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Archive for October, 2011

Baptisia-Easy Perennial Works Like a Shrub

Baptisia (back right) is a mid-size perennial that helps anchor this perennial border

“Good things come for those who wait….”

My admiration for Baptisia took a couple of years to develop.  It certainly wasn’t love at first sight since  first year plants were spindly and I thought it was never going to amount to much. The second year  this sun perennial started to take off and I began to see its merits both as a drought proof flowering perennial and its shrub-like habit.

Garden Design with Baptisia

Baptisia is worth a place in any garden.  Here’s why:

1)  Baptisia helps anchor the back of the border.  It is an excellent choice as a small shrub alternative due to its size, shape and some pretty spectacular foliage that stay attractive all season.
2) No serious insect or disease problems.
3) Seldom bothered by deer.
4) Drought proof once established.
5) Maintenance –  Easy – Just cut back in fall or spring

Stunning lupine-like violet-blue flowers in spring are loved by butterflies

More on Baptisia

  • Baptisia grows 3-4 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide
  • Hardy perennial – Zone 4-9
  • Thrives in full sun to part shade
  • Stunning, violet-blue lupine-like flowers in late spring
  • Plump seeds pods turn charcoal black when ripe and can be used in dried arrangements
  • Prefers a moist, humus soil
  • Needs good drainage
  • Develops deep taproots – not for the serial plant mover – best to leave alone.

    The dried seed pods of Baptisia lend themselves to craft projects & dried flower arrangements

I like the fact it won the prestigious 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year award.  There’s a lot of new flower colors that are rocking the garden world. I personally love an old fashioned variety called  B. australis because there is so little true blue perennial flower color.  This is a true beauty of a garden plant in or out of flower  providing interest, color, and structure  from spring-fall in the perennial garden.

Find out more about Baptisia

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