PLEASE NOTE: Since plants are often sourced from the garden to order, sizes do vary a little, depending on how they come out of the ground, but I always endeavour to give a little more rather than less! They are sometimes shipped bare-rooted, but will approximate the size specified (e.g. a 9cm pot).
|As both latin and common names suggest, this leguminous plant is used to make dye, which is achieved by steeping and fermenting the foliage. It is an attractive shrub which is usually hardy and grows to a height of 1-2m. The smooth, slender branches produce small, light green, pinnate leaves, followed by spikes of pink pea-like flowers.|
|Sowing and/or growing instructions|
|Pour very hot (not quite boiling) water over the seed and soak overnight. Sow in good compost at 65-70F at a depth of about 4mm, place into a plastic bag, keeping moist but not water-logged. Germination tends to be erratic but should commence after 30 days. Some sources suggest a) nicking the seed coat prior to soaking (but this needs to be done with great care to avoid damaging the hilum) and b) providing bottom heat of 68F/20C at night and 86F/30C during the day. Carefully transfer seedlings when they have formed one set of true leaves to individual pots and grow on in cooler conditions. Plant out when a good root system has developed, but do this with great care, as the plant does not like disturbance. Alternatively, seed can be sown direct into warm soil after last frosts. Indigo is not too fussy, but will do best in free-draining soil in a sheltered, sunny position. Remove dead wood in late-Spring and prune as desired to maintain shape and restrict size.|