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Little River Cooperative

Japanese Indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) 100 seeds

Regular price $6.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.00 USD
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We are happy to add traditional Japanese dyeing Indigo to our seed collection this season! Indigo is among the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing. Many Asian countries, such as India & Japan have used indigo as a dye for centuries, however they used differing plant species to produce the dye. Dyer's Knotweed, as this variety is known, is a tropical heat loving plant which is why we gave it a try at our urban farm, which is in Plant Hardiness Zone 10b.

Our experimental indigo patch flourished this fall, producing two flushes of harvestable green growth and then proliferated an abundance of viable seed, which we are sharing with you all now. Once established in your garden your Japanese Indigo plants can also be propagated easily from cuttings. We suggest gardeners growing Indigo in the tropics plant seeds in Fall or winter, and those outside of the tropics plant seeds in spring for summer harvest. Soaking seeds for a day before planting increases germination rates however the key to good germination is fresh seed, which our plants have generously provided us with. 

While using fresh indigo leaves for its famous dark blue hues does involve some advanced technique and processing fresh leaves can be used to create subtle tons of aqua, teal and green, depending on the fabric, mordant & water used. 

Planting and growing tips: Check out this really thorough guide to germinating, growing out and harvesting fresh indigo for more helpful tips. And this guide to using the fresh leaves to dye fabric by natural dyer Rebecca Desnos. We recommend soaking your indigo seeds for a day before planting. Germination should occur in 10-14 days. We have grown indigo in a number of conditions and garden this season and they easily thrive in our tropical climate during fall, winter and spring. Summer tends to be too hot for good leaf production (they make seeds very young) however in all other climates in the US summer is the optimal growing season. Plants should be spaced 8 inches to a foot in your garden and can be harvested multiple times before being allowed to produce seed. 

All seeds were harvested from our urban farm and plant nursery in January of 2020. Seed packages are hand silkscreened by Gold Teeth Brooklyn, a handmade stationery company based in Los Angeles.  Seeds have been tested for reliable germination in our nursery at 80 degree daytime temperatures. We recommend using them within 1 year of date of purchase.

Please note: because we are a working farm we only ship seed orders once weekly so please be patient with your package. If you need a rush shipment please email us and we will do our best to accommodate.   

Materials

All of our plants are produced using OMRI certified organic materials (potting mix, fertilizer & pesticides) however our nursery is not certified organic. Plants are shipped in compostable peat moss pots and we use heirloom & organic seeds whenever possible.

Shipping & Returns

We ship plant orders every Monday. Due to the nature of shipping plants we only offer expedited shipping for our live plant orders. Our returns & exchanges policy is also quite strict since its hard to control the quality of a plant once it leaves our facility, however we do our very best to make sure that each and every customer is satisfied with their plants. Read more about our policies here. 

Size

All of our plants are potted in 4" pots and their foliage size varies based on how large the plant is naturally when its root ball is the correct size for the pot. If a plant is too tall for our shipping box we may prune it to fit (bonus: many plants do better after being pruned since they make bushier growth). We do our very best to ship all of our plants in the "sweet spot" of maturity however so long as the roots have colonized the pot we will consider a plant mature enough to ship.

Care Instructions

When you receive your plant its critical to get it out of its box and into the light the day it arrives. It will also want to be removed from its compostable plastic wrapping and given fresh water to drink. Keep in mind, this plant was grown in the tropical humid climate of South Florida, so if it's terribly cold or dry where you are it'll need to be hardened off before planting outdoors. Visit our care instructions page for more thorough info about caring for your new plant friend.

  • What Our Customers Have to Say:

    This is a great, local organization with really knowledgeable & friendly staff. They make gardening easy and accessible, and I've purchased many high quality plants and equipment from them.
    -Kate Black (5 star google review)

  • And Another One:

    How lucky we are to have a resource like Little River Cooperative here in Miami, not only for the access they offer to a great selection of plants and produce, but also for the knowledge they provide and the sense of community they foster!
    -Nick Vagnoni (5 star google review)