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Planting Instructions for Baptisia (false indigo):

Bloom Time:  Early summer Light:  Full sun to part sun
Soil:  Any average to rich, well-drained Moisture:  Average, drought tolerant
Planting Depth:  1" deep to the top of the dormant sprouts, or 2 to 3" to the top of the roots, then mulch lightly Spacing:  36" or more

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Bare root Baptisia should be dry in the bags, so if condensation has formed on the inside of the bag, open and let it air out. Plant everything within a day or two.

Soil/Location:  Plant your Baptisia in a sunny spot in average to rich, well-drained soil. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil if needed, but they are very adaptable to almost any soil conditions. Remember to keep the soil light and airy for perennials, so cover them with loose soil and don't pack it in after planting. Baptisia will grow in a little shade but may be leggy and flower poorly, so give them as much sunlight as possible.

Moisture:  Baptisia do not require much moisture, even after they are actively growing. Early season plantings (April and May) and plants that have no foliage should be started on the dry side. During that time we like to water good one time and then we don't water again until the foliage has started to emerge, then water once or twice a week as needed if the soil is dry. They are quite drought tolerant once established and rarely need supplemental water after they are actively growing.

Spacing:  36" apart or more - in some conditions we've seen Baptisia reach 4 to 5 feet wide.

Depth:  Plant with the top of the dormant growth points about 1" below the soil, or if the plants are already actively growing just make sure the top of the roots are about 2 to 3" underground. None of the roots or crown should be showing after planting, so some sprouts can be deeper than others which is fine. Mulch lightly after planting. If the crown becomes exposed it should be covered with soil or they tend to struggle or fail to get established.

General Instructions:  Amend your garden with compost or peat humus to enrich or loosen the soil, if needed, however Baptisia are very adaptable to just about any soil conditions. Mix a couple teaspoons of garden food or bone meal into the planting hole if desired. Plant the roots as listed above, then water in once. They prefer a slightly dry start when they are dormant in spring and have no foliage. Once they are actively growing it is alright to give them supplemental water once or twice a week, if needed.

Landscape Uses:  Use false indigo as a background plant in the large perennial garden. It flowers in early summer as Iris and Peonies are finishing and combine well with baby's breath, lilies, daylilies, and other full sun, drought tolerant perennials. When the flowers are finished false indigo have interesting black seed pods that give late season interest, and self-sown seedlings may be common in some gardens but are easy to remove or transplant.

Hallson Gardens
PO Box 220
Brooklyn, MI 49230

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