When does one prune a Baptisia? I have looked it up online and cannot find a definitive answer. I know that I would not do it in the spring because I would have no flowers. Also, how far back can I prune it? It was supposed to get 3 feet wide. Yeah, right. It is more like 6 feet wide. This was taken when it was flowering, now it is much larger.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By Elaine from IA
Actually I think I have found an answer to my own question. It is best to prune it in the spring after it flowers. I will be sure and do that next year.
Yes, the spring is good.
I'm not sure what you want to prune; the roots? Baptisia is a perennial and dies completely to ground level practically with the first frost. You can remove the dead tops off then. If you do plan to reduce (or move) the roots, be prepared for a big job. Baptisia has a massive, dense root system that can take more than a mere shovel to get through! This plant is long lived and drought tolerant, and the root prove it! If you move it, it may sulk a year or two. I'd just put it where it could be huge in peace.
The plant does bloom in the spring before it attains full size. You could keep clipping back the leaves to keep it the size you want, but it may reduce the next year's bloom. Nice picture, by the way, is this the cultivar "Purple Smoke"?
No, contester, I don't want to move it. It is just that the tag said it gets 3 feet across and it does not, gets much wider. I am aware that they do not like to be moved and I thought I had plenty of room. I have a paniculate hydrangea next to it and they compete for room. I will just prune it next year after it has bloomed. This particular Baptisia is called "Prairie Blues".
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