Hyacinth Bean Vine adds Color and Interest to your Gardens

Vines have long been a favorite of mine to have in the gardens and yard. I think it started with growing gourds, which will vine everywhere. Flowering vines help the gourd pollinate better and add color to the green vines so I started mixing in flowering vines.  

It was not long before the Hyacinth bean pod vine ended up being on of my favorite vines to grow each season. It is a “must” in my gardens. It’s a beautiful vine that grows rapidly, sometimes up to 20 feet. The vine is a dark maroon that is covered with deep green leaves and the blooms are spikes of fragrant pea-like purple flowers that bloom from early summer to early winter.  

How to grow a Hyacinth Bean vine 

Select a sunny location for the vine. It does grow in partial shade but the more sun it has the more it will flower. It can be grown in a container for an unusual hanging plant or used for ground cover. I grow my vines in containers or on trellises. The ones in containers have trellises in the containers and are moved indoors in the fall so that they can be enjoyed longer. Wait until the last frost before planting or start indoors.

If I start the vines indoors I start them six weeks before the last frost. Plant the seeds one inch deep with 6 inches between seeds. Water after planting and water every day unless it rains until the seedlings appear.  

Tip: I nick my seeds then start them in paper towels. Using this method I speed up the germination time to two or four days. If you plant normally follow the instructions below. 

Watch for the seedlings to emerge in seven to 20 days. When they are two inches tall, thin to nine to 12 inches apart. Hyacinth bean pods are low maintenance and require moderate watering two to three times a week.  

The vine is so delicate that is really stands out if you grow it on a trellis or upwards. It makes a great hanging basket and some people use it as ground cover but I like to use it as a spotlight in the garden.It can be grown on a fence, trellis wire form that is shapes to give it a topiary shape or mixed in with other plantings. It requires little training and will wrap around whatever is handy. 

The pods will turn brown and dry out as they mature. I collect the dried pods and store in a paper sack to plant the next year. In my area the seeds are difficult to find so savign seeds is a must.

Hyacinth beans enrich the soil with nitrogen and they attract hummingbirds. They are easy to grow once they germinate and don’t have many insect or disease problems.

The young immature pods can be cooked and eaten but the mature dried seeds are toxic due to high levels of cyanogenic glucosides. Add the Hyacinth bean vine to your planting. You will love the look and comments that they get.

Tags: hyacinth bean vine, flowering vines, flowers that attract haummingbirds, nicking seeds, vine growing tips

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