Madder Plant Care: How To Grow Madder In The Garden
The Madder Plant (Rubia Tinctorum) is one of the most common plants in gardens. It grows from Mexico to Brazil and it’s found in many different climates. It prefers moist soil with occasional rainfall. Its leaves are opposite, but they have three leaflets each.
They grow up to two feet long and they are dark green or purple in color.
They produce flowers which are white, pink, red or yellow. The flowers last for several days and then fall off into the ground where new ones will appear. The fruit is a seed pod which contains small seeds inside. These seeds germinate when water drips onto them.
Once these seeds sprout, they will develop into young plants.
You may want to grow madder because it’s easy to grow and it produces a good amount of food. You’ll get a lot of fruits and vegetables from your garden if you start growing madder. It’s also very drought tolerant so you don’t need much watering.
How to grow madder:
1. You should pick out a spot in your garden where it will receive full sun for most of the day.
You want to make sure that there is good drainage below the soil. If not, you may have to build a raised bed.
2. Prepare the soil in the spring as soon as you can work it.
Use a rake to remove grass and weeds from the plot. Dig up the soil about a spade deep and turn it over.
3. Mix in some compost, manure or fertilizer with the soil.
How much you need will depend on the type you choose. Follow the directions on the packages for how much to use.
4. Break up any large clumps of dirt that remain and then re-rake the bed so it’s smooth.
5. Sow the seeds after the last frost.
You can do this by sprinkling the seeds evenly over the surface of the soil. Gently rake them in so they are half buried.
6. Keep the soil moist to ensure that the seeds don’t dry out.
You don’t need to water them every day, just when you notice that the soil is starting to dry out.
7. Keep weeds from growing by laying down some straw or some other type of mulch.
8. When the seeds first start to grow, they will look like little round bumps on the soil.
They will slowly grow leaves and stems over the next few weeks.
9. Once the plants are about 8 inches tall, thin them out so there is about 2-4 inches between each plant.
This will ensure that they have enough room to grow large and healthy.
10. Water regularly until the plants are established. After that, water once a week during a long dry spell.
11. Pick the fruit when they are ripe and enjoy their delicious sweet flavor!
Sources & references used in this article:
Useful plants of dermatology. IV. Alizarin red and madder by SA Norton – Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1998 – jaad.org
Madder red: a history of luxury and trade by R Chenciner – 2003 – books.google.com
A Weaver’s Garden: growing plants for natural dyes and fibers by R Buchanan – 1999 – books.google.com
… During FIVE YEARS On Near THREE HUNDRED ACRES of Various Soils; Including a Variety of EXPERIMENTS on The CULTIVATION of All Sorts of GRAIN … by A Young – 1770 – books.google.com
Rubia tinctorum a source of natural dyes: agronomic evaluation, quantitative analysis of alizarin and industrial assays by LG Angelini, L Pistelli, P Belloni, A Bertoli… – Industrial crops and …, 1997 – Elsevier
Growing a Dye Garden by D Brown – 2016 – digitalcommons.unl.edu