Prepping Indigofera Suffruticosa seeds from my Garden to your Garden this spring

3 Mar

Many folks have written me to ask when the seeds will be posted up in my Etsy shop. I have heard a rumor of increased selling costs by Etsy so I am going to investigate other avenues of making seed available to you. Stay tuned. I will post here when I decide. Suggestions?

It is time to prep for the March winds to blow the chaff separate from the Suffruticosa seed. Let’s review what has happened up til now. Nov 2021 the weather cooled down and the seeds ripened. I took time to collect dried indigo leaves, gather the seed pods to dry and started shaping my bushes so they could be covered when the freezes swept in during Jan/Feb. It is all weather dependant. Will they survive or not? Each season that is the question. I am located in the far northern growing region of this plant in the Central Texas Hill country, similar to the olive tree growth area. When it freezes too much, our bushes are gone. But we have seed!

These seed branches were put aside in a wheelbarrow in a protected area and allowed to continue to ripen and finally to freeze/dry. The freezing took out the bugs and made the pods easier to snap off to dry further.

These guys sat outside till the Texas deep freezes of 20 degrees. I brought them in to protect them and allow them to continue to dry. The pods and seeds are so much easier to separate after a couple of months of drying undisturbed. The stems are pulled out and the pods separated. All this takes place during a spare moment when the sun is shining and you can grab a moment outside in the winter sun.

Gently the pods are broken open to allow the seeds to be shifted from the pods
A lot of shifting debris/hulls & seeds takes place during this point before and after breaking the pods.
The end goal is to filter the seeds and fine chaff from the pod shells.

A note for the gardeners, over the years I’ve tried starting Indigofera Suffruticosa as early as Japanese Indigo in cooler March/April temperatures. Not a good thing to do. One must wait for 80 and 90 degree consistent weather to ensure the seedlings are vigorous and strong. You can sneak start it with a heat pad BUT reports from growers who do so report weak plants. I prefer to start in seed trays and harden them off in the sun before I transplant them into the garden. In my area that also helps me protect the seedlings from spring crickets who are ravenously hungry in the early spring. I wait till the crickets clear. The heat takes them out.

4 Responses to “Prepping Indigofera Suffruticosa seeds from my Garden to your Garden this spring”

  1. tashahunter01 March 3, 2022 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi Deb..thank you indeed for this contact. I’m up in Canada about 59 miles north of Toronto. Lots colder up here than where you are for sure. I tried growing indigo 2 years ago. It was a hot summer that year so the leaves were okay. The plants never developed many flowers..I didn’t fertilize though as I usually do, with triple 20 fertilizer. I can’t recall what species name that indigo was. I’d really like to find out for sure, the name of thd indigo that dyes that wonderful Saxon blue but any indigo is good as far as I’m concerned. The Web isn’t all that helpful in being consistent with that sort of information it seems. Please put me on your list for some of your seeds when they are ready. I’m definitely interest in purchasing some. Have you tried instagram and Facebook for promoting your products. I don’t usually go to those sites but I follow pint rest everyday and am often directed there by other links I’m interested in. They seems to be sucessful for many people and much cheaper than etsy. Thanks again please stay in touch. Tara

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Walker March 3, 2022 at 11:41 pm #

    Thank you Deb. This is what I grow here in coastal tropical Queensland. I have also sent seeds to those wanting to grow. It seems that once they get outside their comfort zone, they never really seem to do well. At 2000ft altitude at the head of my valley, only 60 miles away, they struggled to get them to germinate, and the few that sprouted never really thrived. Where I am, I can get several pruning harvests all through the year. I’m happy to work with what wants to work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • debmcclintock March 3, 2022 at 11:48 pm #

      Yep, I always warn folks who are “out of zone” of their risks. Many folks are able to grow IS leaves but can’t get it to seed due to freezes. The IS works much better for me than JI. Our summers are just too harsh and we have late freezes if one tries to “game” the climate with planting JI early.


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