Madder (Rubia tinctorum) Non-GMO Organic - Herb
Madder, scientifically known as Rubia tinctorum, is a perennial herb with a rich history of use as a natural dye plant. Its name is derived from the Old English word "mader" or "maedere," meaning "dye." This plant has been highly prized for centuries as a source of red, pink, and orange dyes, and its roots contain the active compounds responsible for this vibrant coloration. Madder is a sprawling, vine-like plant with square stems, small green leaves, and clusters of tiny, greenish-yellow flowers. It is not only valued for its dyeing properties but also for its historical significance. Madder, with its historical significance and natural dyeing properties, is a unique addition to any garden. By following these instructions, you can successfully cultivate this perennial herb and explore its use in creating vibrant, natural dyes for various artistic and craft projects.
- Sunlight: Madder thrives in full sun to partial shade. Choose a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Well-drained soil: Madder prefers well-draining soil with good aeration. You can amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage.
- Spring or fall: Plant Madder in the spring or early fall when the weather is mild and there is enough time for the plant to establish itself before winter.
- Start with root cuttings: Madder is typically propagated from root cuttings. Plant the cuttings horizontally just below the soil surface, spacing them about 12 inches apart.
- Regular watering: Keep the soil consistently moist during the first few weeks after planting to help establish the roots. Once established, Madder becomes somewhat drought-tolerant and requires less frequent watering.
- Minimal fertilization: Madder does not require heavy fertilization. You can add well-rotted compost or organic matter to the soil for a nutrient boost in the spring.
- Limited pruning: Madder typically does not require pruning. It can be allowed to sprawl and grow naturally.
- Generally pest and disease-resistant: Madder is not commonly affected by pests or diseases. Ensure good air circulation to prevent issues like mildew.
- The primary value of Madder lies in its roots, which are typically harvested after the plant has grown for two to three years. To use the roots for dyeing, they are cleaned, dried, and processed to extract the red dye.
- Seed Count: 15