Growing Blue False Indigo - Benefits and Instructions



Benefits of Growing Blue False Indigo

  • Pollinator- The stunning flowers of the Blue false indigo is very beneficial for many pollinators, specifically honey bees.
  • Soil Fixer - Blue false Indigo is in the legume family, making it a natural nitrogen fixing plant.
  • Pest Resistant: The alkaloids produced by this plant are toxic to many insect species, making it almost completely pest resistant. Deer and rabbits will not bother these plants when they are larger, but have been known to snack on small shoots.
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Growing Instructions


Sun Exposure: Full sun but will tolerate partial shade
Soil: False indigo prefers moderately well-draining soils, but it will tolerate dry soils once it is well established. It is not particular about soil pH but does best in soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. Does not require fertilizer.
Moisture: Keep false indigo watered regularly for the first year, but after this, it will do well with about 1 inch of water every couple of weeks. This is a native wildflower, it will do fine with whatever rainfall nature provides
Planting: It is very easy to germinate blue false indigo from seed, however the seeds require scarification. This means removing part of the hard outer shell before planting the seed. This can be done with 150 grit sandpaper or with a nail file. Getting false indigo to bloom is usually just a matter of patience, as it can take three or four years, or even more, before the clump is mature enough to make a meaningful display. In its first few years this long-lived plant develops mostly below ground. The seeds should be direct sown in the fall or early spring.
Spacing: Plant 2-3 feet apart. 
Sow seeds: Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep.



To harvest the seeds of the blue false indigo wait until the seed pods turn black and begin to open on their own. You will know the seeds are ready to harvest because it will sound like a rattle when you shake them. Remove the seeds from the pods and store for next season, or plant seeds in the fall for spring.

Toxicity Warning:

This plant is listed as toxic. If ingested it can cause blurred vision, vomiting and vertigo. Keep cats and dogs from consuming this plant as well as it is likely toxic if they consume it. 


Echinacea, coreopsis, columbine, liatris and foxglove.

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