About False Indigo: False indigo's Latin name, "amorpha," comes from a Greek word meaning "without shape," referring to the unusual shape of the blossoms. Since the flowers of this plant contain enough color to make a small amount of indigo dye, early Americans would make use of this prolific plant when true indigo was scarce. False indigo is a native, loose shrub with attractive, sweet scented foliage; also, since it comes from the legume family, it provides soil with high amounts of valuable nitrogen. Because this plant adapts well to dry, poor soil and high wind, its usual function is to prevent erosion or act as a windbreak. False indigo thrives in the wild across most of the United States, growing naturally along streams or in marshes.
False Indigo Germination: This seed needs to be scarified before planting to speed germination; one way to accomplish this it to pour 180 degrees F water over the seed and soak it overnight the day before planting. Since the plants do not tolerate transplanting, direct sowing is best. In late fall or early spring, sow the scarified seed on the surface of the soil. False Indigo adapts well to many soil types including poor or dry soil, but prefers moist soil in full sun or partial shade. Germination may be slow, but should take place within 20-30 days.
Growing False Indigo Seeds: If drought conditions persist or the climate is especially hot, provide water. After the plant finishes flowering, prune it back for tidy growth and to prevent reseeding. False Indigo spreads prolifically and can become invasive if left to itself. These flowers attract butterflies and bees. We cannot sell this seed to customers in WA.
Harvesting False Indigo: False Indigo makes an unusual, striking cut flower. Cut the stems as soon as the flower spikes begin to bloom.
Saving False Indigo Seeds: Collect the seed pods as soon as they begin to dry and turn color. Since the pods will split open when they dry completely, they should be harvested before then to prevent loss. Spread the pods out to dry in a protected location away from direct sunlight, then separate the seed from the pods. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place for 3-4 years.
Detailed False Indigo Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Desert False Indigo, Indigo Bush, River Locust Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Early Summer Height: 12-16 feet Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 2a-8b Seeds Per Oz: 3,500 Produces stems covered with oval 1-2" bright green leaflets, and 6-8" purple flower spikes with reddish orange anthers.