Usually, you would plant woad in the early spring and immediately water the soil to saturation.

Allow at least 6 inches between plants, and more is better. You can also wrap nylons or bags around spent woad flowers to allow them to produce contained seeds, which you can plant later. The dull yellowish seeds are grooved into two unequal halves. The other common variety of dyer’s woad (probably the better known variety!) Woad, a member of the cabbage family, is a standard biennial that produces a rosette of leaves in the first year and flowers in the second year. You can either collect the seeds yourself from previous plants or buy them from a nursery. It is speculated that the Celts made their blue battle paints from woad. I have never tried using second year leaves for getting blue, but I’ve read different things. Some varieties have toothed leaves that come in blue or green shades. While dye has always been a valuable commodity that has prompted Europe to send fleets of merchant ships in pursuit of indigo blue dye, the radical idea of growing woad plants in the temperate Mediterranean regions is only a few hundred years old. The flowers are powerfully, wonderfully fragrant and incredibly cheery. It isa biennial plant … Once the plant is fully grown, then you don’t have to worry about watering it that often even during the summer months. When the seeds germinate, move them out in May when the soil is warm enough. Indigo from woad has the same chemical composition as all other indigo; it is the other chemical compounds in the plant that makes the blue shade vary towards the pinks or the greys. Planting woad seeds in spring usually will result in a good harvest by fall (Sept-Oct). It is from a mustard family. Put the pot on the stove and raise the temperature to 50°C, place it on a hard surface and sprinkle about 10g of sodium dithionite on the liquid (froth) and give it a very gentle stir.
Harvesting leaves for dye extractionWoad planted in March can be harvested from July until September. The liquid will turn from clear to a deep sherry colour with an oily film on the surface. Note: there are many other methods for extracting indigo; I would recommend any of the books by Jenny Dean.

Woad is hardy in zones 4-8. Chemical-free farm-grown Woad (Isatis tinctoria) seeds for organic growing. The plant takes up nitrogen from the soil and grows best in a well-drained loam or clay. Once they are about 2in tall, I put them in individual pots to grow on, and then harden them off, before transplanting them outside to a permanent site in April. Growing Woad from SeedsThe seed is sown thinly spaced in March, in shallow drills or in seed trays, just covering the seed (see You-Tube video of seeds planted in drills in March 2007). It can tolerate some weed competition but the first-year basal rosette isn’t very tall, so don’t allow the plants to become overshadowed. Hence, let the three saved plants flower and cross pollinate each other. A member of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae), woad (Isatis tinctoria) is a biennial plant with similar characteristics to Chinese Woad (Isatis indigotica).

You will have a few harvests each year. Significantly lower percentages germinated under far red and blue light (15% and 37%, respectively) (P<0.05), and germination time was longer. ... Peonies Are Peonies Cold Hardy: Growing Peonies In Winter One of those useful plants grown for their dye is the woad plant. As a native of the Mediterranean, woad is accustomed to the bright sun of Southern Europe. The plant produces more indigo when the weather is hot and sunny but once the plant has started to produce flower stems in early Spring the amount of indigo in the leaves rapidly diminishes, falling to zero when the plant is in full flower. UK Shipping £4.95p on orders to £80 in value, free over £80 in UK, Harvesting woad leaves for pigment extraction. Please note that none of this equipment should be used subsequently for any food preparation. I then squeeze the excess liquid from the fibre and only add it back to the pot if I am repeating the heating process. Woad seeds are used in the Farming skill. Make sure to collect all the seed pods before they fall and scatter all over the area. Use secateurs to cut the woad leaves, avoiding old leaves with blue in the leaf stalk, and leaving as much leaf stalk behind as possible. Otherwise, the natural inhibitor in the seeds will keep them from sprouting. Etymology. As we said earlier, woad is not the kind of plant that needs pampering. Planting Woad Seedlings The seedlings are transplanted a foot apart when they are large enough to handle. Others have smooth leaves that are more yellowish-green.