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A potpourri (below) of false indigo/Baptisia species
information as a supplement to other articles.
A plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page. It's
a pivot point where you'll find one set of links to ours and
others' articles that involve false indigo/Baptisia. (Go to those links now!)
False indigo Potpourri
In both its species and varieties, we love it. Spend a minute
getting to know it so you can put it in place, give it plenty of
room to grow, and leave it for a lifetime.
Above: Straight species Baptisia australis, detail
and size at bloom time (it bulks up about 1/3 more,
Below, the hybrid 'Twilight Prairie Blues.'
(Photo ©2012 PerennialResource.com),
Dividing false indigo
Frequently asked: Is it true you should "never disturb
this plant, it resents moving"?
We think that's a corruption of handed down advice that probably
once read, "Put this plant where you know it will have room because
you will not want to do all the work to move it, later." We
don't think false indigo should never be disturbed but we do agree
that it's better for us, the gardeners, to aim to simply let them
be. For instance: The photos below of dividing an established
Baptisia are 15 years old. In all the years since we have
divided only small plants because a) we'd rather not do so
much work and b) the plants do not require division to
We dug out this false indigo that was about 10 years old
because the bed was becoming too shady and also we needed some
divisions. It took almost 90 minutes to dig it out, even though we
took the short cut of severing a lot of the roots that went wider
and deeper than we cared to go.
The clump of roots you see below, left, is 1/3 of the clump we
lifted. Janet obtained this piece for a portrait by slicing the
overall clump into three parts, using the same technique you see
her applying (below, right) as she further reduces one of those
Yes, that's a saw she's using. These are very woody crowns.
We made about 12 pieces from the original. All of them lived, and
we did nothing special to make that happen.
Read more about false
perennials (includes a downloadable chart with growing
We're just introducing this set of perennial info pages. This
page is in process but Aster's
page is complete. We hope you'll take a look there and comment. Let
us know if the format was useful, share your suggestions, tell us
we shouldn't have this page at all... anything helps.
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