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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


Jan. 26, 2022
Gardening for Wildlife
(webinar)

Jan. 29, 2022
WCBA's Home Building &
Remodeling Expo

West Bend, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 2, 2022
Small Space Gardening
(webinar)

Feb. 11-13, 2022
PBS Wisconsin
Garden & Landscape EXPO

Madison, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 18-20, 2022
NARI Milwaukee
Spring Home Improvement Show

Milwaukee, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 23, 2022
Dahlias - Proven Performers!
(webinar)

March 1, 2022
Michigan Green Industry Assn.
Annual Tradeshow & Convention

Novi, MI
(in-person event)

March 5-6, 2022
​​​​​​​Maryland Home & Garden Show
Lutherville-Timonium, MD
(in-person event)

​​​​​​​March 26-27, 2022
​​​​​​​REALTORS Home & Garden Show
West Allis, WI
(in-person event)

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