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Purple Smoke Baptisia False Indigo Plant

Purple Smoke Baptisia False Indigo Plant

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Item # 48388

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Such exotic color from a fuss-free native plant! You will love the gentle, cooling gray-and-purple bloomspikes in spring, and appreciate the rich blue-green foliage for months afterwards. Baptisia is famously adaptable, and 'Purple Smoke' goes well beyond the species, both in beauty and garden performance.

From mid- to late spring, this 4-foot-tall, 3 1/2-foot-wide plant is topped by dozens of long, greenish-black bloomspikes, each bearing masses of dusty purple blooms. Pointing straight up and swaying in the breeze, they have an airy, ethereal look, like columns of violet smoke, offset by striking near-black stalks.

'Purple Smoke' is superbly tolerant of every adversity from drought to heat, humidity, cold, and poor soil. The one condition it doesn't like is transplanting, so we have grown our plants in containers to minimize transplant shock.

To show off the blooms, situate 'Purple Smoke' in front of a wall of tall conifers. It also makes a fine backdrop to spring-flowering bulbs and to fragrant, low-growing perennials. Zones 3-9.

Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:

1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".

2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.

3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.

4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.