About Fragrant False Indigo: This drought tolerant, low-growing shrub grows naturally in the open prairie or on rocky hillsides. Though native to nearly the entire central portion of North America, it now occurs in the wild somewhat infrequently. A member of the legume family, Fragrant False Indigo was first observed for botanical records by Thomas Nutall in 1813. Its Latin genus name comes from the Greek "amorphos," referring to its "formless" blossoms made of a single petal; its species name, "nana," means "dwarf". This plant has an extensive, deep root system, making it extremely effective in erosion control or as a windbreak.
Fragrant False Indigo Germination: This seed needs to be scarified before planting for best 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. Though this plant often grows naturally in dry or rocky areas, it adapts well to nearly every type of soil and can thrive in either sun or shade. Fragrant False Indigo also grows from cuttings.
Growing Fragrant False Indigo Seeds: Since this plant tolerates drought conditions well, it only needs occasional watering if the soil gets especially dry. The flowers of this plant attract butterflies and bees.
Harvesting Fragrant False Indigo: Fragrant False Indigo makes an unusual, striking cut flower. Cut the stems as soon as the flower spikes begin to bloom.
Saving Fragrant 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 Fragrant False Indigo Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Dwarf False Indigo, Fragrant Indigo Bush, Dwarf Wild Indigo Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Early Summer Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 11,000 Produces fine, bright green compound leaflets and spikes of purple flowers with orange anthers.