Friday, May 31, 2013

Chinese Indigo, a truly carefree plant

indigofera

Chinese Indigo (Indigofera amblyantha) is one of my favorite plants. It is truly a low maintenance plant and it grows in one of the most difficult areas of the garden. A large grove of huge hackberry trees sits behind the garage and this area has proven to be a challenge. The soil is very dry and the addition of raised beds hasn't exactly been successful. 

The Indigo bush, however, sits happily on a raised berm where it endures drought, heavy shade and neglect. The pale lilac to rose pink blooms appear in May and stay on the bush for a long time (months it seems). I had read that indigofera is a spreading plant but that is not the case here. It forms a 3-4 ft. tall plant with equal width and doesn't wander. 

You will find different types of indigofera on the market. There are lower, spreading types (Indigofera kirilowii and Indigofera decora) that I have not tried growing. All of these types are commonly referred to as "Chinese Indigo" and grow in similar conditions. 



Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

5 comments:

  1. Very nice, Phillip. Carefree-I love and the blooms and pretty. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  2. I love Indigofera kirilowii, it is one of my most reliable and carefree bloomers. I would love to give other species of Indigofera a try if I ever come across them in nurseries here.

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  3. Hi Phillip, This plant is a new one for me and it sounds lovely. Your garden is such an inspiration!

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  4. I have a teensy ground cover indigofera that I love but this bigger one sounds like a beautiful problem solver. I'm going to recommend it to a friend with a dry shade problem. Yours is a real beauty. :o) I'm so glad I saw this post!

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  5. Looks beautiful. I have no room to add one, but I like it in your garden.

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