Growing Guide
plant thumbnail

Indigo, White Wild

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Also known as White False Indigo
Baptisia alba
Fabaceae Family

This showy, shrubby, low-maintenance, long-lived perennial grows up to 4 feet tall and has attractive medium- to deep-green leaves that resemble clover. The blooms last 3 to 4 weeks and are pure white and borne along erect flower stems.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Prefers full sun.

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates acid soil
  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates low fertility
Prefers sandy, slightly acidic soil.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 9
May only be marginally hardy in parts of Zone 4.

Special locations:

  • rock gardens
  • xeriscapes
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Spread: 2 to 3 feet

Bloom time:

  • late spring
  • early summer

Flower color: white

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Trifoliate leaflets resemble clover.


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Blooms borne along erect flower spikes.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Southeastern U.S.
  • bears ornamental fruit - Dry seed pods for use in arrangements.
Special uses:
  • cut flowers - Cut when in full bloom as buds do not often open once cut
  • dried flowers - Dried seed pods are attractive in arrangments
  • wildflowers
  • naturalistic garden
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Divide carefully in spring, choosing roots with numerous new shoots. Can be slow to reestablish.

To grow plants from seed, collect seeds when the pods are dry and rattle when shaken. Ripe seed is brown to black in color. Sow in a cold frame and plant out in the spring. Germination can be erratic. Scarify seed to improve germination.

Maintenance and care:
Cut plants back by 1/3 after blooming to prevent legginess and sprawling growth. Regrowth will keep plants attractive the rest of the season, but you lose the ornamental seed pods.

In more formal gardens, plants may require staking.

You can remove faded foliage in the fall after frost has killed it back, or you can leave plants intact to overwinter. They usually fall over by midwinter.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Fungal leaf spot
Powdery mildew