Thursday, 27 March 2008

Japanese Indigo Polygonum Tinctoria

I have just had a message from Enys to say that the Japanese Polygonum seeds have started to germinate. We were getting a bit worried as they were sown about two weeks ago and I had seen a report on the Natural Dyes Online that Japanese Polygonum seeds needed to be fresh and these were seeds saved form last year. I am really pleased as I would like to do more dyeing with these indigo bearing plants.

Walking round the garden today I saw that madder plants are appearing so is the goldenrod, and my Genista Tinctoria is in leaf. No woad has sprung up in my garden but Enys finds woad springing up all over the place in her garden and the other week I tried dyeing with a handful of woad leaves she brought round and got a pale greyish blue,


  1. Good to hear your japanese indigo seeds have started to germinate. Do they need cold period to germinate or just warm? I have heard that old Isatis tinctoria seeds benefit of a short cold period, but I have always gotten them to geminate in warm.

    I so envy your climate! Last week we got 25cm of more snow and even though it is now nice and sunny, even my poor snowdrops are still covered by snow. Luckily I have a greenhouse, where I can start to grow plants.

  2. I asked Enys who said that the seeds germinated in her hall so they have not had a period of cold. Our climate is gentler than yours but we do seem to get a lot of grey days with lowering cloud from which the rain drips! Quite depressing!
    Enys says that we now have about thirty little Japanese Indigo plants.

  3. I sowed japanese indigo seeds on 21/03/09 from the plant that you sent me last year. They have germinated really well in my unheated porch where the temperature can fluctuate wildly at this time of year.I cover them at night with a plastic lid and some bubble wrap. They seem to have done best close to the soil surface. I'm looking forward to some dyeing when they are bigger - if they transplant ok!