False Indigo flowers in late spring or early summer depending on the geographic location, and bloom time typically lasts for 3 to 6 weeks. The flowers appear on long stalks or racemes and are held tight to the stem. Younger plants will produce fewer stalks, but the number or amount of these will increase as the plant matures. It can take a young plant 2 to 3 years to become settled enough to bloom. Often, in the case of older plants not blooming, it is the presence of added fertilizer or lack of full sun that is the cause.
Common Reasons Why False Indigo Isn’t Blooming
Any addition of a commercial fertilizer, lack of full sun (6 to 8 hours or more), damage to the plant’s crown, or poor cultivation practices can all be contributing factors to the plant’s lack of bloom.
Pruning False Indigo To Help It Bloom
If anything, the best thing a gardener can do to get their False Indigo to bloom successfully is to leave it alone. Provided it has been planted in average garden soil and given ample water to survive its first year, it is really a waiting game from there on. The plant requires 2 to 3 years after planting to bloom. Deer and small herbivores are not attracted to this perennial.
Fertilizing False Indigo To Help It Bloom
Do not apply commercial fertilizer to this perennial as it may do more harm than good. It simply does not need feeding if planted in average garden soil. It will even do well in poor soil, provided it has been given ample moisture to develop its long taproot in its early years. Indigo is a legume and fixes its own nitrogen in the soil.
Get False Indigo To Produce More Blooms
False Indigo will produce more blooms with age. It may be beneficial to give it a light mulch of compost if desired, but mulching is not necessary and will have little impact on the plant's bloom quantity. False indigo blooms only once a season, after which it produces showy, black pods if the plant is not deadheaded.
Why False Indigo Isn’t Blooming
- Too much fertilizer
- Lack of abundant sunshine, 6 to 8 hours or more
- Plant is not mature enough
- Soil is too rich or boggy
- Plant’s crown may have been damaged