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January 8th 2024

The {Farmer} & The Florist Interview: Grand Prismatic Seed

Written by
Floret

I first learned about Grand Prismatic Seed when researching dye plants to add to our garden. I have always been fascinated by the art of natural dyeing and was on the hunt for suitable flower varieties that could be grown from seed.

Owners and farmers, James and Guy have put a tremendous amount of work into their website—it’s super informative, filled with great photos, and I love their seed descriptions. All of the seeds I have ordered from them (which is a lot!) have done exceptionally well–their quality is top-notch.

Grand Prismatic is located in the mountain foothills of Utah, so the varieties that they offer can withstand the stresses of growing in a desert climate. They focus on plants that thrive in harsh conditions, including hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. If you’re a gardener in this type of climate, they are a wonderful resource!

James and Guy, I’m so happy to be able to interview you both for the blog and for more people to find out about what you’re up to. You each bring a unique perspective to Grand Prismatic Seed. James, you previously worked with Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed in Oregon, and Guy, you have such wide-ranging experience, including ethnobotany and habitat restoration. Can you share a little more about each of your backgrounds and how they’ve influenced your business?

James: If you had asked me in my twenties what I would be doing in my thirties, I would never have predicted seed farming or owning a business! My background isn’t rooted in botany, horticulture, or agriculture. I studied Anthropology and International Studies in college. After graduation, I went on to work for the International Rescue Committee, first as a youth program coordinator, and later as a special needs case worker assisting refugee families being resettled in the Salt Lake Valley.

After Guy got a job that moved us from Salt Lake City to Corvallis, Oregon a string of serendipitous events landed me at Wild Garden Seed. It didn’t take long for Frank Morton’s extraordinary passion for seed farming and plant breeding to rub off on me. Within a few months on the job, I was hooked on the art and science of seed saving. My 5 years at Wild Garden Seed influenced Grand Prismatic in so many ways, from our method of precision winnowing to our brand loyalty toward the storage totes we buy.

Other factors of my background that have influenced Grand Prismatic are my love of fiber arts and dye plants (which we feature prominently in our catalog), and my capacity to enjoy extremely tedious tasks like hand-filling thousands of seed packets at a time, winnowing for days on end, and what can feel like endless weeding projects.

Guy: I have been involved in a variety of ethnobotanical projects through work, study, and my personal life, and experiencing communities with deep-rooted, thriving relationships with plants and ecosystems has been very impactful. This has inspired me to look more deeply at how I engage with plants and the received knowledge and perspectives gained from my own cultural upbringing and schooling.

The deep relationship with place and the intimate knowledge of how to live with your surroundings are constant messages in ethnobotany. Our modern lifeways and global economy have obscured and abstracted that sense of immediate connection with nature in many of our daily lives.

Through Grand Prismatic Seed, I hope to introduce people to plants and ways to interact with them that provide meaningful connections to the natural world.

My work in field botany, habitat restoration, and native plant and seed production has developed my knowledge of plant ecology of various regions in the western U.S. That knowledge gives me insight into underutilized plant species. I also learned many skills, techniques, and perspectives that are transferable to seed farming and provide additional avenues for us to explore, such as seed production for ecological restoration efforts.

Similarly, my current work in water conservation gardening at Red Butte Garden and Arboretum has exposed me to a huge diversity of plants used in many styles of gardening, especially plants that support sustainable gardening practices.

I believe that through my time spent in each of these disciplines, I have developed a holistic viewpoint that gives Grand Prismatic Seed a multi-faceted nature and the ability to offer customers the opportunity to explore and develop their gardens in exciting ways.

In the U.S., seed companies are often located on the west or east coast. What led you to start Grand Prismatic in Utah? 

We were both raised in Utah and when we decided to take the leap and start our own seed farm, the idea of being close to family again felt really grounding and comforting. After 5 years of living and farming in Oregon, we also missed the landscapes and flora of Utah, and the idea of offering many of our favorite Utah native plants alongside domesticated crops in our seed catalog was really exciting for us both.

The opportunity to make plant selections in an environment that has fewer seed growers and plant breeders also appealed to us. As climate change continues to make growing conditions less predictable, having adaptable seeds selected under diverse environmental pressures will become increasingly important. 

Compared to our mild climate here in the Pacific Northwest, the Intermountain West seems to experience more extreme temperatures and weather. How have those conditions impacted the varieties that you choose to grow, and has this changed over time?

The Intermountain West is definitely a harsh environment for seed production. The silver lining is that our plants end up having LOTS of selection pressures like intense hail storms in the spring, early and late frosts, and large thunderstorms with strong winds fueled by monsoon moisture in late summer. Over time these selection events will produce increasingly resilient plant seeds. 

Each season we grow a handful of varieties that we know are unlikely to produce seeds before frost, but we love pushing the envelope to see what we can and cannot grow here in the high desert. Sometimes it takes years of experimentation to get things to work just right, especially with how variable our growing season is year to year. 

An example of this longer-term experimentation with varieties is our time spent with Japanese indigo (pictured above). The first 2 years that we planted it were pretty demoralizing, and we questioned whether or not it was a viable seed crop in our region. The plants grew beautifully here, but they weren’t able to produce seeds before frosty autumn weather set in.

Instead of throwing in the towel, we saved seeds from the few individuals that bloomed a tad earlier and were slightly more frost hardy, and then we grew those seeds out with a mix of other Japanese indigo varieties with a similar leaf shape.

The result of this mixture of genetics and lots of natural selection via extreme Utah weather events has been a beautiful population of robust plants that are a very reliable dye and seed crop for us year after year.  

I would say that our method for selecting varieties hasn’t changed too much over time, but the harsh conditions of our climate have definitely brought us more respect for the rugged native plants that we grow.  

In the early years of Floret, I rented land from a neighbor and I was interested to read that you also lease some of your growing area. Can you tell us a little more about how you came to find your current location?

After losing our original leased land to the expansion of a nearby highway in 2019, we were having a difficult time finding more land to grow on. Luckily, Rikki Longino, who is now a dear friend, came across a post we had on Instagram regarding our land search and reached out to us about extra growing space that they had available at the Mobile Moon Co-op (MMC). We’ve now been growing crops at the MMC for four seasons and love working alongside them.  

In addition to land leased at the MMC, we plant high-maintenance seed crops in the yard of the house we rent and have an ever-growing diversity of seed crops at Top Crops farm in downtown Salt Lake City. Having three different growing locations can be a lot to juggle, but this allows us to have multiple isolation plots for plants of the same species. 

There are definitely constraints that come with leasing land, and in many cases, like our first lease, you may end up losing all the work you have invested, but the financial commitment of leasing property is far less burdensome than having large land debts. 

Most farmland being sold in our area is priced for future subdivisions and not agriculture, which has prevented us from being able to afford a permanent home for Grand Prismatic Seed. We love our current growing locations but look forward to the security that would come from a future forever farm. (If you are reading this, and happen to have any leads on a little house in Utah with land priced for agriculture, send us an e-mail!) 

Your online shop features an extensive collection of varieties that can be used for natural dyeing. What drew you to this special group of plants, and how do you go about selecting the seeds that you offer?

James: I became interested in dye plants as a teenager shortly after my sister and grandma taught me to knit. Knitting exposed me to a whole new world of fiber arts, and natural dyeing quickly caught my attention. After getting my first books on natural dyes, I became completely mesmerized by the process of coaxing color from plants. My fascination with this process has only grown as I’ve become a more experienced dyer. 

When we started selecting the first dye plants we wanted to grow for our catalog, we were surprised by how difficult it was to source seeds, and even more surprised by the extremely low seed counts (and germination rates) of the varieties that were on the market.

An example would be Japanese indigo where many packets offered in the U.S. contain as few as 10 to 25 seeds per packet, and most of those seeds aren’t viable. (Japanese indigo seed doesn’t have a very long shelf life.) 

Through a lot of research, tedious seed sourcing, plant trialing, dye experiments, and crop successes and failures, we’ve been able to curate a beautiful lineup of seeds for dye plants, and we add varieties to that list each season. We are also happy to be offering seed counts that give customers a greater chance of success with their dye gardens. 

Many of the varieties you grow at Grand Prismatic are open-pollinated. Can you tell our readers a little more about what distinguishes open-pollinated plants from other varieties and why you’ve chosen to focus on them?

We believe a cornerstone of food sovereignty is the ability of farmers and gardeners to save their own seed and adapt varieties to meet the needs of their environment and community. Because of this core tenet, we grow open-pollinated varieties that will produce true-to-type seeds when saved by their new stewards.

Open-pollinated plants are allowed to naturally pollinate within their variety, while hybrids are created by controlling the pollination of two inbred lines to produce a new uniform variety with specific attributes. If you save seeds from hybrid parents, it’s unlikely that their progeny will have the traits you originally desired. Because of this, gardeners and farmers relying on hybrid varieties must return to the hybrid growers year after year to buy more seeds.

You talk a lot about the importance of farmers and gardeners being able to save their own seeds, which is something I’m passionate about as well. Do you have any advice or tips for those of our readers who haven’t tried their hand at seed saving yet?

Definitely! We have two main tips:

First off, we recommend that readers interested in seed saving start by saving seeds from large-seeded domesticated crops like sunflowers, safflower, peas, and beans. Many generations of people across the world have spent thousands of years building relationships with these plants, and that’s resulted in traits that make their seed harvest and cultivation intuitive and straightforward. 

Large-seeded domesticated crops no longer have intricate seed dispersal mechanisms that can make the seeds difficult to collect (like milkweed seeds floating away in the wind, or lupine pods exploding to propel seeds). Many of these plants have also lost their built-in dormancy, which allows them to germinate more quickly, easily, and uniformly when we plant them. 

The seeds of many non-domesticated plants retain innate physical and chemical mechanisms that prevent the seeds from germinating all at once or without special environmental signals that are tied to survival in the plant’s natural surroundings. These signals are often connected to patterns of temperature, moisture, decomposition, wildfire, or other phenomena of the natural world that the plants have evolved with and adapted to. Because of this, undomesticated crops can be quite frustrating for beginning gardeners or seed savers. 

Domesticated plants with large seeds are also much easier to clean without professional tools. A box fan or heavy breeze can easily remove much of the chaff, and when the seeds are clean of debris, the large size makes them easy to inspect for maturity and health.  

By saving seeds from large-seeded domesticated plants, you get to benefit from the brilliance of our ancestors’ work who have made the job so much easier, while also joining a chain of seed savers that will connect you to the next generation of growers.

Our second recommendation is to focus on plants that are self-fertile, meaning that their own flowers can pollinate themselves. With self-fertile plants, you are more likely to end up saving seed for a plant that will produce the vegetables, flowers, etc. that you expect. With outcrossing plants, you’ll need to be much more aware of nearby plants of the same species that may cross with your crop. 

Winter or summer squash are examples of commonly grown plants that can take special care to maintain the characteristics desired by the seed saver. This is due to the fact that one of their main pollinators is a very widespread native bee species that can cover significant distances while pollinating almost exclusively squash plants. What can result is a seed carrying very different genetics than what you are expecting. 

As you get more familiar with seed saving and seed cleaning, smaller seeded crops and native plants will quickly become more approachable!   

I’m impressed by the number of unique and hard-to-find varieties that are included in your catalog. What criteria do you use when selecting the seeds that you offer each year?

Thank you! We hope to inspire people to explore plants by catering to a wide diversity of gardening interests and goals, including food, medicine, dye, natives, habitat enrichment, soil building, and beauty. Some selections come down to personal preference for flavor, aesthetics, and other traits.

We generally try not to use our limited growing spaces for plants that can be sourced easily from large producers unless it is something we have worked to adapt to our local growing conditions, and we always aim to identify plants that we can grow well and that will produce healthy seed crops.

Many heirloom varieties have fallen out of cultivation or have gone extinct. When we identify an heirloom variety that we want to steward, we like to get those seeds out to people and practice conservation through dissemination.

Another goal for our selections is to highlight less commonly known and grown native flora from different regions. We want to provide plants that offer something special to gardeners, whether it is a chance to enhance/support the local ecology by including local wildflowers in their growing space, propagate uncommon wild food and medicine plants, or to incorporate tough, adaptable plants in their garden that create beauty while using fewer resources.

Lastly but importantly, we strive to avoid plants that are known to become invasive and do damage to ecosystems in different areas. If we grow a plant with this kind of potential, we do our best to warn people of the risk and always encourage customers to consult their local state noxious weed lists before ordering seeds.

Last year you offered a few varieties that were part of the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI). Can you tell us a little more about OSSI and its benefits?  

OSSI was developed to provide plant breeders with a way to identify their varieties as “open source” and protect them from future patents. The goal of this is to expand and maintain access to germplasm at a time when farmers worldwide are increasingly dependent on patented seeds that they can’t legally save or share. 

After a plant breeder has submitted a variety to OSSI, seeds of that variety are then sold with the following pledge on each packet:

OSSI PLEDGE: You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.

OSSI also lays out four seed freedoms, which helps to summarize their stance on what an “open source” seed is:

  1. The freedom to save or grow seed for replanting or for any other purpose. 
  2. The freedom to share, trade, or sell seed to others.
  3. The freedom to trial and study seed and to share or publish information about it.
  4. The freedom to select or adapt the seed, make crosses with it, or use it to breed new lines and varieties.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming growing season, and what is the best way for people to stay up to date with your current offerings? 

We are excited about all the new varieties coming to our 2024 catalog, but two that we’re most enthusiastic about are ‘Prairie Sun’ Rudbeckia which is a stunning cut flower and dye plant, and a bicolor Coreopsis that will be the fourth variety of dyer’s Coreopsis that we have available. We’ll also have fresh Japanese indigo back in stock! 

One of the things that surprises us and delights us most each season is seeing customer photos on Instagram or sent to our email that show their happy plants or incredible dye projects featuring plants grown from Grand Prismatic Seed. People are SO creative! 

We are also pretty excited about a handful of educational blog posts that we have in the pipeline for 2024. 

The best way to stay up to date with our offerings is to sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you both so much for taking the time to tell Floret readers about Grand Prismatic. I’m really excited to grow more of your offerings this year. 

Grand Prismatic is offering a generous giveaway of five $100 gift cards to their online shop. For a chance to win, simply post a comment below telling us about your favorite dye plant, or one that you’re interested in trying. Winners will be announced on January 16. Please note: This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

Update: A huge congratulations to our winners Rebecca, Alina, Alex, Sarah Aumsbaugh and Julianna.

To learn more and connect with Grand Prismatic Seed, be sure to visit their website and follow them on Instagram.


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362 Comments

  1. Candace Sauder on

    I have always wanted to try growing Black Scabiosa.
    I didn’t know you could use them to dye with. I had a black flower garden before. I try to grow a lot of edible flowers. I look forward to trying to grow these. Thank you for posting your interview.

    Reply
  2. Shaina on

    Excited to find a seed producer close to MT! I would love to grow ‘Prairie Sun’ and many others.

    Reply
  3. Alexandra on

    I’ve never tried dyeing before, but the first plant that comes to mind is indigo!

    Reply
  4. Krista Schmidt on

    I haven’t ever considered growing plants for dye. And yet, as a knitter, it makes so much sense. I am interested in Prairie Sun Rudbeckia for its lightness and Black Knight Scabiosa for its darkness.

    Reply
  5. Karen on

    So excited to find a source of seeds that is here in Utah and can grow in our environment. I don’t know much about using plants to die but I look forward to gaining information and trying my hand at it.

    Reply
  6. Jen Larsen on

    I would love to grow Japanese Indigo and weld. Dyeing wool is a big goal of mine!

    Reply
  7. Linda on

    Interesting to learn that Japanese indigo seeds packets from the U.S. offer very few seeds and most are not viable. Would love to experiment with seeds for dyeing!

    Reply
  8. Nichola on

    I love that something so simple to grow like Marigolds can be used as a dye! I’m also very interested in indigo since blue shades are harder to find (in my very limited experience).

    Reply
  9. Maretta on

    I love growing Prairie Sun Rudbeckia, and really appreciated the seed saving tips they shared. I live in the Salt Lake Valley and am super excited to learn more about the varieties they grow and try my hand at dyeing. I am most interested in trying the coreopsis and the marigolds.

    Reply
  10. Juliana on

    I would love a rudbeckia to try to dye with!

    Reply
  11. Stacy Martin on

    I like cut flowers as well as dye plants and would love to try the bicolor Coreopsis!

    Reply
  12. Elle on

    I’m really interested in trying marigolds as a dye plant!

    Reply
  13. Michael on

    I just planted a few Prairie Sun Rudbeckia last year, had no idea it was a dye plant! I’d love to try the cinnamon coreopsis though

    Reply
  14. Courtney Morales Thrall on

    I loved growing Navajo Tea from Grand Prismatic last year… I have a small book from the 1930s called “Navajo Native Dyes” and I cant tell you how excited I was to see you all selling these seeds that i had a dye recipe for I’d been wanting to try. I’ve been excited to see your dye seed collection growing and changing every year. For a home grower Grand Prismatic has been a huge blessing. I’ve been able to expand my small dye garden to try new varieties and experiment. Definitely want to try the cinnamon coreopsis this year!

    Reply
  15. Clarrisa Lee on

    Oh my gosh, I’m from Utah but live in Kansas now. So excited that these guys are having so much success! Can’t wait to visit next time I’m there!

    Reply
  16. Lindsay on

    So happy to have learned about this company! I would love to try the Japanese Indigo.

    Reply
  17. Melanie Sibson on

    Wow! I’m glad I was able to read this. Sounds amazing. I’m in Utah also, a little farther south. Am going to have to follow your endeavors. Kudos

    Reply
  18. Catherine on

    I’m very interested in this process for soap making. Flowers for dye sounds like a good fit. Your work is important to how we can make the world a better more natural environment for generations to come. Well done.
    Thank you for this article.

    Reply
  19. Chandra on

    Dying with botanicals is a dream of mine as we expand our gardens. I have used wild grapes to dye some fabric in the past and am currently collecting avocado pits for the next project. Indigo is most certainly a plant I would love to grow, along with dark hollyhocks, as I journey toward a more sustainable future. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  20. Kristina on

    Beautiful golden marigold is my favourite for dyeing. So reliable and the sunny colour always brings a smile to my face. It’s also easy to grow and so accessible for folks! :)

    Reply
  21. Tammy Makoul on

    I am a Blue and white girl – favorite colors for me – and that Japanese Indigo ja just amazing! I Wonder how long the hands stay stained blue!!!!!! You’re doing amazing work! Here’s to beauty and the love of the earth!

    Reply
  22. Lyndsay Baker on

    Wonderful interview! I love the idea behind ethnobotany. I think this going to
    be a crucial component as we move forward with the Artemis program and onward to Mars.
    I would love to try indigo! The shades of blue I’ve seen it produce are beautiful!

    Reply
  23. Kelley Spiller on

    What an inspirational interview and amazing journey! I just learned so much! I love growing flowers that are in the warm color family, but I was really drawn to the indigo dyed items in the photos. I am excited to learn more about this process along with my 16 year old art student. What a fun project to look forward to! Thank you from Massachusetts

    Reply
  24. Rachel on

    Ive been enjoying lending my black hollyhock flowers to my neighbor who teaches our community how to dye naturally using the bundle method. I’ve enjoyed using marigolds, but I’m interested in working more closely with coreopsis and trying another go at amaranth (A botched attempt a few summers ago with amaranth resulted in a very stinky mess!)

    Reply
  25. Cathy S on

    Several years ago I picked up a packet of White Meadowfoam that was being handed out by Grand Prismatic, probably at a Salt Lake farmers market. It was one of my favorite plants with the sweetest white flowers. Unfortunately I didn’t think to collect any seed. I love that these guys are growing right here since any seeds I plant are destined to survive our wacky SLC climate. I’ve never tried my hand at dying but am intrigued to give it a try, especially considering I already grow many of the flowers I never knew could be used for dying. I grow and love black hollyhocks so my list includes the double black hollyhocks as well as those incredible orange safflowers. Thanks for such an informative and inspiring interview Erin, James, and Guy!

    Reply
  26. Anastasia on

    I’d love to try to dye something with Prairie Sun Rudbeckia. I’ve grown it for years but didn’t know it could be used to dye.

    Reply
  27. Kathryn on

    Japanese Indigo! I planted wayyyy to much last year thinking that I would isolate the dye (fermentation) and create a large vat for various projects.
    I learned a little goes a long way and straining the indigo dye to dry can be challenging without an ultra-fine mesh. Still learning and hoping to share what I discover with others as soon as I understand the process well. Thank you for the generous number of seeds in your packets!!

    Reply
  28. Jennifer C on

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and tips in this interview! It was fun to read. My favorite dye plant that I’ve grown is marigold. It’s not finicky and easy to dye with. I have tried indigo once before in pots on my balcony and I wasn’t able to get more than a few leaves off each plant. This year I have a small allotment in a community garden, so I am hoping to try indigo again.

    Reply
  29. Angélica on

    I know it’s not the dynamic but I want to try
    I started last year in the world of seeds after having a small garden and having no income, I saw in seeds a world of possibilities, whoever can know what life brings by starting to share seeds also shared happiness with other people.
    I started with a few varieties that were the ones I had in my garden since where I live it is difficult to find varieties
    I took on the task of saving everything I sold to buy new varieties. The best 26 dollars spent for me was wonderful because that would be a door to new things and I was on my way to my dream.
    Clearly I can’t buy many seeds yet and not having many varieties there is little I can do but seeing the possibility, although remote, of winning some made me immensely happy and hopeful since for me they are not just seeds, they are a part of grand pricematic seed and its history
    I know that all beginnings are difficult and full of learning and I do not think or wish to skip any stage because a life with flowers is the one I want to live.

    Reply
  30. Rama on

    I am repeatedly asked if I do “natural dying” and soon I will have to make it so! I want that red madder color, that would be my first try.

    Reply
  31. Lisa on

    I have purchased many seeds from Grand Prismatic. I love ones I can eco-print with, the Tango Cosmos have reseeded them selves for 3 years now. I’m in Ohio. But I think my favorite was the color dye I received from the Hopi Sunflower seeds! Thanks for your focus on Dye plant seeds!

    Reply
  32. Jennifer on

    I’ve been growing dyers chamomile from Grand Prismatic for years and love it both as a carefree dye plant and as a charming cut flower. I got safflower seeds from GP years ago and save seeds regularly so I’m still planting descendants of those seeds!

    Reply
  33. Il on

    Prairie sun rudbeckia sounds delightful 😊

    Reply
  34. Jennifer on

    I only have become aquained with natural fabric dying late in the season this year. I am eager to try, and have aquired some white cotton sheets and learning more about it, excited to experiment next summer. Thank you for this bog expanding my knowledge and possibilities.

    Reply
  35. Lisa on

    Such a great article! I loved learning about the people behind some of my favorite dye plants. As for those favorites, probably a 3-way tie between Tango Cosmos (Kool-aid orange dye!), Black Knight Scabiosa (experimenting with making pigments) and Shades of Gold Marigold (excellent producer and showstopper in the border garden).

    Reply
  36. Jennifer on

    Thanks for the interesting read. Last summer, I tried making my own mordants and hammering flowers onto fabric with some success. It was a lot of fun to do! I would love to try again with coreopsis!
    Good luck finding land in Utah! Or come up to Saskatchewan. It is only -33 Celsius (-27 F) this morning! 🤪

    Reply
  37. Kristi on

    Wow, Erin, thank you for introducing us to these guys! I love saving seeds and I’ve become more and more interested in natural dye plants, so I can’t wait to check them out! Wonder if they have woad? Going to see right now!!

    Reply
  38. Lauren Ivy on

    I love growing Hopi red dye amaranth. I let it free seed itself and it reliably comes back each year

    Reply
  39. Loi Laing on

    I just ordered some seeds from them today, but I’d totally order some more!😄

    Reply
  40. Amy on

    I have never grown dye plants. But now I’m looking them up!

    Reply
  41. Jill Scripps on

    I just ordered seeds from them a few days ago, I’m so excited to grow indigo this year!

    Reply
  42. Kim on

    I am interested in the dyer’s chamomile and indigo for trying fresh indigo dying. I love the turquoise / aqua colors of fresh indigo! Also interested in trying to come up with some warm green colors…

    Reply
  43. Gunner on

    Looking forward to growing and dying with Japanese Indigo & Black Hollyhocks this spring!

    Reply
  44. Meghan on

    Prairie Sun rudbeckia looks so beautiful and I would love to grow it!
    I’ve grown cosmos and coreopsis in the past, but was unaware of their dye plant potential. Now I’m looking forward to experimenting.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  45. Aleacia on

    I recently learned how to dye yarn with marigolds, would live to try indigo!

    Reply
  46. Bj on

    Looking to work with blues using fresh leaves and then some flower pounding with coreopsis and other flowers.

    Reply
  47. Jana on

    I grew some of your indigo a couple of years back and would love to grow some more! Thanks for this opportunity and the chance to read more about your business. Also, thank you Erin for interviewing these cool growers!

    Reply
  48. Debra / DebraStudio on

    So excited to learn of these growers doing important work! This year I tried Japanese Indigo and want to repeat growing this crop and more selections for a dye garden next to my cut flowers. Thank You!

    Reply
  49. Lucy Schmidgall on

    I have always loved natural coolors and the way the interact and go together so beautifully. Hoping to get my little boys and myself exploring in the garden with herbs teas and dye plants. :)

    Reply
  50. Deanna B on

    I want to try dyer’s coreopsis mix and double black hollyhock. Your flowers are beautiful.

    Reply
  51. Dina Warren on

    My search for dye seeds that were well-adapted to my growing region (southwestern Montana ) led me a few seasons ago to the wondrous Grand Prismatic Seed. Their varieties, ethics, and business practices are everything that I was searching for, and I’ve never had better and more beautiful successes in my garden. Imagine: growing indigo in Montana?!? It’s so fantastic, and- although choosing a favorite is hard for me ( I love them all)- I suppose it would be the one. I’ve had such fun using fresh leaves to dye. That teal blue is my favorite! Thank you, Grand Prismatic, for your truly extraordinary efforts! xx

    Reply
  52. Stephanie on

    I love flowers and fibers. I have always wanted to spin my own fiber and dye it. You have given me inspiration to do this. I am a recently retired physician and started my own small cut flower and vegetable garden. I love to sew, knit, craft and homestead. I am excited to start my new journey and love the information provided in this blog. I will be ordering seeds to start dying my own fibers. I am not sure which ones yet, but I am sure I will find plenty in your catalogue!

    Reply
  53. Christina Duncan on

    I love all of the information you share with your followers! Thank you for all that you do. I would love to try the indigo. This spring I will make my first attempt to dye fabric.

    Reply
  54. Karen Jones on

    As a child in the 1970s, my mom showed me how her family (parents & 10 kids) used onion skin as a dye. My sister and I used onion skins as Easter egg dye that year. This lesson occurred as a result of forgetting to purchase Easter egg dye, and I’m so grateful. I think we need to forget buying a lot of “things” and instead focus on sustaining the natural world which provides all we need. ❤️

    Reply
  55. Rebecca de Waart on

    I would love to try the Illinois Bundleflower! What a fascinating shape and color! Good luck with your business!!

    Reply
  56. Shelby Humpert on

    What a great story! I recently took a trip to Nepal with my mom and marigolds were EVERYWHERE. I have grown marigolds in the past in my hydroponic tower to add some color and for pest prevention, but did not know they could be used as a natural dye. I may have to do some experimenting with all the beautiful yellow-orange hues.

    Reply
  57. Sarah Aumsbaugh on

    So full of great information. Thank you for sharing. I make wood signs. I hate using stain and have been researching about using natural dyes instead. I may have to give the Indigo and Hopi Sunflower a try.

    Reply
  58. Dirtwife5000 on

    Wow, I love all this plant talk! You all know what is good for my soul as I sit here in Washington state during our first real winter storm. 5 degrees outside and I am dreaming about where to put some indigo plants! Thank you for all of this and I hope your wildest dreams come true.

    I hear Delta, Utah is nice and affordable. Fingers crossed they find the perfect location.

    Reply
  59. Eliza on

    I’ve had a lot of success with marigolds for dye, but I want to try indigo again!

    Reply
  60. Erica on

    I have been trying to incorporate plants that can be used for dying. That Japanese indigo is brilliant .

    Reply
  61. Beth Kuligowski on

    Fascinating article! There is so much I have to learn about growing. I have never grown dye plants but would love to try! The Bachelor’s Buttons are lovely to me. Thank you for the chance to win!

    Reply
  62. Jasmin on

    Hello from Los Angeles,CA. I love BICOLOR COREOPSIS! It’s easy to work with. I have made a couple of experimental tote bags and prints with this beautiful flower. I grew Japanese indigo last summer and boy I had a difficult time processing it into dye :/ I think I need to do some more researching.

    Reply
  63. Jasmin Rodriguez on

    I love BICOLOR COREOPSIS! It’s easy to work with. I have made a couple of experimental tote bags and prints with this beautiful flower. I grew Japanese indigo last summer and boy I had a difficult time processing it into dye :/ I think I need to do some more researching.

    Reply
  64. Katelynn on

    This was a really inspiring interview to read. As a painter and gardener, it opened my eyes to how these two worlds can combine. I would love to get my hands on the ‘Prairie Sun’ rudbeckia, I’m sure the color it creates is unmatched!

    Reply
  65. Nan Braun on

    I have been resding and learning for about 2 years and this is the year to take the plunge and grow some dye crops. I am so excited to discover grand prismatic at just the right time.

    Reply
  66. Gina on

    I’ve never grown plants for dye, but this year I am so inspired to try. Loved learning about this seed company and their mission and methods.

    Reply
  67. Melissa on

    Thank you for this detailed and inspiring interview. I’ve dabbled with dyeing, particularly with marigold and coreopsis and look forward to learning more. Headed over to their blog!

    Reply
  68. Jessica T on

    I just found you guys and I’m so excited to both support a local business and native plant varieties. Marigolds are always a favorite for how useful and versatile they are. My grandfather always grew coreopsis so I have to have that in my yard. But I must say that indigo is absolutely stunning and has my creative juices flowing. I mean the conversation value alone of walking around with dyed hands. Awesome!

    Reply
  69. Ashley O'Colmain on

    Here in Hawaii, I’ve experimented with avocado rinds but excited to grow and dye with indigo

    Reply
  70. Jennifer on

    Last year I tried dying fabric w saved flower petals. Pleasantly surprised by results using dried geranium & marigold petals. This year I grew Dyer’s coreopsis & am looking forward to seeing how they do. I’d love to try your indigo!

    Reply
  71. Greg on

    I’d love to try Japanese indigo someday, but maybe I’d start with some marigolds, zinnias, and coreopsis first since I’m a little more familiar with them!

    Reply
  72. Robin Gibson on

    Wow! I loved reading this and learning about Grand Prismatic Seeds:) I’m excited to try to grow some safflower plants this year, for the beauty & to try my hand at dying:) Thank You for sharing this!

    Reply
  73. Deb on

    So interesting- Im from the South Eastern Idaho area and your description of the elements is very familiar. Have become interested in plants/flowers for dye also. Quite amazing to see while gardening/picking, pruning, fussing with varities the color traces left on fingers… hmmm must be a way to save that color for later uses not just their current beauty.. so interesting to learn about.. so Thank You! (Am now in Northern Idaho).

    Reply
  74. Lisa Edelhuber on

    I’d like to try an iris named Nearly Black that is supposed to create a bluish purple dye.💜

    Reply
  75. Karen Usher on

    Love Hopi Red Dye Amaranth!!! Wonderful interview, thanks!

    Reply
  76. Amber on

    I had no idea this seed source existed essentially in my own backyard! I’m excited to learn more about Grand Prismatic Seeds; and more about creating dyes with flowers. I love coreopsis for it’s colors and how resilient it is to drought and heat so I think I’d want to try the bicolor coreopsis first

    Reply
  77. Tirsa on

    I want to try madder. The color is stunning!

    Reply
  78. Julianna on

    My favorite dye plant is avocado! I used it to dye my bedding and did an iron wash.

    Reply
  79. Laura on

    My favorite dye plant is Japanese Indigo, which I got started with because of Grand Prismatic. I was browsing other seeds when I saw their Japanese Indigo and threw in the cart on a whim. I’d wanted to grow it before but it didn’t seem practical in dry Colorado but since I saw them having success in Utah, it gave me the encouragement I needed! I’m excited to try out black hollyhock this year.

    Reply
  80. Susann Rehbock on

    I too majored in Anthropology in college. I minored in textile design. I dabbled in dyeing and miso indigo resist as taught to me by Shizue Okawahara at UW. I am now retired and getting my garden started from scratch. We built on the Beach in Ocean Park and am slowly getting started towards my goal of some eco printing. I would very much love to be on their mailing list and be able to buy Japanese indigo. Also will have a large cutting garden. My biggest customers right now are the deer. ;(

    Reply
  81. Lisa Jo on

    I love all varieties of coreopsis and I’d love to try the bicolor with my next gardening project. We’re slowly turning our back yard into a field of pollinator-friendly flowers, and I’m determined to use what we grow to bless others in our neighborhood, and encourage them to grow more flowers, too! Remember: bee kind + beelieve = bee-utiful!

    Reply
  82. Dejah on

    After planting in apartment balconies for years, this year I have a real in ground garden that I’m so excited to grow a variety of vegetables and flowers in. The shades of gold marigolds are not only gorgeous as a flower, but the fact that they can be used for dye as well is a bonus. I want to string them into garlands for summer dinner parties!

    Reply
  83. Michelle Andras on

    Japanese indigo sounds interesting to me. I just started learning about natural dyes with a beginner dye kit from Farm &Folk.

    Reply
  84. Rita Ditto on

    I had recently ordered seeds from Grand Prismatic and they are on the way. I am so excited and can’t wait until they arrive! I don’t know that I had a favorite, there were so many beautiful flowers and dye colors to choose from. I have to say Cinnamon Coreopsis really jumped out at me. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be!

    Reply
  85. Celeste on

    I think I am drawn to cool colors over-all , and the Blue Butterfly Pea seems really interesting. This is definitely something I want to try:)

    Reply
  86. KP Mills on

    Informative interview. I love Grand Prismatic! I also love, love, love growing and using black scabiosa (aka purple pincushion). It makes a lovely dark teal dye bath, and the individual petals are wonderful to use (fresh or dried) in bundle dyeing! I would really love to expand the cosmos and corepsis varieties that I grow.

    Reply
  87. Lindsay Furtado on

    That bicolor coreopsis sounds lovely. Anything with more than one color tone tingles my viewing sensation. I am becoming more intuitive to home grown and made things and excited to see where dye flowers could take me. I know that flower printing has fascinated me as well and wonder if dye flowers would make perfection candidate for that.

    Reply
  88. Megan Joy on

    I love Grand Prismatic seeds, and supporting other locals in my area. I grew indigo, marigolds, weld and black knight scabiosas. All did great in my garden and excited to try madder, coreopsis and rudbeckia this year!

    Reply
  89. Barb on

    I love coreopsis, it produces a variety of beautiful shades and colors. I love how every part of the plant gives color, and you can use it fresh or dried, so very satisfying. And it is a beautiful plant to have in the garden, too.

    Reply
  90. Patricia on

    I’d love to try the Prairie Sun Rudbeckia. My climate is very different than theirs but Rudbeckia do well here in the Canadian maritimes as well.

    Reply
  91. Anne D on

    Indigo!!! And I’m so interested in trying to grow safflower in 2024.

    Reply
  92. Kristi Schark on

    I am interested in trying to grow a few different types of dye plants this year and to see where that takes me. Japanese Indigo sounds pretty cool!

    Reply
  93. Ashley on

    I’d love to grow a plot of indigo and some madder as well! Okay, really all of the plants and their colors!

    Reply
  94. Brooke Addison on

    I would love to plant Japanese Indigo. My nana introduced me to ecodyeing and I would love to explore the full process so that we can have a project to connect us even while living on opposite coasts

    Reply
  95. Jennifer Vyvlecka on

    I’ve been using the hammered method on cosmos, this gives an inked impression of the blooms on fabric. But the best part? The leaves! The stem portion stains golden, while the leaves give a vibrant green.

    Reply
  96. Shayla Berry on

    I had no clue Rusbeckia was a dye plant! I absolutely love it. Would love to try it out for myself!

    Reply
  97. Angélica on

    Hello, every day you learn something new and since I follow them, it is no exception. I have realized that flowers do have more uses than I thought. I have had Mexican petunia and clitoria in my garden for a long time and I have seen what It is a good option to dye and it looks very pretty and I would like to try cosmos and sunflowers this spring I can’t wait for it to start🥰

    Reply
  98. Nika on

    I have grown Tango Cosmos from GPS seed for the last few years and love how vibrant and vigorously it blooms. I am resolved to try dyeing with it this year after seeing Britt Boles (@seaspellfiber) coax some absolutely stunning oranges out of it!
    Thank you for being such amazing seed stewards ❤️

    Reply
  99. Karen Turner on

    I’m only beginning this adventure…spurred on by the quilting book using naturally died materials you blogged about…and my 2 grandmothers…one was Native American, the other was a farmer’s wife…both were instrumental in teaching me to be a gardener.

    I grow indigo and after perusing their shop I now know I already grow many flowers that can be used as a source for natural dyes. Fun stuff!!!

    Reply
  100. Renee on

    I loved the discussion of deep connection to space – excited to try fresh leaf indigo dyeing and extracting a range of colors from black knight scabiosa!

    Reply
  101. Brenda Lee Hathaway on

    Great interview!
    My colors would be the Japanese Indigo and then the BiColor Coreopsis.
    I work a lot with wool for felting and some of the colors are stunning.

    Reply
  102. Rebecca on

    I would like to try growing the Safflower, black cumin and strawberry sticks this year. One of my favorite parts about gardening is discovering new plants and varieties that I would normally not see in stores and getting to discover new seed companies. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to try some of these new plants!

    Reply
  103. Casey Flynn on

    Oh once again you ladies sent me down the seed rabbit hole!
    As a market grower in Northern New Mexico this is exactly what I have been searching for in a seed company for years!!!
    Did 2 seed orders in 2 days from them.
    Thank you Floret Flower team for keeping the movement going. Farmers helping farmers!
    Sorry I spent my seed budget with Grand Prismatic so wouldn’t be spending my money you all this year 🥲

    Reply
  104. Kelley on

    I’m very interested in marigolds and other golden-colored dyes!

    Reply
  105. Renee B on

    I loved the discussion of deep connection with space. I would like to try the Japanese indigo – I love the colors that fresh indigo yields (as I’ve seen in pictures)! 💙
    I also have some black knight scabiosa flowers saved from last year and think it may be possible to get an array of colors depending upon mordant – excited to explore! Thank for for this article!

    Reply
  106. Kayla on

    I think in general I’m interested in learning about any plant that can be used for dying. These last couple years I’ve really been digging deep into learning how to become self sufficient and also how to replace and replenish what I take and use from the earth. I would love to try some flowers to be able to dye my own fabrics

    Reply
  107. Sarah Sterling on

    I’d love to try growing indigo and then dying something!!!

    Reply
  108. Nancy Usher on

    I would love to grow Japanese Indigo! What a great interview. I’m so glad to know about this company!

    Reply
  109. Nikki on

    Thank you for your work with conserving and stewarding heirloom seeds! Classic dye plants like indigo have always excited me (who doesn’t love a challenge), but dying with rudbeckia sounds just as fun!

    Reply
  110. Anna on

    Eep! So fun. I once tried dying with onion skins, but it didn’t go so well. (We also had NO idea what we were doing). The double black holly hocks caught my eye as I’ve been thinking about doing an all black portion of the garden!

    Reply
  111. Whitney Steele on

    Thank you for your work in water conservation! I am also from the west and have developed an interest in water wise gardening. I’d love to try the prairie sun rudbeckia!

    Reply
  112. Sue King on

    I an artist by heart and became a lover of gardening from my grandparents. I honestly haven’t tried dyeing since the one time I helped my son do some vegetable dyeing for a science fair project. Lol but I have been eyeing some hand dyed purses and bags the last few months and the thoughts of spring is making me reconsider what I’m going to be planting lol! Northern Indiana has a lot of gloomy winter days. Come on spring

    Reply
  113. Angelica on

    What a great story! I would love to plant some indigo and try my hand at the art of making plant dye. I’ve been inspired!

    Reply
  114. Karen on

    I live in a temperate dry climate, getting less than 12 inches of rain a year. I am so glad to find a seed company that shares many of my values for growing plants! I would like to try my hand at dye plants. After reading Eliza Lucas’ book “Indigo Girl”, I am fascinated by dye plants.

    Reply
  115. Erin Gettler on

    I’m hoping to start growing dye plants this year, in fact! I would love to grow woad and rose madder, but plan to start with dyer’s coreopsis and go from there :)

    Reply
  116. Christopher on

    I first purchased Japanese Indigo seeds from Grand Prismatic Seeds five years ago. Since then I’ve been able to harvest seeds and replant a new crop every year. I’m also a big fan of their coreopsis and dyers chamomile varieties. You just can’t go wrong with seeds sourced from GPS!

    Reply
  117. Kelsey Waite on

    I haven’t tried plant dying before!! But my garden obsession is getting some steam. Last year I harvest as many seeds from my garden as I could, and also bought a lot of new varieties. They are all sitting in cute little jars with cork toppers and black labels. Of the new varieties I am going to be growing, I’m most excited to try my hand at indigo, like a lot of the commenters on here, but I will also be trying out calendula! And then varieites I’m familiar with growing, but never tried drying with, would be cosmos and marigold. I also recently started sewing my own clothes, so this will be such a fun touch to add to future projects!

    Reply
  118. Ana on

    This was so fun to read about a company local to me! Thanks for introducing them to me. I’ve never dyed fabrics naturally before, but that prairie sun rudbeckia would fit right into my landscape and would be so fun to experiment dying with.

    Reply
  119. Sharon Meyer on

    I’m adding more dye plants each year to my garden and am so happy to find Grand Prismatic last year. Rudbeckia will be a new plant this year. Thanks

    Reply
  120. Chanda on

    I’d love to try indigo. I think dying my own fabric and making a quilt out of it would be such a beautiful heritage piece!

    Reply
  121. Rachel on

    Grand prismatic seed was the place I turned to when I wanted to grow my first dye garden—they’ve introduced me to so many new plants since! My first love will forever be indigo but I also love tango cosmos as well.

    Reply
  122. Mayra P on

    I would love to grow marigolds and japanese indigo for dying! Thank you so much for sharing your story and your tips on saving seeds. It’s also something I’m very much interested in doing but has always seemed so intimidating. You answered some of my questions that I hadn’t been able to get clear on from other resources.

    Reply
  123. Amber Tucker on

    I love growing indigo! First sourced seeds from grand prismatic and now I’m saving seeds from my home plants. I’m interested in growing the rainbow! So many colors to choose from. I want to grow more cosmos for color and for cut arrangements.

    Reply
  124. Alex on

    We have the very invasive plant Dyer’s Woad on our property. When I learned that it was going to take over, I researched the best way to get rid of it organically. During that reading, I learned about how to dye with it, and my kids have been obsessed with plant dying things ever since! The chance to work with indigo is a goal of mine. James and Guy are living a dream life, and I love them for their business choices! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

    Reply
  125. Shanti on

    I love Grand Prismatic seeds and what a great opportunity learn more about them. They have great and unique varieties and they grow in a high desert evnironment similar to mine. I have grown a good crop of indigo the last few years and this year I plan to actually dye something with it.

    Reply
  126. Sabrina on

    I’d love to try growing madder & weld. They are two plants I’m learning more about & have never grown.
    Thanks for sharing your passion & seeds!

    Reply
  127. Destin Padgett on

    There are several plants I want to try to dye with but also to make water color paint with! I would like to work with some indigo, and I have a lot of coreopsis in my garden that I would like to experiment with too!

    Reply
  128. Holly H on

    I am getting ready to retire and I cannot wait bcuz there are so many things I want to try and experiment with in my garden!!! I would love to try dying with scabious and cosmos with my 7 yr old great niece.. I have been teaching her all about magic fairies that live in the flower gardens and words at my house and make her fairy flower baths (baths with petals in the tub) now, we will try to make her special ‘fairy’ pj’s dyed with fairy flowers!!! This will be sooo much fun for us this summer!!! She will LOVE IT🙏🏼💗💫✨ The world is still full of so much beauty and fascinating things to learn!🌸🌸🌸

    Reply
  129. Drew on

    I love the Lance-leafed Coreopsis. I first fell in love with it because of how obsessed my local flock of Goldfinches were with the seeds, but now I’d love to try some of it for dyeing!

    Reply
  130. Kathy on

    Love this interview and reading about dye plant selection in depth. Last year was my first year growing plants for dying and I am planning to expand my garden this year. I’m looking forward to trying indigo and am currently waiting for my Grand Prismatic order to arrive. 💙

    Reply
  131. Brian Donnelly on

    What a great interview! I’d love to try growing some more rudbeckia as a dye plant, as well as the bicolor coreopsis!

    Reply
  132. Lauren on

    Oh this is such an inspiring story! I’m excited to experiment with indigo and native flowers like coreopsis that were traditionally used for dying fabric. There’s a whole world wanting to be explored!

    Reply
  133. Gracie on

    Dye plants will be new to me. Your Weld looks beautiful! The plants itself is so fun and the golden yellow it turns fabric is beautiful!

    Reply
  134. Josh McAllister on

    I have not entered the realm of dying plants…yet. I would love to try many varieties, but indigo calls to me. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of Grand prismatic before as it is so close to me. I’m enthused to have a local seed provider so close to home with seeds developed for the exact region I live in!

    Reply
  135. Kori on

    My garden is a grand experiment I share with my grandchildren and family. I can’t wait to try growing sone of these and making fun flower dye tees with them . I’m certain the coreopsis and rudbeckia will both flourish in my Zine 8 garden.

    Reply
  136. Amanda Pratt on

    I’ve grown so many of their seeds over the years and by doing so I’ve grown as a seed starter… some of the natives are a challenge to start but I love that they sell them. I think the dyers chamomile has been a favorite the past year.

    Reply
  137. Patti on

    I love your seeds thank you! I have been enjoying tango cosmos. What a fun plant to grow. It’s so wild looking in the garden and a prolific bloomer.

    Reply
  138. Karen Faulkner on

    Facinating interview. I did some marigold dyeing using flowers I had grown for the first time this year. Would love to try indigo!

    Reply
  139. Lauren on

    My new favorite is mint !

    Reply
  140. Kathryn Johnson on

    Japanese Indigo! First time trying dying with plants & love all the shades this plant offers !

    Reply
  141. Sandy on

    As a Grand Prismatic seed customer in Colorado I can vouch for the efficacy of their dye seeds. I am a great fan of the dyers chamomile which I have used to dye hand spun wool for weaving tapestries. I look forward to more adventures in dyeing this year!

    Reply
  142. Lauren on

    I’ve played around with indigo but I’d like to actually grow my own. I also have been growing and saving giant marigolds to dye with!

    Reply
  143. Denise on

    I’ve loved growing your indigo! I still haven’t figured out dying with it besides fresh on silk but one day I will!

    Reply
  144. Alex on

    It’s a tie for me with all the coreopsis varieties! What a useful flower!

    Reply
  145. Brandon Patterson on

    I’ve bought Grand Prasmatic for years and I enjoy their variety and ethos. I’m a fan of red dyes like those of the madder roots.

    Reply
  146. Douglas Pierre Baulos on

    As a Gardner and educator in the deep south of Alabama, I’m interested in substantive dye plants like indigo that through processes can literally strengthen and transfigure cloth and paper. As a queer artist that has run a public dye garden for over 15 years, indigo has been an amazing plant to grow and work with a wide variety of individuals with. My personal work used a variety of plant based photographic processes and emulsions and dyes that almost always start with indigo, madder, coreopsis and walnut, but use other plants as mordant and cross dyes etc. I also fell in absolute love with black knight scabiosa which I saw and started growing from your catalog about 5 years ago.☆♡

    Reply
  147. Lisa DeLora on

    I think the Prairie Sun rudbeckia would be a fabulous color! Makes me want to learn to dye!

    Reply
  148. Sandee Radtke on

    My husband has built me a special raised garden bed so that I can plant some dying plants! First has to be indigo, I’m trying both varieties. I’m glad that I read that the seeds don’t last long, as I have been buying seeds from you for the past two years, But I never planted them. I will definitely buy some new seeds this spring and get them in the ground!

    Reply
  149. Laura on

    Thank you so much for the insightful interview! I love the idea behind the OSSI – as a novice seed saver/breeder, I find the exchange really helps not only the variety expand genetically but also encourages knowledge and community!

    Indigo is always a favorite but I’m curious to learn more about Prairie Sun!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  150. Lori on

    I love the indigo not only for the dye but the beautiful pink/magenta blooms it has

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  151. Robin hauger on

    I love the idea of dye with plants . Japanese indigo and dyers coreopsis sound fascinating .

    Reply
  152. Tori on

    Wonderful interview! My favorite dye plant so far is Diablo cosmos—those flowers give such rich color, especially in eco-prints. Also love plains coreopsis—I dyed some socks in a pot of loquat leaves and then eco printed coreopsis over them for a lovely effect. I look forward to growing my own blues, both woad and indigo, and to one day harvesting my madder root.

    Reply
  153. Kim Durr on

    What a great interview! I am so excited to try out this local Utah company. I am passionate about native plants and have recently become very interested in natural dyes, so I’m thrilled to learn about Grand Prismatic!

    I would love to try dying with the Japanese Indigo!

    Reply
  154. Marleigh on

    I have had my eye on some False Indigo. Such a pretty plant for such a judgmental name! 😆

    Reply
  155. Beth O'Keefe on

    I love that you educated and encouraged us on seed keeping! I am interested in indigo – I live in southern mn and so much of our prairie landscape has changed. In 2024 I am up for a challenge of growing different floral to use as dye for projects! So awesome to know more about your business best wishes 2024

    Reply
  156. Mickey Mariash on

    I’m looking forward to try the new bicolor dyer’s coreopsis and grow enough black knight scabiosa to experiment with ph and color changing from info the grand prismatic guys shared with me!🤞

    Reply
  157. Anne on

    Had no idea that scabiosa was a plant dye. Hoping to grow a few from your collection. Thank you.

    Reply
  158. Kristen on

    I love the look of fabrics dyed with marigold and would love to try that myself. I was surprised by some of the flowers in your dye collection that I already have — like scabiosa!

    Reply
  159. Rachel on

    Grand Prismatic’s Dyer’s Coreopsis is coming into its 3rd year in my garden and brings me joy during the growing season with her prolific blooms as well as in the winter with her generous, orange dye. :) Thank you for the work you do, James and Guy!

    Reply
  160. Megan on

    I’ve been planning on getting into growing dye plants as a gardener and a sewist. Japanese Indego is the plant I was most interested in but would also like to find a green dye that I like.

    Reply
  161. Julia Hitchcock on

    Thanks so much for the interview and the gorgeous photos! I’ve been an organic veggie farmer for 20 years, but I’m just getting into dye plants now. Two years ago I helped an artist friend grow Japanese indigo, and the seeds were from you! She taught us how to cold dye silk with it and that gave me the kernel of passion that has me diving deep this winter into natural dying. I’m excited about the Navajo tea, a.k.a. Green thread and I’m excited that you guys grow vegetable varieties that are drought tolerant… I would love to get more heirloom seeds that have traditionally been grown with very little watering!

    Reply
  162. steph on

    tango cosmos and sand dock!

    Reply
  163. Stacy on

    Indigo!
    🩵💙🩵💙🩵💙🩵
    I love this seed company (as well as all your informative posts)
    As a conservation farm with rare Longwool sheep, dye plants are a huge part of my gardens 🐑🌿 they let me dye my wool naturally showcasing the beauty of our Lincoln Sheep wool and the natural dye plants 🩵

    Reply
  164. Deb on

    I’m delighted about the interview since I just ordered from Grand Prismatic! I’m already growing black hollyhocks & Hopi red dye amaranth. They both volunteer, & I love them & leave many seedlings to do their thing. I have also not had much luck with indigo but am giving it a try again. I’m pretty excited about dyer’s coreopsis & purple basil for eco printing. This will be my first year trying this out (I bought a kit from dogwood dyer).

    Reply
  165. Alyssa on

    Safflower and indigo! This was such a great interview, thank you!

    Reply
  166. Whitney on

    Indigo or hopi dye sunflower!

    Reply
  167. Anna on

    Coreopsis and tagetes!

    Reply
  168. Lisa Overholtzer on

    Tagetes lucida or Mexican marigold, called pericón in Spanish! It’s also great for tea or as an herb.

    Reply
  169. Kim jordan on

    This interview was extremely informative for myself ….its opened up my eyes to a new and exciting field
    Always looking to be educated about everything plant related
    Thank you

    Reply
  170. Holly Morton on

    I love to hear that he got his start w plant dye via wool/knitting. That is how I have become interested, too. I recently bought some white roving in hopes of dyeing to spin, to knit! I have a lot of magenta amaranth that sprouts freely around the farm and have been eager to try it as a dye esp since its such a massive plant and the plant’s color is phenomenal, though I don’t know yet if that color translates well to the wool. Thanks for the fantastic blog posts on these companies!

    Reply
  171. Chelsea on

    What a cool journey! I played with dahlia petals for dyeing some this last season and want to continue, as well as adding some new options to our garden. This interview was inspiring!

    Reply
  172. Charlene Lee on

    Great interview!
    I’m excited to dabble in this and do some dyeing!
    Thanks

    Reply
  173. Andrea on

    I would love to try growing indigo! Natural dyeing seems like such a fascinating process!

    Reply
  174. Katie on

    Hollyhocks have been on my list to add to the garden, and the double black they have would be so fun to try. Gorgeous flowers, and the ability to experience with plant dyes!

    Reply
  175. Alex on

    Brilliant, much needed education and access to growing and adapting to the environment here in Utah – much needed varieties. For me Calendula would be a great go to on many levels, pretty flower, hardy, healing internally & externally, it’s edible, great for dying & just extremely versatile – a perfect beginners entry seed!

    (ps. Forwarding your article to a friend that works in downtown SLC regarding land & tiny home – may be able to get a grant!)

    Reply
  176. Katy Christopulos on

    This is so inspiring! And what an informative interview. I have been deeply curious about dye plants for about a year now and would love to try indigo in my garden.

    Reply
  177. Ryan on

    Inspired to try a marigold dye this summer!

    Reply
  178. Karen Teasdale-Simpson on

    Marigolds!!! All the bugundy’s and golds. They were my grandfather’s favorite. I know many people that don’t like their smell, but I love it and it always takes me back to childhood! 💗

    Reply
  179. Guinevere on

    Thank you for your hard work and vision! I’m excited to work with the Japanese indigo!

    Reply
  180. Emmy C on

    Great interview. So inspired to add to my dye plant garden!

    Reply
  181. Naomi on

    I love coreopsis. I first planted it because it is a native wildflower, but when I bought other flower seeds from Grand Prismatic a couple years ago, I found out it’s a dye plant too! Right now I grow primarily for the native pollinators and cut flowers, but one year I would love to explore plant dye.

    Reply
  182. Angela on

    So glad to see Grand Prismatic Seeds is growing in a desert climate similar to what I live in, and offering seeds to sell. The Japanese indigo and the madder are such interesting plants and I would love to try them out. Well done!

    Reply
  183. Susan Hornbeck on

    I love using marigolds to dye fabric it produces such a rich color!

    Reply
  184. Kate Lyaker on

    I cannot wait to grow safflower! Thank you for having such an amazing seed company. Can’t wait to buy from you.

    Reply
  185. Kelly Waldrop on

    I really want to try the sand dock. Such an interesting plant. I love that it is drought tolerant.

    Reply
  186. Baz on

    I can’t wait to get started on dying fabrics with flowers and plants. Thank you folks!

    Reply
  187. Emily on

    Thank you for sharing about Grand Prismatic. I love learning about different seed companies, and I am so excited to support them . I’m a sucker for Scabiosa and I had no idea that it could be used for natural dye. I’ll be placing an order for the Black Knight variety today. Planning my garden is the main thing that helps me get through Minnesota winters.

    Reply
  188. Rebecca on

    Love finding this resource! I’m in Durango, CO so hot, dry summers, snowy winters. I’m excited for Prairie Sun Rudbeckia and showy milkweed. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  189. Mary HL on

    My grandmother taught me to garden when I was 2. I still remember what she taught me (so teach your babies to garden, they can do it!)
    My garden is one acre and I need help! It’s rocky and there are lots of animals, especially regular squirrels 🐿️ and ground squirrels. They eat everything, including the roots. I’ve just planted some onions and garlic and a few marigolds. They’ve nibbled on the edges of the marigolds so I’m hoping if I grow enough they won’t eat it all. Is there a marigold variety that they won’t eat?
    I adore sweet peas and sadly they don’t thrive here, but I grow some every year anyway. I love double flowers, especially pink double hollyhocks (which I can’t find anywhere).
    What’s next? Any ideas?

    Reply
  190. Andrea Steele on

    I love marigolds! I’d love to try dying with these.

    Reply
  191. Jill P. on

    The safflower plants look gorgeous – I would definitely grow those! I have ordered veg seed from Grand Prismatic before – the crystalline ice plants were very cool!

    Reply
  192. Katie S on

    Ooh, I’d like to try the Japanese Indigo. Very informative interview. Thank you!

    Reply
  193. Janet on

    I must admit that I have never used flowers for dyeing but after reading this article I am very interested. Japanese Indigo has caught my attention!

    Reply
  194. Kristine H on

    Thank you for such wonderful education with all of your beautiful flowers!! I’m so very grateful and super excited to grow some of your wonderful seeds in my garden this summer!! Indigo is truly my favorite !! Thank you Erin for sharing this with us!!!

    Reply
  195. Stacy N on

    I am so inspired by this and now definitely want to try my hand at natural dying, starting with Tango Cosmos. Orange is my favorite color so I love the idea of major eye candy (for myself), attracting/feeding pollinators and taking a stab at dying my own napkins and other cloths. Keep up the great and hard work!!

    Reply
  196. Christy on

    I’m in Utah and wasn’t sure if I could grow Indigo here, I’ll have to give it a try! Lots of great resources on your website.

    Reply
  197. Melissa Wiest on

    This is all so intriguing. It’s science and art dancing together. A portion of my garden simply must be dye plants this year. My goal is to use them to make watercolor paints for my sister. At 70 years young, she has discovered a new passion! Wouldn’t she be so surprised and delighted!
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Oh, and the blue Indigo is my fav.

    Reply
  198. Jenny Stites on

    I just perused the website, and I learned so much. Madder looks pretty interesting. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I love a vibrant red. Going to give it a try!

    Reply
  199. Casey on

    I’m interested in Japanese Indigo, especially strains that will thrive and set seed outside of semi-tropical climates.

    Reply
  200. Jennifer Barr on

    I love marigolds! They’re so prolific they don’t seem “precious” to me so I’m more likely to use them and not hoard them, you know? But the color! That is precious for sure.

    Reply
  201. Halina on

    I’m familiar with using onion peels, beets and black tea to dye my Easter eggs! Now I’d like to graduate to dyeing fabric! Japanese Indigo sounds wonderful. I’m going straight to the website to learn more. Thank you for a wonderful interview, greetings from Vancouver, Canada.

    Reply
  202. Lisa on

    I would be so excited to grow seeds that are tried and true for Utah!! Yay!

    Reply
  203. Lisandre on

    Wow ! This interview opened a new world of possibilities to me. Would love to take time this summer to explore some dye plants. I would start with safflower.

    Reply
  204. Katie Asher on

    Japanese Indigo! That’s my first choice but I am amazed at all the options.

    Reply
  205. Tonia S Levens on

    Thank you for all the hard work you have done in providing seeds specially for dye. I have a fabric business and recently found your shop before reading this article, in my search for flowers for dyeing fabric. I just placed an order in your shop for 8 different plants. I can’t wait to get started with this new journey combining my 2 passions sewing and gardening. Thank you for the opportunity to win such a generous gift card.

    Reply
  206. Tonia S Levens on

    Thank you for all the hard work you have done in providing seeds specially for dye. I have a fabric business and recently found your shop before reading this article, in my search for flowers for dyeing fabric. I can’t wait to get started with this new journey combining my 2 passions sewing and gardening.

    Reply
  207. Klokkevold Sheila on

    I’ve had good luck with their seeds. I’d like to try the indigo.

    Reply
  208. shelley on

    So excited to learn of a local seed company! Japanese Indigo growing here in the mountain west makes me so happy. And I am definitely excited about Prairie Sun. Sign me up!

    Reply
  209. Alina on

    I have always collected dandelions everywhere I go and use them for tea, for dye, for vases, for jellies and for games. It’s my favorite plant because it is a healer of many things and literally brightens everything and is completely misunderstood and underestimated. It grows everywhere, even concrete. I kind of relate haha.

    I would love to grow more flowers that I could enjoy and find the benefits for

    Reply
  210. Britiney on

    I’ve never used plants for dye, but I’d love to try. I’m fascinated by the possible colors and the plants that produce them.

    Reply
  211. Cindy Drumgool on

    The Rudbeckia sounds awesome. I am not in the mountains but wonder how our New England weather and its many fluctuations compares

    Reply
  212. AW on

    I would love to do a dye project with Japanese indigo. I grew up with many indigo-dyed textiles around me and the hue is so familiar and comforting. As a kid, I was always crushing plants to see what pigments I could get and what they smelled like. When I have free time, I’d love to experiment with dye plants.

    Reply
  213. Carolyn on

    I’m interested in growing Japanese indigo and learning about other plants to make dye.

    Reply
  214. Victor on

    I’m very interested in attempting to grow Madder. Thank you for introducing dye plants to me!

    Reply
  215. Danielle Gent on

    I tried seed saving this year from my veggies and native plants and now I have my box of seeds waiting to be planted this spring! I had to look up each plant one by one and learn how to save the seeds. I learned that I was sometimes impatient and did not wait long enough for some of the seeds to be ready, ha ha. You must have a lot of patience to wait until the time is right and to meticulously get the seeds out. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  216. Shannon Carr on

    Well, heck, they are all beautiful and I had no idea this was even possible. I’d have a hard time choosing between the Rudbeckia and the indigo. I suppose because I already have Rudbeckia in my garden, I’d choose it. How fun though!

    Reply
  217. Lisa Applegate on

    I would love to grow indigo. I love to paint and would love to make my own paints.

    Reply
  218. Megan on

    I’ve always wanted to try growing Japanese indigo but figured I’d never be able to harvest t a crop in the northern Rocky Mountain West. But maybe with your seeds I can!

    Reply
  219. Ariel Knepper on

    Rudbeckia is a flower that really speaks to my soul. It’s beautiful and hardy in drought. Even at over 100 degrees F this past summer I saw clumps of Rudbeckia in bloom, looking as great as ever. I also live in Utah so it’s exciting to see you feature a company that is local to me!

    Reply
  220. Mary on

    The only dying that I have ever done was using onion skins to dye Easter eggs. My mother would save the skins all year. Then she would have us kids choose what color skins we wanted. We would wrap them around the eggs, cover it with a white rag that was tightly tied to keep it all contained. We then put our eggs in boiling water. The eggs all came out with some beautiful patterns, as did the rags!
    I learned then that boiling water could transfer color to material.

    Reply
  221. Lauren on

    Wow! Thank you for highlighting this incredible seed company. My family frequently visits Utah, and I’m so excited to hear that folks with an amazing ethos are stewarding the land and helping increase biodiversity here. I’m so excited to try working with their Prairie Sun rudbeckia!

    Reply
  222. Linda korsiak on

    I have used onion skins and beets for dye, but have long been interested in indigo.

    Reply
  223. Darlene Smith-Gianelli on

    As a spinner/weaver/sewist and gardener I really enjoyed learning about Grand Prismatic. And Utah is next door! I’ve dabbled with dyeing several times and always enjoyed the magic of it all, from onion skins to avacados. Indigo is still to come…. Would love to grow my own, that would be the best!

    Reply
  224. Kenzie on

    I so enjoyed reading this as I also garden in the intermountain west. It can be so extreme and so short of a season out here! I had my eyes on the prairie sun rudbeckia- she’s a beaut 😍

    Reply
  225. Amri on

    That cinnamon coreopsis is amazing! I had no idea that some of the dye plants on the Grand Prismatic could be used as dyes. I love that you all are located in UT, we’re in Western Colorado and I appreciate that your seeds can handle our weather extremes.

    Reply
  226. Laine on

    I tried to grow indigo this year and the slugs got all but one seedling – had just enough to dye a tank top and toddler sized t-shirt – but it was so fun and I can’t wait to grow more this season!!

    Reply
  227. Kat on

    Living in the High Desert of Oregon I’m looking forward to trying your seeds. For decades I have made small baskets in natural colors using grasses and wood fibers but have not experimented with using natural dyes. Time to change that!

    Reply
  228. Helen R on

    Of course Japanese Indigo, because who can resist THAT blue; also I’d love to try dyeing with those beautiful marigolds. I’m so impressed with how James and Guy have brought their dreams to fruition through their hard work and determination…so very inspiring!

    Reply
  229. Brooke on

    As a social worker/ gardener, this story really resonated with me! I love seeing how efforts toward sovereignty and reclamation are in every facet of society. I have worked with many farmers and growers who have lost their generational farms and livelihood due to corporate and industrial patents. Thank you so much for sharing about the OSSI <3 I can't wait to learn more! I have my heart set on growing indigo at some point. Blue is such a rich color that I never seem to get enough of.

    Reply
  230. Lisa on

    This was so much fun to read, thank you for sharing. I’ve never tried using natural dyes before but as a quilter have a definite interest in it! I’d love to try the coreopsis!!

    Reply
  231. Rachel on

    I love indigo and can’t wait to grow and work with it again this season, it’s magic!

    Reply
  232. Sara on

    I am a knitter and I have the softest local wool available to me. I’ve always dreamed of hand dying my yarn with plants grown in my garden. I am obsessed with the blue of Indigo and how striking it is next to the creamy color of a Shetland Sheep.

    Reply
  233. Rosa on

    Hello Erin,

    Thank you so much for writing this fascinating blog post and thank you to James and Guy for sharing your knowledge and expertise…and such interesting information. I have followed Grand Prismatic Seed on Instagram for a while and subscribed to your newsletter recently. I just this weekend purchased Japanese Indigo seeds, Black Knight Scabiosa and Tango Cosmos. I am so excited to plant these seeds! Especially the Japanese Indigo, I have wanted to grow it for several years. Wishing you all abundance and joy…and many green blessings in 2024.

    Reply
  234. Marnie Herrick on

    Not knowing about dye plants until this article, I’d love to experiment with Japanese Indigo. Looks amazing!

    Reply
  235. Emma Crippen on

    Dying with Indigo sounds so fun. Love to try new plants to grow!

    Reply
  236. Megan on

    We love to tye dye shirts and it would be awesome to do this with plants that we grew. I never knew you could use Rudbeckia! What amazing information, I would love to learn more about the plants to use to dye.

    Reply
  237. S.D. on

    It is so awesome to find this company, like another commenter I live in north/central AZ and I’m very excited to try some seeds out from Grand Prismatic! I’ve never tried dying with plants but they always look so beautiful. I think my first attempt would be with marigolds!

    Reply
  238. Amber Kunz on

    I have not tried dying with plants before, but am very interested in trying it. I am interested in trying several different plants, but am particularly drawn to marigolds because of their coloring and resilience.

    Reply
  239. Christy on

    Enjoyed this post!! I’d LOVE to learn more about flowers used for dyeing! To me dyeing has a hippie vibe to it and I love that! As for a favorite plant for the process, there is A LOT to learn to decide on a favorite just yet. I do love sunflowers though!! Can the sunflowers with the red color be used? Thanks for any information!!

    Reply
  240. Evie Ulibarri on

    I live at high altitude in northern Arizona and am so excited to find out about Grand Prismatic and know that their seeds are already adapted to our harsh high desert climate. I have been growing Prairie Sun rudbeckia for a few years. Rudbeckias thrive in my garden!
    As a kid I tried using poke berries to dye cloth & clothing. It was a fun experiment, but I would love to learn more about natural dye plants.

    Reply
  241. Patricia Malcolm on

    I am forwarding this article to a few gardener friends. So interesting. Good luck finding farm land. So sad that greed makes people sell property to these dang builders!

    Reply
  242. Erin M. on

    I have yet to dye with plants, but I adore dying with avocado skins/seeds. The soft pink it produces is so pretty, and it’s such a low effort dye process! I’m hoping to learn more about natural dyes and plants this year!

    Reply
  243. Cristine G. on

    I’d love to try black hollyhock to dye my handspun yarn!

    Reply
  244. A. F. H. on

    I’ve been looking for a beet-colored flower shade for dying cloth and would love to try “Black Magic “Bachelor’s Button”!

    Reply
  245. Tami Volz on

    I knew nothing about dyes, so this blog was really interesting.

    Reply
  246. Johanna on

    I love marigolds. One of these days, I need to try dying something with them this year. It is wonderful to have plants that are both beautiful and functional; the marigold has sooo many functions!

    Reply
  247. Sue Hill on

    Wow my son who has developed a been interest in gardening sent me this article because of my interest in and use of plants in dying wool and silk for the yarns I hand spin keep up the good work I shall order some dye plants seeds

    Reply
  248. Pam on

    Great article! Looking forward to spring & working in the soil – as January in northern Illinois is snow & cold. Will try planting dye plants this year on the 10 acre farm. Thank you for all the information you shared in this article.

    Reply
  249. Emily Brooksby on

    As a Utah- based small flower farmer, I am so excited to be introduced to a Utah seed company! I would love to try indigo that can grow in my climate!

    Reply
  250. Fawn Freeborn on

    I’ve only used Beets and calendula to dye and those 2 colors are my favorite! I love the bright happy pink and yellow these create. I would love to experiment with more!

    Reply
  251. Cindy Cooper on

    I just placed a small order with you, and am very excited to start my own dye plant garden here in western Washington. Your website descriptions are beautifully written!

    Reply
  252. Karen Sweaney on

    Floret,
    Thank you for sharing this WONDERFUL seed company. I can’t wait to read more about them on their website and to try the moon carrot; it looks spectacular.

    Reply
  253. Emmy Husfloen on

    My least favorite dye plant was blackberries, because when my kids would go pick the berries they would wear their nice clothes and they would get all stained.. After that I had them continue to wear the same clothes and it created art. I would love to try hibiscus, rudbeckia, and calendula because of their bright vivid colors. Thank you for the interview, it was great hearing about some of the history of Grand Prismatic Seed Company. I will be ordering from both of these companies very soon. Emmy – Bee True 2 You Blooms

    Reply
  254. Cathy Coffin on

    This interview sparked a keen interest into natural gardening as I am learning and leaning toward this in my own landscape. To pick a favorite would be difficult at this time as I feel giddy, like a kid in a candy store. Surprise me!

    Reply
  255. Kathy on

    I am a knitter and love using hand dyed yarns in my projects. This interview has inspired me to try my hand at dyeing some yarn myself. Thanks for a very informative and thoughtful interview.

    Reply
  256. Mary on

    Hi I would love to try growing the Indigo seeds, my 22 year old daughter is super into Indy dying and She is searching for a natural alternative to the synthetic dyes on the market. Thanks Mary

    Reply
  257. Linnéa mattke on

    I love using marigolds for dying but I would love to try the Japanese indigo! Great interview. Thanks for posting it.

    Reply
  258. Deborah Noel on

    What a wonderful and informative interview. I love using ‘weeds’ for dying. Plantain spp., local barks, lichens….. Calendula and amaranth are 2 of my favorite to grow at home here in California. Thank you.

    Reply
  259. Robin Habing on

    I love the Prairie Sun with the vibrant yellow not only to try for a dye, but to brighten bouquets! Looking forward to learning from your website! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Reply
  260. Holly on

    Definitely want to see this catalog! We have a small cabin in the eastern sierras where the climate is similar to Utah. Love this company’s mission!

    Reply
  261. Traci on

    I would love to try indigo or the new rudbeckia! Exploring using natural dyes has always been a journey that I have wanted to take!

    Reply
  262. Ellen Delano on

    The pale yellow of tansy is my favorite. Tansy is such a versatile herb.

    Reply
  263. Lisa on

    Madder! Takes a couple years to get there but so worth the wait for the loveliest of reds.

    Reply
  264. Gwendolen on

    I love growing and using Japanese Indigo. It self-seeds for me (zone 5b, western Canada) and covered in pretty pink blooms. And it’s my favourite non-toxic hair dye!

    Reply
  265. Jan Thompson on

    Recently moved to Tucson and trying to figure out what grows at over 100 and below freezing. Nice to have your site for reference and education. I am looking for hollyhocks and scabiosa.

    Reply
  266. Gwendy Haas on

    This is super fantastic. I have been working to get part of my property back to natives here on the front range of Colorado and it is so hard to find good seed that is truly native and not filled with other species. I love the idea of dye plants but my heart is with the medicinals that my grandma taught me about as a child. I can’t wait to check out your website. Thank you for sharing and maybe I will have to get some calendula to try out some dye projects.

    Reply
  267. Mandi on

    Daufuskie Island, off the SC coast and one of my favorite places, has a rich history in indigo. There is an on-going project at the lighthouse site to farm it again, as well as a local vendor making beautiful items. I would love to try growing my own and experiment with dying.

    Reply
  268. Judy Schuitema on

    We have wide-ranging growing conditions here, too. I’m looking forward to trying out your seeds. I need to find plants that can withstand 100 degree summer heat and freezing winter temperatures.

    Reply
  269. Mary Denny on

    Thank you for such an informative blog post! I’ll be heading to their website to check them out. I’ve just started being interested in dye plants after dying some pillow cases pink this summer with olds berries from my freezer for a art project. The pillows turned out awesome and now I’m hooked. I’d like to grow some indigo and try my luck at that stunning color. The yellow and dark greys that come from natural dyes are also on my list. Thank you Grand Prismatic for your hard work. Keep it up! We need you

    Reply
  270. Eileen Johnson on

    I think the colors of nature are the most true and beautiful. The dessert color pallet is my choice for a knitted sweater. I’d like to dye bare yarn that I have spun. It will be fun to research and grow the plants for this project!

    Reply
  271. Christina Olson on

    I’d be interested in trying the blue indigo for dying, although I’d be worried about my hands turning blue permanently!

    Reply
  272. Debra Rogers on

    I love this article and can’t wait to explore their catalogue. I love when you learn of people who just happened upon a passion and are continually expanding on prior understanding to build a life of meaning. I’m especially interested in learning more about varieties of plants that can tolerate weather variability and temperature fluctuations. Thanks for sharing this interview!

    Reply
  273. Theresa on

    I’m excited for this new rudbeckia! Indigo has my heart though. What a gorgeous project!

    Reply
  274. Kay Antunez de Mayolo on

    Your catalog is both amazing and beautiful. High desert seed sources are rare. Thanks for your dedication and hard work

    Reply
  275. Jami Pragnell on

    I would love to try growing Japanese indigo after living in Japan for 5 years and visiting a farm where it was grown and the dye used for beautiful textiles. (Tablecloths, wall hangings, etc.).

    Reply
  276. Dominique Dietz on

    This will be my 4th year of cut flower gardening in Ogden, Utah, and will be my first year of planting the seeds I saved from last year. I have yet to learn about using plants to dye with. The depth of knowledge for growing plants pretty much blows my mind, as there is so much to learn. Posts like this add to my bank of knowledge.
    I recently purchased some native seeds from your collection that will be used for a non-profit farm/garden, Grow Ogden/Eden Streets, which will provide employment & skills to those who may be experiencing homelessness. Thank you for sharing your knowledge & passion. ♡

    Reply
  277. Sarah on

    I am a quilter and have always loved the way plant-dyed fabrics look in a quilt. I have been wanting to try creating my own for awhile now. I would love to use calendula, onion, walnut, rosemary, beets and marigold.

    Reply
  278. Sheri Allen on

    I’m going to be partial to the safflower because of its beautiful color, and appearance as a flower and a dye. Amarillo Tx could use some more color!

    Reply
  279. Addie Elliott on

    I have always been wanting to experiment with growing indigo for dying! I was once gifted some. Keep up the good work, looking forward to checking your selection!

    Reply
  280. Becky on

    I’d love to try indigo!

    Reply
  281. Jessica Defaymoreau on

    Wow! Love, love, love what you guys are doing! I raise Navajo Churro sheep and grow flowers to die my own wool. I would say my favorite flower to dye with has to be zinnias, or Amaranth Hopi dye. They both give off lovely vibrant colors. Can’t wait to try some of your seeds out!

    Reply
  282. Tracey on

    Japanese Indigo sounds amazing! I read a book a couple of years ago called Indigo Girl about Eliza Lucas in the 1740s who was determined to be an indigo farmer in the South Carolina. It took her about 5 years to get a viable plant. The book is based on historical documents. I loved her perseverance!

    Reply
  283. Laura Weaver on

    Such a cool journey! I live and garden in the desert so I understand the struggle! I would love to grow the rudbeckia and the Japanese indigo! I love growing any new flower!

    Reply
  284. Logan Stoltman on

    My favorite dye plant to use on my sheep and alpaca fleeces is pokeberry. You can achieve soft pinks to deep fuchsias that blend well with the natural greys, browns, and blacks of the fleeces.

    Reply
  285. Elisa Zwier Dralle on

    I haven’t done much dying yet, but I’m excited to try some hammered flower projects with my annuals. Any species you’d recommend for this type of dying? We’re in South Bend, IN, zone 5b/6a

    Reply
  286. Sondi on

    I’m very excited to learn more about your products and methods.

    Reply
  287. Donna on

    Such an interesting read. Excited to have more resources on dye flowers. The Prairie Sun Rudbeckia is beautiful; you’ve peaked my curiosity about using it as a dye.

    Reply
  288. Sarah on

    I want to try growing indigo again. I planted it in the past but wasn’t successful.

    Reply
  289. Meegan on

    I’ve been growing hollyhocks from seed saved from my grandma for years! I love that the seeds are OSSI certified and that you encourage seed saving! They’re all beautiful.

    Reply
  290. Maddi on

    I’m growing Cosmos Bright Lights this year to try natural plant dyeing!

    Reply
  291. MARK NISIUS on

    Truly enjoyed reading your interview. I live in Northern Minnesota Zone 3 and have had mixed flower & veggie gardens for over 30yrs now. I enjoy mixing perennial flowers into gardens beds both ground & raised alongside of vegetables. i would be very interested in Dyer’s Coreopsis Mix

    Reply
  292. Jennie on

    I’ve always loved seeing videos and projects using natural dyes… this is amazing! I’d be happy to try any of them but the marigolds, rudbeckia and hollyhock caught my eye on their site.

    Reply
  293. Hughlena Kay on

    I am just beginning my adventure and I am like a sponge soaking up all your wonderful information and I can’t wait to share pictures of what I grow on my new little farm in Alabama.

    Reply
  294. Jennifer M on

    The moment I saw the mountains in the background I knew where you were as I live near ones just like it. I love the matching hats and the passion you have for your business. I would love to purchase any of these plants. I find natural dying to be interesting especially when searching for more safe and homeopathic options for the art.

    Reply
  295. Christine Collier on

    Prairie Sun Rudbeckia sounds lovely, I can’t wait to try it! Thank you for sharing this great story.

    Reply
  296. Patricia on

    Many years ago, when I lived in New Mexico, I heard about a sunflower that the Hopi people grew once upon a time that dyed fiber blue. I would very much like to find and grow it.

    Reply
  297. Sarah J on

    Black magic bachelor’s button looks beautiful! So many great flowers.

    Reply
  298. Linda Padilla on

    I’m interested in all of them! This is so exciting to me
    because I live in a very similar climate in New Mexico. I plan to make great use of Grand Prismatic! I’m just beginning my Master Gardener’s course and new resources are very exciting.
    💚

    Reply
  299. Shannon on

    The black hollyhocks are stunning! I would love to try those

    Reply
  300. Linnea on

    I just love that red color the Madder plant makes! Beautiful! Would love to try those seeds.

    Reply
  301. Shannon on

    I love growing and dying with Pincushion Scabiosa. It is a beautiful flower and is great for pot dying or bundle dying.

    Reply
  302. Robyn Johnson on

    I’m so happy to hear about this seed company! I’m also from and live in Utah and know what a great place it is. And… a tricky place to grow so huge kudos to James and Guy! I’ve never looked into dye plants, how fascinating! Probably indigo because the blue looks gorgeous!

    Reply
  303. Shannon on

    I love growing and dying with Pincushion Scabiosa. It is a beautiful flower and is great for pot dying or bundle dying. Thanks for sharing these companies!

    Reply
  304. sammy zil on

    Japanese Indigo would be fun to try….and it sounds like it might be a little frustrating to grow, so I like the challenge!

    Reply
  305. Amy on

    I am just getting into dyeing. I am so excited to try my hand at indigo! (And coreopsis, and, and, and…!) I love to say I’m planting a “dyeing garden” and watch the expression on people’s faces. 😁

    Reply
  306. Brianna on

    The japanese indigo sounds beautiful! I’m a knitter too and would love to try dying yarn. And I live in Colorado and really appreciate the idea of having seeds that are better suited to my climate.

    Reply
  307. Kate on

    I’ve been interested in trying to grow and use indigo for several years now. I think this is the year I will do it!

    Reply
  308. Sheila McClain on

    I would love to try dyers chamomile and safflower from Northeast Georgia

    Reply
  309. Jennifer on

    Such a cool article! I just placed my order that included coreopsis varieties and your indigo to try dyeing! Looking forward to trying it out in my high desert garden of Idaho.

    Reply
  310. Lisa on

    I live in Southwestern Montana, zone 4b, so I’m always looking for hardy varieties that are unique. I also dabble in eco dyeing and would love to try planting indigo!

    Reply
  311. Stacey on

    I’m very interested in their dye varieties of coreopsis. Coreopsis do well for me in my high desert environment.

    Reply
  312. Sayde on

    I am always eager to grow more and more Japanese indigo, I’ve been growing seeds from Grand Prismatic for 3 years and it has been incredible down here in NC!

    I am a fiber artist and used all the fiber I dyed to continue to build up my body of work at the intersections of natural color, fiber and environmentalism.

    Reply
  313. Joanne Koegler on

    I live in southern Alberta. With a similar climate at Utah. We just bought a property with enough land for a bigger growing space than we’ve had. This blog post caught my attention with “medicinal plants” and “dying plants”. I haven’t had the space to try these in the past. My husband’s grandfather was a naturopath doctor in Ontario and grew most of his own medicinal plants, which has always interested me. I have always wanted to try using plants for dying fabrics and wool. I look forward to trying some of your seeds! Thank you for sharing your work with the world.

    Reply
  314. Rebecca on

    My husband and I may be moving to an extreme weather area (desert) to work with human trafficking victims.

    We currently own a flower farm where we live and believe having a flower farm for these victims would bring a world of healing.

    This article caught my eye as I wasn’t sure what we could grow. I was excited to see amaranth and marigolds as possibilities!

    Reply
  315. Holly on

    I love how you have thought about everything in your seed journey. You can maintain a beautiful natural color with the seeds without harming the environment. I think there are many forms of farming but I am always drawn to companies who want the best for the environment not just their personal success. Continue to forge the way and be an additional beneficial seed outlet for floret. The world needs you!

    I would choose the red Rubin basil. This could be used as multipurpose. Cut flower, dye, edible, and the flowers are beneficial to bees.

    Reply
  316. Melissa Dredge on

    I’m hoping to ditch the grass in my suburban front yard and as a Utah native, if love to grow things that will thrive and look amazing. So glad to know if a company to offer just what I need!

    Reply
  317. Coneshia Gordillo on

    Talk about learning something new all the time. This was a really interesting read. I have begun enjoying things that were common practices in the past but are now “not so common”. I think one day I would like to try this and I think the Bicolor Dyer’s Coreopsis would be my choice.

    Reply
  318. Emily on

    Yay!! I live and grow in Utah and am so happy to see someone focusing on plants that will thrive here! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  319. Kyra on

    Wow, I read your listing on Hopi Red Amaranth. I’ve heard so many people try to use it as a fiber dye without success (myself included). Alas, I’ll remember the beautiful color should I want to color an Easter bread!

    I’m very interested to try growing safflower this summer. What an extraordinary flower it has.

    Reply
  320. Karla Santoro on

    I’m a quilter, so use a lot of fabric! I especially love batiks–and the story of how they are made. But, I’m not ready to add dyeing fabric to my plate. If I did, indigo would surely be the first, but I’m not commenting for the seeds–just wanted to say I loved the interview. It’s fun to learn about folks working in the farming/seed saving world.

    Reply
  321. Cheryl Mandler on

    I’m moving to Denver from Massachusetts and want to grow flowers that will thrive in a dessert climate.

    Reply
  322. Susan on

    I have enjoyed working with fiber arts for many years, including knitting, crocheting, and weaving. I have dyed yarn with foraged plants, and love the complexity of the colors. Another interest I have explored is using medicinal plants for body products, and health. As a gardener I enjoy starting my own seeds, and I am interested in growing dye plants. I would love to grow some of your varieties since I live in Oregon’s hot and dry climate.

    Reply
  323. Mandy on

    I enjoy growing flowers, so trying any kind that could also have another purpose sounds fantastic to me!!! I will definitely be trying to use my cosmos and see if any color will work but would also like to try others as well.

    Reply
  324. Donna Ball on

    I’ve never tried growing plants for dyeing but your story and your plants make me think I’d like to give it a try.

    Reply
  325. Jennie Taylor on

    I was excited when I saw “my mountains” in the picture of Guy and James. I love learning about local companies and to get seeds from a neighbor company that thrive in the utah climate. I am ready to learn and attempt dye seeds.

    Reply
  326. Tater Kieser on

    We have just gotten into cut flowers. Japanese Indigo would be a dye plant that I think would be exciting to grow.

    Reply
  327. Semaj on

    What a LOVE commitment to dedicate so much of oneself to the preservation of plants. I love when people have a calling and follow their hearts. Doing so always seems to lead to MAGICKAL experiences and adventures. Thanks for sharing this brilliant couple, I applaud their works and effort!

    Reply
  328. Jessica Miller on

    I haven’t tried dye plants before – but I’m excited to try the Double Black Hollyhock.

    Reply
  329. Cindy on

    I’ve been dying wool for many years as an occasional hobby with my friend, both of us wool spinners. It’s as much fun to dye the wool and be surprised by the end colors as it is to spin it! We usually experiment with natural products, our last experiment being with avocado pits (of all things!) that created a soft pink. I have always wanted to try indigo but have been intimidated by it. Reading this interview has given me the itch once again to do some dying, and how fun to grow the plants for the dye!

    Reply
  330. Hayley on

    I knit so I’ve seen that some farms also use natural dyes for their yarns which seems so cool!

    Reply
  331. Mary on

    I want to gift your seeds to my niece who is building an off the grid house in a desert area in California. The growing conditions sound similar, as do your views and ethics. Thank you for existing!

    Reply
  332. Colin on

    Indigo is such a treasure! I have grown it in the past and look forward to really experimenting with it this coming summer.

    Reply
  333. Karen on

    I have a book on dyeing fabrics but haven’t tried it yet. I have Osage shavings to try but haven’t taken the plunge yet. A little intimidated!!

    Reply
  334. Jean Williams on

    Fascinating article! I’m going to purchase Rudbeckia seeds! Excited to find your company.

    Reply
  335. Emily on

    My favorite dye plant this year was the darkest dahlia I was growing. This year that was the nuit d’ete dahlia. It makes a rich dark red.

    Reply
  336. Sarah Thurman on

    Madder root has such an earthy vibrancy. Would love to try it, and my small children would be thrilled to be involved in the dyeing process.

    Reply
  337. Lindsay on

    What an amazing and unique company!! I loved this part “ I hope to introduce people to plants and ways to interact with them that provide meaningful connections to the natural world.” We homeschool our children and one thing they absolutely drop everything for time and time again is gardening and foraging. I think they would love to learn natural dying. We will be ordering seeds. Thank you for this fantastic article and for the way y’all are impacting generations to come on the beauty of meaningful connections to the natural world. Japanese indigo is on our list for sure. Lovely. Erin thank you for letting us know about them. 🫶🏽

    Reply
  338. Rachel on

    I would like to try the prairie sun rudbeckia for dyeing.

    Reply
  339. Amy on

    I would like to try indigo.

    Reply
  340. Karen G on

    We have tried dyeing with various berries, “weeds” like nettle and comfrey plus some flowers like orange dahlias . Would love to experiment further.

    Reply
  341. Amy on

    I would like to try indigo

    Reply
  342. Krista SWANSON on

    Thank you for this information! I would love to grow Indigo plants! I want to dye everything that gorgeous rich color-wow!!

    Reply
  343. Erin on

    I would be very interested in trying rudbeckia! I have some seeds but had no idea it could be used for dye. So fascinating reading your story!

    Reply
  344. Mary Merenda on

    I find seed saving interesting because it allows me to keep growing plants. I would like to try to grow Indigo plants.

    Reply
  345. Stacey Diehl on

    I would like to try Orange African Marigold for dyeing. I have many seeds saved for growing out this year.

    Reply
  346. Carmin Wade on

    ‘Prairie Sun’ Rudbeckia sounds like a very interesting plant to grow.

    Reply
  347. Patti on

    I’m interested in growing the Japanese indigo plant as I am involved with fiber arts and recently was given a fiber art Japanese flying fish. I’ve learned these cloth fish are made of naturally dyed fabric pieces, could be old kimono pieces. They are pieced together with a variety of creative stitching and then hung on small ropes strung with small bells and beads. A tag of paper is attached with a wish noted. The fish are then hung up to catch the wind and carry the wishes to the skies. I’d like to create my own hand dyed fish.

    Reply
  348. Kim on

    Would like to try Dyers Chamomile!

    Reply
  349. Rachel on

    I LOVE Grand Prismatic! Only good experiences with seeds from them. My favorite dye plant I’ve used is coreopsis!

    Reply
  350. Paige on

    My favorite dye plant to grow is dyer’s chamomile. The cheerful plants are prolific and the blooms long lasting. I was originally given a few starts (by Guy and James!) when I bought a flat of indigo starts from them several years ago and what a wonderful gift they have turned out to be. This plant has thrived in even the harshest, hottest rental house gardens I’ve had over the last 5 years. After my initial planting in a hot-as-hell yard in Salt Lake City, my dyer’s chamomile seeds have traveled to my new home in the even higher desert of southern Utah where I continue to grow them out and save seeds each year. Occasionally I drive by that original garden in SLC and can usually see the cheerful yellow blossoms peaking out above the now uncared for and weedy garden – a truly tough-as-nails plant!

    Reply

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