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Grow Your Own Dye Plants

Add a little color to your garden and life with homegrown plants for natural dyes.

Cultivating and using plants to dye fabric, yarn and other fibers is another way to extend your garden enjoyment. You’ll need to do a bit of research and experimentation since vibrant flowers don’t always guarantee the expected or brilliant colored dyes.

Grow a few garden favorites like perennial aster, coreopsis, coneflower, goldenrod, yellow flowered yarrow, hollyhocks and hibiscus. Add season long color with annual calendula, cosmos, marigold, zinnias, and sunflowers.

Include basil, parsley, lavender, fennel, and other herbs. Edibles like carrots, beets, red cabbage and onions are also popular dye plants. Pick a few blueberries, elderberries and blackberries to create blues and purples.

A bit more information:  And don’t overlook the native dye plants. Tall coneflowers, asters, sumac and goldenrod are just a few as well as weeds like dandelions, mullein, lambsquarter and nettle. They will surprise you with their colors. While waiting for the harvest, research and prepare for the dying process.

Upcoming Appearances


Aug. 5-15, 2021
Wisconsin State Fair
In-person event

Aug. 28, 2021
Ebert's Greenhouse Village
In-person event

Aug. 28, 2021
Sustainability Fair
In-person event

Oct. 9, 2021
Sanger House Gardens
In-person event

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