(Ru­bia tinc­to­rum)

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Home Grown Hand-Made -

The roots of mad­der are used to make reds that can then be al­tered by chang­ing tem­per­a­ture or ph. The end re­sult also de­pends on the age of the root. For deeper reds, har­vest the roots when they are at least three years old. Dry the roots for a deeper red. Fresh roots pro­vide a more orange-red. Mad­der can spread in the gar­den, so keep it con­tained. Plant in full sun and free-drain­ing soil. Bet­ter reds are ob­tained with cal­cium-rich soil, so add lime dur­ing au­tumn or win­ter.

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