Growing and Saving the Seed Of Butterfly Pea

Latin name Clitoria ternatea is a tropical perennial member of the fabaceae or bean family. This frost tender vining plant can be grown as a perennial in frost free zones, or treated as an annual in the north. Also can be planted in pots and brought indoors when cold arrives. Electrifying blue blooms make a brilliant blue food dye and tea. Perennial in USDA zones 9-11.



Native to equatorial Asia, including India and Southeast Asia. Celebrated for its medicinal qualities in ancient Ayurvedic medicine as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine.


  • Traditional medicinal uses
  • Makes a brilliant food dye
  • Steep into a colorful, tasty tea




  • Nick and soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting.
  • Seeds germinate in 15-20 days.
  • Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost, transplant out after all chance of frost has passed and soil has warmed reliably.
  • Do not direct seed unless you are located in zones 9 or warmer.
  • Ideal germination temperature 70-75 F.


  • Plant this heat-loving vine in full sun.
  • Adaptable to a range of soil conditions.
  • Space plants 3-4 inches apart and grow up a vine or trellis.


  • It is a pest- and disease-free plant.
  • Be sure not to subject plants to excessive cold, as they will suffer in cool temperatures and may experience mold and fungal issues.


  • It is very easy to save the seeds of the butterfly pea. Simply allow pods to completely dry on plants before picking.
  • Dry the seeds 1 week indoors in a warm, dry location out of direct sunlight.
  • Store in a cool, dark, dry place over winter.