Dyer's Coreopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria, is beloved for it's easy-blooms two-toned flowers, but also - maybe even mostly - because it makes a lovely dusty orange or taupe colored dye.
Here's how to make the dye: put about 20 blooms (trim off the stems) in a big pot of hot water, and let soak for 24 hours. Now simmer the mixture for 1 hour, and then drop your cloth in (wool and silk work best, but cotton and linen are fine too) and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes, mixing it around occasionally, until you reach your desired hue/saturation. Note that the color will look darker when it's wet. That's it! Rinse and wear.
You can also use your Dyer's Coreopsis Flowers to make your own ink! Here's how: Collect and dry petals from about 15 flowers. Toss into a mortal and pestle, and grind to a powder. Add a tiny bit of boiling water, just enough to cover the powder and mix. Leave in a sunny spot in your house for 24 hours. Strain with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and voila. Get a fine brush and write/paint away.
Planting conditions: Full sun, are pretty drought tolerant but will bloom better with regular water, and are not picky about soil conditions.
Blooms: 1.5" blooms are abundant from summer through first hard frost. Deadhead the blooms regularly (meaning cut the flowers, or if the flowers die on the plant cut them off down to where to stem is green right above where it is leafing again) to encourage more blooms.
Annual, will not overwinter, but may self-seed and reappear in your garden subsequent years.
Ships: as 3 plants in 2" diameter pots, in the Spring with detailed instruction for how to plant, care for, and use as a dye.
Flat rate $10 shipping no matter how many plants you buy.
We give your plants plenty of (recyclable) padding so they are cozy and safe during transit. We also monitor weather events and will contact you if unusual weather will impact your order's ship date.
If anything is not right about your plant when you receive it, please let us know and we will make it right.