False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
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False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)

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If you're looking for a plant that can give you nitrogen, attract beneficial insects, is beautiful, and super easy-to-grow ... you've found it!  False indigo is our favorite nitrogen-fixing shrub in our food forest.  It gives you lush, green leaves and beautiful flowers that attract insects all season long and then you can chop and drop it to provide fertilizer for surrounding plants.  

Why We Love It

Here are some of the ways we use False indigo...

1) FERTILIZATION - False indigo is a wonderful chop and drop fertilizer plant.  It fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere and pulls it into its roots.  When you chop and drop the plant, you release this nitrogen into the surrounding soil.

2) POLLINATOR ATTRACTOR - False indigo has beautiful deep indigo spires that attract beneficial insects to your garden.

3)  PERFECT DAPPLED SHADE - We grow False indigo over many of our rambling vine vegetables to give them the perfect amount of sun protection in the heat of the summer.  It coppices really well, so if your plants need more light, you can simply trim some branches and release some nitrogen into the area as a bonus!

How to Grow It

Here's how to grow False indigo:

SUN FULL OR PART SUN
MOISTURE LOVES MOISTURE, BUT DROUGHT TOLERANT ONCE ESTABLISHED
GROWING ZONES USDA 3-9 (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)
SIZE 6-10 feet tall and 5 feet wide
PRO TIP We chop our False indigo to the ground every year to release nitrogen into the surrounding soil

 

How to Harvest & Use It

Here's a great video about False indigo: