January 24th, 2021 – By J. L. Wells
When it comes to winterizing baptisia, you don’t have to do much. During the first couple of years of a new plant, make sure to cover the base of the plant with mulch, shredded leaves, or hay/straw until late winter/early spring or when the threat of frost is gone. You will notice their large seed pods, which will eventually turn black. You can either cut or pull them off before they open or leave them and let them pop open. That is their way of reproducing so if you want a larger, fuller plant, let the seed pods pop open and drop their seeds. Don’t worry about watering the seeds, let nature do its thing.
In late winter/early spring, cut down the plant leaving 4-6 inches in order for the plant to have a successful new season. Once the last average frost is over in your area, remove the coverings and check the soil. Take a hand shovel, stake it into the ground around 6 inches, move the shovel towards you and feel the soil. If the soil feels bone dry, then water. Don’t over do it though. Give a good amount to start stimulation in the roots until the water starts warming up. Are you unsure what zone you are in? Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Map. You may notice that some areas lay between two zones, do take that into consideration but don’t over think it too much. Choose a zone and use that as your way of planting.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or direct message me. If you have suggestions please let me know! I’m always open to learning new things. 🙂