Dyer's Madder

Nature & Nurture Seeds

Rubia tinctorum


Pkt(≈ 10 seeds)

A well-known plant in Southern Europe and Asia, Madder has been used as a red dye for centuries. Madder roots dye wool, cotton, and silk a stunning spectrum of orange to brick red using an alum mordant. Cold-hardy perennial in zones 5-9.

Plant in full sun and well-drained soil - once established, it is somewhat drought toleranct. Grows 2-3 feet tall on the ground or up to 4 feet tall if trellised. Spreads by roots so plant it in a location where spreading is ok.

Gardeners who want to cultivate this traditional dye plant should give it room to spread and embrace the natural dying process. In the second year of growth, Madder produces yellow, star-shaped flowers that signify the roots are ready to create the iconic red dye that is known for its wash- and light-fast properties. 

Start seeds in pots 4/15-5/31 (using a heating mat will speed up germination). Days to germination: 7-30 days. Transplant outside 5/15-7/15 spaced 12" apart or more. Plant in full sun in well drained soil.