Wild Blue Indigo

Wild blue indigo functions as a native nitrogen fixer in our Asian pear tree guild. A fast growing perennial that offers early flowers and shelter for pollinators, it’s inedible to humans and deer alike, making a good barrier or screening plant from spring through fall.


Common Name: Wild Blue Indigo, Blue False Indigo
Scientific Name: Baptisia australis
Family: Fabaceae


A shock of blue flowers on Baptisia australis in May..

A shock of blue flowers on Baptisia australis in May.

Uses

  • Nitrogen fixing
  • Nectary
  • Source of blue dye

Forest Garden Designing

  • Plant Type: Medium herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Leaf Type: Deciduous
  • Layer Use: Herbaceous
  • Pollination: Self-fertile
  • Flowering: Blue flowers from late spring to early summer
  • Leaf Shape:  Trifoliate, arranged alternately along the stems; slender oblong to almost rounded oval
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 2-5′

Planting Considerations

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Light: Full-part sun
  • Shade: Tolerates moderate shade
  • Moisture: Dry to moist soils; will not tolerate waterlogged locations
  • pH: Neutral to slightly acidic
  • Juglone tolerance: Known to be affected by juglone

Propagation

Easy to propagate from cuttings; seeds can be scarified to improve germination.

Maintenance

Extremely hardy. Drought tolerant. Too much moisture can result in fungal problems.

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