Baptisia australis

Blue Wild Indigo

$3.00 - $10.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.

Tray of 38
Out of Stock
3 Pack
Out of Stock
Tray of 50
Out of Stock

Like most of its genus, Baptisia australis spends its first few years developing mostly below ground. The branching foliage and blossoms become showier and more developed with each subsequent growing season.  For potted seedlings, this means they may have shorter, possibly floppy stems for the first couple of years before taking on a shrubbier appearance. Probably the most familiar and wide-ranging of Baptisias, Blue Wild Indigo can provide an early deep blue flare in spring in native plantings where its bushy structure complements summer bloomers. In addition to its many pollinators, Wild Blue Indigo is one of the host plants for the Wild Indigo Duskywing.

Their 4' height and branching habit make wide spacing advisable in home landscaping. The dried stems with seed pods are ideal for dried floral arrangements. If you have dry soils and want a smaller Blue Indigo try Baptisia minor (Dwarf Blue Indigo).

Another common name in use is Blue False Indigo.

Species of genus Baptisia are legumes. Most legume species harbor beneficial bacteria called rhizobia on their roots. Genus-specific strains of this bacterium called inoculum can aid in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and improve long-term health of native plant communities. Inoculum is naturally-occurring in most soils and additional amendment is usually not needed. However, in low fertility soils it may be necessary. Genus-specific strains are available at

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Potted 3-Packs May/June N/A 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots
Potted Trays of 38* May/June N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
Potted Trays of 50 May N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
*This species is a choice in the Mix & Match - Create Your Own Tray!

Baptisia australis - Blue Wild Indigo

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

3 Questions asked on Baptisia australis

Can I cut the baptisia australis to the ground after it blooms in the spring? Will that kill the plant for next year?
Thanks for your question Linda. After blooming, you can trim back spent flowers or seed heads if desired. At that time you could prune to about 1/3 of the size and shape the plant for a more tidy appearance. I would wait until the plant goes dormant in late fall before cutting it back to the ground. You will be able to tell the plant has entered dormancy when the leaves die back and fall off. The ideal time for this hard prune would be late winter or early spring.
I am confused about the growing conditions for this plant. It is listed as liking Medium-Wet to Medium soil moisture but on other respected sites, such as the one I pasted below, it is listed as liking medium to dry soil. Can you clarify?
In our experience, Blue Wild Indigo doesn’t grow very well in drier soils. Although this species can survive in dry soils, the plants are much happier and healthier with a bit more water. That’s why we only recommend Medium-Wet to Medium soil moisture.

I hope that helps clarify!

Hi! Our 5 yr old Baptisia has gotten quite wide, almost 3 ft wide-it is huge! Can this be separated? And if so, when is the best time to to this? Also, can this be planted as s foundation plant?We planted another one next to a foundation, but seeing how huge they get, wondering if we should instead move it. Thank you!
You have a very happy Blue Wild Indigo, Michelle! Despite the large size and many stems, they all emerge from a single, deep taproot. Any attempt to divide the plant will likely damage the root and kill it. Transplanting these species is not always successful, but if it is not in a good location, it is better to move the plant when it is young - and preferably dormant. Dig deep enough to include as much of the root structure as possible. Blue Wild Indigo can be planted by a building foundation, but we recommend installing it at least 3' away so it does have room to grow and spread out. Baptisia species completely die back and often break off at the stems during the winter months, so the bushy appearance is not a permanent, year-round feature. However, the winter interest is unique and lovely while it lasts; and the plant will grow back each spring.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium
4 feet
Bloom Time
May, June, July
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Deer Resistant
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code