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Baptisia – Twilite Prairieblues False Indigo

Categories:Attracts Butterflies Drought Tolerant Easy to Grow Native Plants Perennials

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Twilite Prairieblues false indigo (Baptisia x variicolor ‘Twilite’) is tough and robust in the mid-spring garden. The name is a mouthful (the spell checker is still pouting). Twilite Prairieblues is a hybrid originating in 1998 from parents blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) and yellow false indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa).

To my eyes the dominant color is maroon. Twilite Prairieblues false indigo has been described as smoky purple.

twilite prairie blues
Twilite Prairieblues false indigo. Smoky purple? Maroon?

The darker false indigo varieties tend to recede into the landscape. Blue false indigo and Twilite Praireblues are best appreciated up close in the garden. Twilight Prairieblues, in particular, can get lost visually. If you are looking for a false indigo that will attract a crowd from across the way, consider a yellow false indigo such as Carolina Moonlight.

Twilite Prairieblues flowers for a couple of weeks starting in early May in Georgia. It seems to coincide with the first roses.

Twilite Prairieblues false indigo is an outstanding choice for poor soils.

Twilite Prairieblue’s ability to adapt to poor soils, even heavy clay, is a double-edged sword. False indigo builds a deep root system, the roots pushing through the soil like an icebreaker through the Arctic. False indigo does not like to be transplanted. The roots are deep and they solidly meld to the soil.

If you need to move Twilite Praireblues, buy another plant. A last ditch effort should you decide to transplant false indigo is the dead of winter, assuming your soil is not frozen. Don’t get your hopes up though.

Twilite Prairieblues false indigo is easy to grow, preferring full sun.

I have grown false indigo successfully for years in fairly shady areas in various gardens. It may not flower as heavily but it does fine; sometimes if you want false indigo you have to work with what you have. Still, full sun is best.

Other than the full sun recommendation, make sure Twilite Prairieblues is hardy in your area. Twilite Prairieblues false indigo is hardy USDA zones 4-8. It grows 3′-4′ tall and wide. False indigo has substantial flower stalks and very stout stems. No staking.

Water requirements are low. Once you get it established the first year, you should not need to water Twilite Prairieblues false indigo. It is a great choice for the xeric gardener.

After flowering, they tend to sprawl a bit.

In my beginning years with false indigo, I spent a better part of each summer lamenting to myself that there sure was a lot of garden real estate being taken up by a plant that had already bloomed.

Plant false indigo where you have room for it. Plant it behind taller perennials. Plant it in a meadow or in a cottage garden. Just don’t make the mistakes I made in my youth. No lamenting.


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