SOURCE: Mt. Cuba Center

Mt. Cuba Center

July 27, 2016 09:00 ET

Baptisia Pays Dividends in the Home Landscape

Vibrant Blooms and Low-Maintenance Make This Plant a Great Addition to the Garden

HOCKESSIN, DE--(Marketwired - July 27, 2016) - Baptisia, a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant native perennial with profuse flowers that bloom in a variety of colors, is the subject of a newly released report by Mt. Cuba Center's horticultural professionals. The report details the results of a four-year study of 46 different cultivars of false indigo and rates the overall garden performance of each species. Read the report here:

"It is a showstopper in the spring, and has foliage that looks nice even after it's done blooming," said George Coombs, Mt. Cuba Center's Research Horticulturist. "We found that, overall, false indigo deserves greater use in gardens."

Baptisia, or false indigo, thrives in soil conditions that other plants may not tolerate, such as clay and loose, sandy soil and requires little maintenance. The plant grows a new flush of shrub-like foliage each year, and produces thousands of sweet pea-like flowers in shades of purple, yellow, white, red or orange depending on the cultivar.

Once established, Baptisia is sizable, highly drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, making it an ideal garden plant. Top-performing plants in the trial have tall stalks of flowers with strong color and lush, sturdy foliage that persists throughout the growing season.

"The highly rated cultivars in the report are more compact and garden-appropriate," said Coombs. "We felt that several selections of false indigo grow too large for the average home garden."

A slow growing perennial, Baptisia may not look like much in the garden center, but gardeners who take a chance will be rewarded with year after year of dependable blooms.

Top-rated plants in the trial include Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue', Baptisia 'Blue Towers' and Baptisia 'Ivory Towers'. The Trial Garden at Mt. Cuba Center evaluates native plants and their cultivars for their use as ornamental garden plants, and trials have been conducted on tickseed and heuchera.

Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden that inspires an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the environments that sustain them. Mt. Cuba Center's gardens are open to visitors Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April through October. Classes are offered year-round. For more information, contact Sara Levin Stevenson, Manager of Public Engagement at or 302.239.8883 or visit High-resolution photographs available upon request.

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Contact Information

    Sara Levin Stevenson
    Manager of Public Engagement
    Mt. Cuba Center
    3120 Barley Mill Road
    Hockessin, DE 19707