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Indigo Plant Pruning – How To Prune Indigo Plants In The Garden

Indigo Plant Pruning – How To Prune Indigo Plants In The Garden


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Growing indigo isn’t difficult as long as you can provide ample sunlight and warmth. Indigo is especially attractive when trained against a sunny wall and tends to be quite a bit taller. Read on and we’ll explore indigo plant pruning and cutting back indigo.

Cutting Back Indigo

Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) is an ancient plant, famous for the intense blue dye which is extracted from the leaves. Although most clothing manufacturers have switched to chemical dyes, true indigo dye is still favored by people who prefer to work with natural dyes – especially manufacturers of premium denim.

A beautiful, arching plant that shoots up from the base, indigo produces masses of purple or pink flowers that burst forth in summer and early fall. Indigo is a hardy plant, suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.

Keeping the plant cut back not only keeps it healthy and manageable but cutting the plant back a few inches from the ground is a common way to harvest the foliage for those wanting to prepare their own dye.

How to Prune Indigo Plants

Pruning of true indigo should be done in spring if you live in a frost-prone area. Cut all the previous year’s growth to near ground level. Be sure to remove winter damaged growth.

If you live in a warmer climate, cutting back indigo can be a little less drastic. Just shorten the plant by up to half its height to maintain desired size and shape. Pruning will also prevent the plant, which can reach heights and widths of 3 to 4 feet (1 m.), from becoming too large.

During the summer, remove dead blooms and yellowing leaves regularly to keep the plant looking its best.

Cutting the plant back for harvesting of the leaves can be done throughout the growing season as needed. The plants usually regrow quickly, within a month or so, for another round of harvesting.

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Sapphire Indigo Clematis

I have seen this clematis advertised in garden magazines, and I came to DG to get more info on it and to see if I can grow it here (and to add it to my wishlist!). I am not at all familiar with clematis and I was a little overwhelmed by all the different clematis types when I did a PF search to find this cultivar. I don't even know how to narrow my search.

The one I am looking for is being called Sapphire Indigo Clematis. It is is a compact variety. The magazines don't give a scientific name. I searched google and found it several places, one was Monrovia's website. http://www.monrovia.com/learn/plant_catalog/detail.php?item_number=2186

This is how I have seen it listed online:
SAPPHIRE® INDIGO CLEMATIS
Clematis 'Cleminov 51' P.P.# 17012

I have tried searching Plantfiles but I am not finding it. Is anyone familiar with this new cultivar and knows how to find it on DG? Thanks!

(The image I posted is from Monrovia's website)

The clematis you are referring to is called "Saphyra Indigo"..a clematis from France. I don't know of anyone having it . Jeanne
http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=3192

Here is a bit more information.

julia jayne you are cool, great link to a lotta info and great website. thanks.
just joined the international clem society recently too, i am moving my info horizon to a new level. thanks for posting this.

Of the clematis I have, the colors seem fairly accurate.

I was considering joining the British Clematis Society. They too accept international members.

hoping to attend an international clem society workshop in july in portland and the 2010 annual meeting will be held up there too.

if anyone knows where to get this clem now, please let me know. i am lusting for it.

Wow thanks for all the great info!

According to the Monrovia website, it is available in my city. I don't know how accurate that information is though.

i have a friend who owns a nursery and i will see if he can order it for me from monrovia, as they do carry some monrovia.

I'm sure you'll let us know if/when you get it.

I want it too after realizing it's a 2 1/2 feet tall vine.

I just went to our local Stein's and they have it! I bought one and they have 3 left. The stems are all broken at the top (they're about 3' tall), but that's OK because I'll cut them down when I plant anyway.

I also picked up Arabella which has a flower closer to true blue than any other clems I've seen. It's a non-clinging type.

steins sounds great. i have a friend who retails monrovia trying to get me one. so far no clem tho.

I have been searching for this since it was first posted and there are no retailiers even close to me selling it. I even tried California and no luck.

I saw Piilu for $40 at Steins today. I didn't get it.

must have been a big piilu for 40$. don't know about steins, but wish there was one near here i could check out.

Wow $40! Stein's prices are high but that's ridiculous! I don't know about Appleton, but Oshkosh doesn't take the best care of their clems so you need to get them soon after they arrive.

It was a pretty big plant, I forgot to look at the pot size, but it's also what they call a Linda' Choice plant. Linda (Meyer) has authored a few books on gardening in Wisconsin and she also has her own plant line. Her plants are marked up like Monrovia's plants.

Goldfinch, So far, the plants at Steins look great, but we've had a lot of rain, so I cannot give them credit for taking care of them better.

I don't think we have Steins in Houston.

Steins is just in Wisconsin.

good news. i have 2 gallon plants of this cultivar (saphyra indigo) arriving to a nursery near me within the next two weeks! i was taken with the pic and info you linked us to. a nursery near here carries some monrovia, tho not usually clems, and they have located two and have them coming in soon!
so good to know that monrovia has them and cooperated and is shipping.
i don't like planting this time of year, but i can make sure it is well watered when i am out of town.
i was lucky enough to be able to replace my beloved marmori that did not show up this year..blooms beyond compare. 2 of them arrived this week and have to be planted too so i guess this is the year of planting clems in the summer. marmori was breathtaking in beauty and i guess it was not hardy enough to survive our very hard winter of 08-09. i will plant these 2 somewhere else in the event the other one does show up i will know it, holding her real estate for another year just in case.

thanks for those who posted about the sapyra clem and monrovia connection that enabled me to get one special ordered. will let you all know what size of root it is with in the gallon when i receive it! this is marmori from last year, off topic for the thread,but at least you can see what i am drooling over with this beauty. this shot does have sepal turned under, but you can still see what a nice clem it is , i am lucky to have gotten it back.

thanks for sharing your successful hunt. It will be in good hands no doubt.

Glad you were able to get a few. And I can see why you love Marmori - it's beautiful!

I just ordered one from Wayside Gardens website. It is $29.95 for a 1 gallon pot. Will let you know what condition it arrives in. Here is the link:

rntx. didn't know wayside had gallons. interesting. lets compare plant pics and root size when we receive and growing progress too. i am very happy to know about this clem and to be able to get it. i am going to check out monrovias selection when i get a second as i now know a local nursery will special order for me.


i don't know anyone who has this clem and i look forward to growing it!


How to Prune Veronica

Keep gardening shears sharp. Using dull shears will rip and damage the plant.

Named after Saint Veronica and also known as speedwell, Veronica is an easy-to-grow flower available as annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs. The low-growing variety, with spires of flowers of light blue flowers, grows upwards to 18 inches tall. Persian, birdseye and winter speedwell is considered a weed. Veronica is evergreen when grown in the South. Like many flowers, pruning and pinching Veronica helps the plant stay healthy and encourages further blooming.

Prune taller varieties of Veronica in mid-June. Use sharp gardening shears to cut 6 inches off the mature plant from the first to the middle of June.

  • Named after Saint Veronica and also known as speedwell, Veronica is an easy-to-grow flower available as annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs.
  • Use sharp gardening shears to cut 6 inches off the mature plant from the first to the middle of June.

Cut the perennial Veronica that grows low to the ground in mounds. After the flower blooms a second time, cut it back to the foliage growing near the ground. Shear low-growing types back to foliage growing on soil after the second flush of bloom.

Pinch the faded flowers on all varieties of Veronica, during the blooming season. Pinching encourages reblooming. The University of Minnesota recommends using only fingertips for pinching the part of the stem below the blossom and above the node or where the point on the stem where the leaf is inserted.

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.


Watch the video: Plant Profile: False Indigo Bush Amorpha Fruticosa