INDIGOFERA TINCTORIA – also known as true indigo.
One of the oldest plants in cultivation. Indigofera has been used for thousands of years as a natural dye – producing a wonderful blue colour made from the fermented leaves of the plant. A shrubby plant with silvery branches and thin, pinnate foliage bearing axillary spikes of small pink flowers.
Sow indoors in March.
- Soak seeds overnight in warm water then sow in individual pots in a good compost at a depth of 4mm and maintain a temperature of 65 – 70 degrees F.
- Cover with a plastic lid or bag – keep moist but not waterlogged.
- Germination can be erratic – but should germinate between 2 – 4 weeks but can take even longer.
- Once germinated remove plastic cover – but keep moist.
- Plant out when a good root system has developed and the risk of frost has passed – about late May – June in a sunny and sheltered position – in free draining soil.
Prefers a pH in the range of 6 – 7
Final spacing – about 3 feet.
Keep moist. Indigo requires regular feeding between July and September.
Grows to a height of between 3 – 6 feet upon maturity.
Produces pink to violet flowers followed by seed pods.
Harvest just before the flower opens as the indigo yield reduces after flowering.
Indigo requires a long growing season and usually comes into full flower September – October.
2 grams – 40 seeds – £3.00