Hyacinth Bean Vines: Tips On Growing Hyacinth Beans In Pots
By: Liz Baessler
If you have a wall or fence you want to cover, you can’t go wrong with beans. Even if you’re not trying to mask something ugly, beans are great to have in the garden. They’re fast-growing and vigorous, and they often produce interesting flowers and tasty pods. Hyacinth bean vines go above and beyond in this regard. With light to dark purple flowers and striking fuchsia pods, they’ll brighten up absolutely any garden. But what if you don’t have a garden? Is it possible to grow these beauties in a pot and up a fence or railing? Keep reading to learn more about how to plant hyacinth beans in containers.
Container Grown Hyacinth Bean
As with all potted vines, container-grown hyacinth bean vines need something to climb on. In their native tropics, where they can grow for several years, they often reach over 30 feet (9 m.) in length.
Hyacinth bean vines aren’t at all frost tolerant though, so, in most places, they’re grown as annuals. Even in a single growing season, however, they can get as long as 15 feet (4.5 m.). This means they need something tall and strong to climb.
Growing hyacinth beans in pots means that you can place them where you want. Place your container near the bottom of a railing or fence and let it climb away. Alternatively, plant your beans in a hanging pot and let the vines trail down to the ground in a spectacular cascade.
Growing Hyacinth Beans in Pots
Hyacinth bean vines are very forgiving when it comes to growing requirements. They will do well in soil that is poor and both slightly alkaline and acidic. Any standard potting medium should be more than enough. They do require well-drained soil, so make sure your container has plenty of drainage holes.
They perform best in full sun, but they can take some shade. You can sow the beans outdoors after the last chance of frost, or start them inside several weeks earlier.
The beans themselves are edible, but toxic if eaten raw. Always cook your hyacinth beans thoroughly before eating them.
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Caring For Hyacinth Beans In Pots - How To Plant Hyacinth Beans In Containers - garden
Hyacinth Bean Vine is a fast growing, flowering vine, with pretty purple flowers. If you're looking for an annual flowering vine that grows at a stellar pace, the Hyacinth Bean Vine is for you. It grows 10' - 15' in a single season!
Hyacinth Bean Vine is easy to grow. Flowers bloom from summer through fall in purple and some white colors. Butterflies are attracted to the bright blooms.
As a flowering vine, it needs some type of support to climb. A trellis or fence works well. The support should be big enough to support ten to fifteen feet of vine growth.
Important Note: Raw bean seeds are poisonous. They need to be boiled for a long time, to make them safe to eat. They are a food crop in some parts of the world.
Plant Height: 8 - 15 feet, not too bad for an annual!!
You can use the blooms and pods for cuttings, too.
Hyacinth Bean Vine are grown from seeds. Sow Hyacinth Bean Vine seeds directly into your flower garden after all danger of frost has past. Plant seeds 1 1/2" deep. Final plant spacing should be six inches apart.
Seeds germination period requires two to three weeks. For indoor starts, try a seedling germination mat.
Tip: For more successful germination, soak seeds overnight, prior to planting.
Do not plant seeds until after the last frost date your area. Plants are susceptible to frost.
Days to Germination: 14 - 21
How to Grow Hyacinth Bean Vine:
Hyacinth Bean Vine is easy to grow. Grow in full sun. Plants prefer a rich, well draining soils to fuel their fast, season long growth. Mix a healthy dose of compost into the soil prior to planting.
Plants like a lot of water and nutrients. While they like lots of water, they do not like wet soil. Keep soil moist, not wet. Add fertilizer when planting and every month during the season. Use a high phosphorous formula just before the first blooming period.
Plants will begin to bloom in summer, and continue to do so into the fall. After the flowers bloom, purple pods will begin to form. They grow up to three inches. Raw beans inside are poisonous. Keep away from children and pets. Boiling beans for a long period cooks out the poison, and makes beans edible.
Plants are annuals that are very susceptible to frost. They may still be in bloom when frost arrives. Unfortunately, covering this long vine, may prove impractical.
Hyacinth Bean Vine are good "re-seeders". If the pods are allowed to open and pour out their beans, you will find many new plants next year. Do not disturb the soil until seedlings have begun to grow. Thinning will almost certainly be needed.
Insect and disease problems are infrequent. Treat with insecticides, repellents or fungicide as needed.
Features of the Hyacinth Bean Plants
Purple Hyacinth Bean plant produces fragrant purple flowers and striking electric-purple colored seed pods known as Lablab. You can use the flowers and pods for cuttings.
Its bright green, pointed leaves grow in leaflets of three leaves. The flowers resemble sweet peas, without scent. They grow in loose clusters and followed by glossy purple pods that start off looking like snow peas but eventually fill out and plump up.
Its wine-tinted foliage is deep green and textured smoothly. It is a fast-growing vine that will begin to bloom from early summer to early winter. After the bloom period, purple pods will begin to form and can grow up to 3 inches. The beans inside are poisonous so make sure keep them away from children and pets.
Generally, annual plants are very susceptible to frost that can still bloom when frost arrives. Unfortunately, covering this long vine, that may prove impractical.
What is interesting about this vine is its pods are bone on it almost all year round except the winters. Additionally, these vines are good “re-seeders”. If their pods are allowed to open and drop their beans, you will find many new vines next years. You may do not want to disturb your soil until seedlings have begun to grow.
This dark maroon Vine can grow 10′ to 15′ in a single season (Not too bad for an annual).
As a climbing vine, Hyacinth Bean Vine needs some type of support to climb. The support should be sturdy enough to support up to 20 feet of vine growth. A fence, trellis or post works well. It will quickly cover a fence or trellis with large leaves.
Lablab purpureus 'Ruby Moon'
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean fruit
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean fruit
Other Names: syn. Dolichos purpureus
A beautiful vine that is fast and easy to grow pretty purple and white pea flowers followed by striking ruby-red bean pods in summer attractive blue-green and burgundy foliage excellent for trellises or cascading over garden walls
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean has clusters of purple pea-like flowers with white overtones at the ends of the stems from late spring to mid fall. The fruits are showy ruby-red pods carried in abundance from late summer to mid fall. Its heart-shaped leaves emerge grayish green in spring, turning bluish-green in color with distinctive burgundy veins throughout the season. The burgundy stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean is an herbaceous annual with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting birds and bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean is recommended for the following landscape applications
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. As a climbing vine, it should either be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
How to Grow Hyacinth Bean Vines
Choose a sunny location in your garden. The vines prefer full sun. They will grow in partial shade but they won’t produce as many flowers and pods. They need rich, well-drained soil. They also like to be moist. Don’t let the soil dry out.
Because they are such vigorous growers, you will need to fertilize them monthly. Use a fertilizer that has a low first number (nitrogen) such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5. The middle number is phosphorous needed for flower and fruit production.
I’m an organic gardener so I don’t use regular fertilizer. My preferred fertilizer is Organic Neptune’s Harvest made from fish and seaweed. Its formula is low in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous. I like it because I can use it on my flowers, vegetables, herbs and houseplants. It’s easy to use. It comes concentrated and you dilute it in the amount you need. I can make a small amount when I am fertilizing my houseplants or a larger amount when I am fertilizing my garlic in the spring.
Hyacinth bean vines are grown not just for their flowers, but also for their purple pods.
Plants→Lablab→Purple Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus)
|(7)||Purple Hyacinth Bean|
|Plant Habit:||Vine |
|Life cycle:||Perennial |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun |
Full Sun to Partial Shade
|Water Preferences:||Mesic |
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F) |
|Plant Height :||6 - 8 feet|
|Flower Color:||Purple |
Bi-Color: Pink and white
Other: usually purple, some bi-color pink and white
|Flower Time:||Summer |
Late summer or early fall
|Dynamic Accumulator:||Nitrogen fixer |
|Wildlife Attractant:||Bees |
|Resistances:||Drought tolerant |
|Toxicity:||Fruit is poisonous |
|Propagation: Seeds:||Needs specific temperature: 65 to 85F |
Days to germinate: 5 to 14
Sow in situ
Other info: sometimes self-seeds
|Pollinators:||Various insects |
|Containers:||Needs excellent drainage in pots |
Ever wonder what the most popular annuals appear to be? We have run a report of the most photographed and discussed annuals in our database!
This vine surprised me. Here in the heat of western Kentucky most vines die out by the end of July, but not the Purple Hyacinth Bean vine. It seemed to grow and bloom forever, long after the leaves had fallen from the deciduous trees. It's a great vine for covering fences or a trellis quickly, producing purple flowers and those striking electric-purple colored seed pods. Lablab bean is a good choice for a quick screen, though. It grows so fast, has beautiful, fragrant flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and it even produces edible leaves, flowers, and roots. Dry seeds are poisonous due to high concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides. I particularly like it because of the numbers of hummingbirds it attracts.
Purple Hyacinth Bean is a fast growing annual vine with bright purple, bean-like seedpods and pretty pink flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The dried beans contain high concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides and are only edible after prolonged boiling.
HBV begins to bloom mid-summer and produces many seed pods by late Fall. Seeds are numerous and easy to dry and save.
Soak seeds overnight before planting to speed up germination.
When planting in pots, hyacinth bulbs can be spaced more closely than when planting in the ground because the bulbs won't need room to multiply. You can squeeze them in so they are almost touching, but leave room for some soil in between to hold water.
Keep the soil damp but not soaking wet until the bulbs sprout. Then, water whenever the soil dries out. Once the bulbs have sprouted, move them to indirect sunlight. Cool temperatures will keep them in bloom longer.
If you are potting hyacinth indoors for forcing early blooms, you will either need to purchase pre-chilled bulbs or pre-chill them yourself.