Woad, Isatis tinctoria, 25 Seeds Per Pack, Brassicaceae, Organic Plants, Heirloom, Plants, GMO Free Plants
25 Seeds Per Pack
Scientific Name: Isatis tinctoria
Woad was widely grown in Europe, harvested for their leaves to make blue dyes. Its use was replaced by indigo, which was then replaced by synthetic dyes in the 20th century. Woad’s use however has seen somewhat of an increase as people grow it for personal use in crafts. Beyond dye use woad has also long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, where the root is often used for this purpose.
Listed as a noxious weed by the agriculture departments of: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Origination: Caucasus region, Asia
Recommended Uses: Dye, Medicinal
Height: 3-4ft (1m)
Hardiness: zones: USDA 4-8
Flower Color: Yellow
Maturity: 90 Days
Other Names: dyer’s woad, glastum, Asp of Jerusalem
Woad is able to be grown in a variety of conditions, but usually does best in full sun but being able to grow well in part shade. Does good in most soils as well as it’s well-draining. However, woad plants like an alkaline soil, so you can apply lime to the soil about a week before transplanting for better results. Applying extra nitrogen allows for the woad to produce darker colors, better for dying. Woad will deplete the soil after a couple years and should be rotated properly. This also counts if broccoli (or other brassicas) have been grown previous years in that location, which should be considered when planning where to plant woad.
Woad does well being direct sown (hence why it can become a nuisance) and may be planted after the threat of frost has passed, usually late February or March for harvest July through September. Sow seeds thinly spaced out in long rows 1½ ft. apart, lightly covering the seeds with soil and gently soaking the soil with water. Water and weed regularly. Thin seedlings if multiple pop up in a small area, you can transplant them if you wish – giving each plant about 1½ feet between them. Remove flowers to prevent woad from self-seeding and spreading, which can happen quickly. Remove woad flowers as they fade and before they develop seed pods. Woad usually flowers in the second year, about 20 months after sowing. If collecting the leaves for dye, remove all the leaves at once, leaving as much stem as possible to allow the plant to regrow.