About Yellow Wild Indigo: Yellow 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. In the autumn, its stem gives way and allows the dry bush to tumble in the wind. Native Americans and early settlers once used various species of this plant family to make a yellow dye. One of its common names, Horseflyweed, comes from its historical use as a fly repellent on the harnesses of workhorses. As a member of the nitrogen-fixing legume family, indigo makes an excellent choice for soil that needs replenishment of its nutrients.
Yellow 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 ½” deep. For spring planting, the scarified seed will need to be mixed with moist sand and stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks 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 Yellow 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. This plant attracts butterflies, especially the Dusky Winged and Frosted Elfin species.
Harvesting Yellow Wild Indigo: The foliage and seed pods of this flower both dry well and make attractive additions to dried flower arrangements.
Saving Yellow 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 Yellow Wild Indigo Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Wild Indigo, Horseflyweed Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 20-24 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 5,000 Produces a shrub-like plant with trifoliate 1” grayish green leaflets, and small clusters of ½” yellow, pea-like flowers.