late spring and early summer.
And they are of the most electrifying, intense colour that I just can’t resist.
(Scroll below to “Growing” section for plant details & growing advice). 

Electrifying, intense blue spires

Baptisia australis is impressive in every way.
Because of the vivid indigo flowers of course. But it also forms a rounded mound of pea like foliage, that remains attractive right through the season.
Those wonderful pea flower spires make excellent cut flowers too.
So no wonder it has won both “Perennial of the Year” and “Award of Garden Merit” gongs.

Tough, dependable & drought hardy

Baptisia australis is a tough, dependable, long-lived perennial.
And it makes an impressive statement in the garden, without needing any extra fuss or work.
It is very water-wise.
And a drought resistant winner with water-conscious gardeners.
It does form a deep tap root so it can very successfully forage for water. But don’t try to move it !

Growing: Baptisia australis

– Height with flowers: A rounded shrubby shape to 1m. approx. height.
– Width: Makes a round foliage mass to 60-90 approx. wide. But it’s shrubby growth habit is upright and strong. So it is weatherproof, windproof, and durable.
– Position: Full Sun is optimum, though it can tolerate a little shade for part of the day.
It is well adapted to climates with summer humidity.

Water-wise & tough

– Water-wise: Baptisia australis is an excellent drought-resistant plant.
It has low overall water need, and can tolerate dry periods between drinks very well.
– Soil: Baptisia enjoys drainage.
So it is very happy in sandy soils, gravel, or stony ground, as well as clay that has been opened up.
But it will sulk and probably kiss you goodbye if you make it suffer wet feet.
However it also tolerates summer humidity well.
It is best (and flowers profusely) grown a little lean and mean. So don’t overfertilize. 
It also thrives in acid to neutral soils, with low fertility.
– Frost: Extremely frost hardy, as it can tolerate severe frosts down to below -20C.

Hardy & easy care

– Growth: Long lived and durable Perennial.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects adore the flowers – just like me. Even our native Honeyeater birds can’t resist.
– Care: Very easy, extremely low maintenance. Little to no work or watering. Just shear to the ground at the end of autumn (but not before or you will miss the butter yellow autumn foliage show).
Pests and diseases just pass it by.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: There must be a special deity looking out for gardeners. Because rabbits and deer don’t like the taste, even though the leaves look like delectable pea leaves.

Steamy summers or dry heat

– Origin: Don’t let the word “australis” fool you. It just means “southern”. Though the plant does blend into Australian native gardens well.
Baptisia australis actually hails from the south of USA – from the baking dry summers of Texas, through the steamy summers Carolina, to the cold winters of Virginia. So no wonder it is tough. 

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