Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black

Dye Plants: Blue, Purple and Black

Regular price
$5.00
Sale price
$5.00
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
per 

These plants are selected for their ability to make natural dyes but many also produce beautiful flowers or provide habitat for pollinators. They can be grown as part of your regular garden or you can create your own dye garden! Many of these plants are rare and very hard to find. 

We are partnering with Maddy Bartsch who farms a wide variety of dye plants at Get Bentz Farm in Northfield to offer these plants. Maddy has been growing and teaching about plant-based dyes since 2016, first in windowsills and community gardens and now on a larger scale at Get Bentz Farm. For Maddy, growing local color is their way of contributing to the creation of a thriving decentralized textile economy not dependent on petroleum based products.

Each plant is in a 2.5" pot. The plants will be available starting Friday, May 10th for pickup at the farm. We are sorry but we are unable to ship plants.

Woad (Isatis tinctoria)

Dye source: leaves. Colors: blue

Spacing needs: 15” - 18”. Light needs: full sun. Perennial or annual: biannual

Description: Blue pigment comes from first year leaves only. In the second year, woad flowers and goes to seed. Second year leaves produce pink and yellow pigment. Seeds can be harvested for dyeing in the second year when they turn deep purple/black. Will self seed if allowed, and take over areas. Dig up second year plants and compost. Woad’s strong taproot will take a lot of nutrients from the soil, so be sure to amend the soil and change location each year. Likes lime. Height is 8”. Can handle drier areas once established. Harvest first year leaves once they are 6” in length and the rosette is over 8”. Cut back to 2” from the base of the plant. First harvest generally occurs around Fourth of July. 

Japanese Indigo (Persicaria tinctoria)

Dye source: leaves. Colors: blue

Spacing needs: 12”. Light needs: full sun. Perennial or annual: annual

Description: Highly pigmented. Can generally get two harvests per growing season. First harvest generally occurs around Fourth of July. Look for stems to turn red and leaves to bruise. Harvest before the pink and white flowers appear. Cut about 4” from the ground, leaving stems to regrow for a second harvest. Color can only be extracted through fermenting, reducing, or with fresh/dried leaves. Height is 2’ - 3’. Water frequently. 

Black Knight Scabiosa (Scabiosa atropurpurea)

Dye source: flowers. Colors: purples and blues

Spacing needs: 10” - 14”. Light needs: full sun to partial shade. Perennial or annual: annual

Description: Pollinator friendly. Great for direct printing onto textiles. Height is 2’ - 3’. Flowers start in summer and can be deadheaded to encourage the plants to keep flowering until first frost. Water regularly once established. 

Double Black Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea)

Dye source: Flowers. Colors: purples, blues, greens

Spacing needs: 2’ - 3’. Light needs: full sun. Perennial or annual: short-lived perennial

Description: Flowers in the second year. Dye from flowers is pH sensitive. Give plants space to grow so they do not become crowded (rust fungus can spread). Height is 4’ - 6’, may benefit from some support if in a windy area. Water regularly once established. 

Murasaki (Lithospermum erythrorhizon)

Dye source: roots. Colors: purple

Spacing needs: 16” - 18”. Light needs: full sun or partial shade. Perennial or annual: perennial

Description: Once harvested, roots will need to be soaked (for at least 30+ mins) in room temperature water before adding mordanted materials till desired color is achieved. Height is 2’ - 3’. It takes 2+ years to mature before the first root harvest can be made. Water regularly once established  

European Water-Horehound (Lycopus europaeus)

Dye source: roots. Colors: gray, black, brown

Spacing needs: 12” - 24”. Light needs: prefers partial shade. Perennial or annual: perennial

Description: Spreads underground via runners (part of the mint family). Favorite among pollinators. Height is 3’. It takes 2+ years to mature before the first root harvest can be made. Likes damp soil.