About White Wild Indigo: White Wild Indigo grows in sandy, dry areas or open woods; its deep tap root gives it protection from the drought and prairie fires of its native ground. Native Americans and early settlers once used various species of this plant family to make a blue dye, since the superior true indigo dye was expensive and not easily obtained. As a member of the nitrogen-fixing legume family, indigo makes an excellent choice for soil that needs replenishment of its nutrients. Because of its attractive foliage and vase-like shape, this plant also adds a refined native touch to landscaping. The Latin genus name “baptisia” comes from the Greek “bapto,” meaning “to dye.”
White Wild Indigo Germination: Since this plant does not transplant well, it should be direct sown. The seed will need to be scarified; to accomplish this, pour 150 degrees F water over the seed and let it soak overnight the day before planting. In late fall, plant the seeds ˝” deep. For spring planting, the scarified seed will need to be mixed with moist sand and stored in the refrigerator for 10 days before planting. Germination should take place within 15-20 days. This plant can also be propagated by cuttings. Indigo tolerates clay, gravel, and sand and can also thrive in poor soil.
Growing White Wild Indigo Seeds: This plant tolerates drought well, but it also benefits from occasional watering. Though long-lived, the plants develop slowly and may not flower until their second or third season. The foliage may be pruned for neat growth after blooming, though this will prevent the development of the seed pods. The plant will go dormant over winter, and can be cut down to 6” after the foliage dies. Eventually, the plants will spread by rhizomes. White Wild Indigo is a host plant for the Indigo Dusky Wing and Zarucco Dusky Wing butterflies, though the foliage can be fatal to grazing animals.
Harvesting White Wild Indigo: The foliage and seed pods of this flower both dry well and make attractive additions to dried flower arrangements.
Saving White Wild Indigo Seeds: When ripe, the seed pods will turn black; cut them off and spread them out to dry away from direct sunlight. Split the pods open to remove the seed. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed White Wild Indigo Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: White False Indigo Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 48-60 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 3a-10b Seeds Per Oz: 1,700 Produces a shrub-like plant with trifoliate 2” bluish green leaflets, and upright spikes of ˝” white, pea-like flowers.