Baptisia australis, common name blue false indigo, is prized for its gorgeous blue flowers as well as its attractive seedpods that turn into tiny musical instruments as they cure. Unfortunately, this unique feature is often missed because the weight of the seedpods causes the plant to flop. To rectify this issue, use peony cages to keep the stems supported and upright. Position the cage over the crown of the plant in early spring. As the stems emerge, gently guide them through the supports of the cage. Opt for cages with a plastic coating because sharp edges or rusting metal will only damage the stems.
Quick Plant Facts
• 3-4 feet in height
• Prefers full sun to part shade, regular to dry soil and will tolerate rocky and clay soils.
• Plants started from seed may not flower for several years.
• Baptisia is great for naturalizing.
• Select a planting location with care to avoid transplanting, which may kill the plant.
• Division for propagation is not an option due to the plant’s thick, woody root system.
• Start new plants from seeds.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons