How long will it take a mutilated baptisia to return to its full size?
I dug most of an established baptisia by mistake. A garden center employee told me that the plant I didn't recognize at the time was a weed and "not a good one to have." I later learned that it was actually Baptisia Solar Flare! That was two or three years ago, and I'm still sick about it! Thankfully, the plant did survive the drastic mutilation and subsequent neglect, but this year it still had only a handful of stalks when it was previously a full bush. How long will it take to return to its previous size? Is there something I can do now to help it along? I live in northwest Iowa. Thank you!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Baptisia plants put down very deep roots and that is probably how yours survived. A new plant usually takes three years to establish and mature as many perennials do. So the fact that yours is producing a handful of stalks is encouraging. It may take another couple of years for it to fill out like a shrub. They thrive on neglect, so I wouldn't do anything more than fertilize once a year as the article below suggests and water when needed. I would mulch well before winter sets in because you are right on the edge of the hardiness zone. Also, they don't like to be moved and what you did might equate to moving. So you will need patience for it to come back fully.
This article will give you information on how to care for baptisia: