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Audubon® Blue Wild Indigo
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Blue Wild Indigo will put an end to the myth that hummingbirds only like red flowers. Its glorious, cobalt-blue spikes are a magnet for hummers in the sweet, mild days of late spring. You’ll enjoy watching their aeronautics from your patio. You’ll love the blossoms yourself, too—fragrant, tall columns of pea-like flowers that are perfect for cutting. They are produced in such abundance that you can snip a hearty bouquet and still have plenty left for the hummers. The charcoal-black seedpods that follow are also cool in arrangements. Equally at home in wildflower meadows and on formal estates, Blue Wild Indigo brings its natural charms to gardens of all types.
May Benefit & Attract: Hummingbirds
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Grow a piece of American history! Blue Wild Indigo was the first subsidized agricultural crop grown on American soil. For a long time, the British obtained dark blue dye from the True Indigo plant, which is a tropical plant that probably originated in India. However, when supplies of True Indigo couldn’t keep up with demand in the 1700s, Colonists looked to the Blue Wild Indigo plant, which grows wild from Pennsylvania to Georgia and west to what is now Nebraska. Blue Wild Indigo produces an inferior, lighter blue dye, but it was good enough to make the plant one of the Colonies’ biggest exports in the mid-1700s. In its heyday, over a million pounds were shipped out per year!
Blue Wild Indigo has begun to receive the respect it deserves as a garden superstar. Because this tough, easy-to-grow Spirit has hardly any pest or disease issues, can be grown in many parts of the country, and looks good in spring, summer, and fall, the Perennial Plant Association chose it as their Perennial Plant of the Year in 2010. Kudos!
How to Grow
Give Blue Wild Indigo a site in full sun. While it will tolerate part shade, growth may be floppy there. If your plant does get floppy, shearing it after the blooms have faded will keep it more compact, though doing so will sacrifice the fun seedpods. Any kind of soil is suitable, provided it drains well. Blue Wild Indigo develops thick, deep roots, which allow it to survive periods of drought. Because of its taproot, however, it’s extremely difficult to transplant, so leave it in place once it’s in the ground. This big, bold Spirit takes a few seasons to bulk up and really strut its stuff—be patient!
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