welcome spring with a hyacinth bean vine…

the vegetable garden seeds are sprouting and the back yard is being prepared to plant in about a month. 

however, veggie seeds are not the only things i started indoors!  last year, i was walking with my mom and we saw this gorgeous vine near my house, growing on a neighbors mailbox.  the flowers were a lovely shade of purple, the leaves were a gorgeous green, and the pods were SO COOL!!!! 

so, my mom, being the gardener that she is pulled off a couple of pods and handed them to me.  (i am thinking, “is that legal????”  and “what the heck do i do with these?!”)  well, she told me to dry them out and come next spring i could plant the seeds inside the pods. 

my to my own surprise, i ACTUALLY did it!  i dried them out and retrieved the seeds from inside:

some of the pods dried brown and others kept their purple color...

the seeds are black with a white rim on one side...

i have a railing outside that is that old, gross, fake iron stuff…and i can’t afford to replace it with something prettier right now.  PERFECT!  i decided to put it into pots and i will place those pots next to that railing and let the vine cover the railing. 

i knew that i couldn’t place them outside yet, as we haven’t had our last frost in nashville.  however, i wanted to go ahead and get them started.  so, i did.  i placed 2 seeds in 6 inch terracota pots (picked them up at home depot).  i planted them about 3 weeks ago…and look at what i have as of yesterday 🙂 

the pot in the back isn’t as far along as the others.  i placed saran wrap over the pots until the sprouted.  i am leaving the saran wrap on that one until it fully sprouts. 

DO IT YOURSELF….if you have a pod you have been holding on to, try it out.  here are the steps again.

  1. get 6 inch pots and saucers that match them
  2. place two seeds in each pot (you could probably do more, but i wanted to give them room to grow).  put them about an inch deep.  i used organic potting soil.
  3. water them well, but don’t drown them.
  4. place saran wrap loosely over them.
  5. place them in a warm and sunny spot to sprout. 

i will post again when i set them outside and let y’all know how they do as they crawl up and cover that awful railing!

if you have any additions to starting seeds or vines, PLEASE post below.  we would love more information!!!

8 Responses to “welcome spring with a hyacinth bean vine…”
  1. Lori says:

    I found this on thegardenersrake.com –

    “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.”

    • b. martin says:

      thanks lori! on the TIP above – you can also nick them and soak them in warm water for about an hour. that works too!
      i so appreciate you adding this to i. and, can’t wait to see if i have any hummingbirds show up!

  2. Brad says:

    Great idea, thanks! Another great annual vine that offers up seeds to save each year is Moonflower. It’s a vine in the morning glory family, but it opens in the evening. They smell ridiculously good and have huge white blooms. I also want to try is cypress vine which has small blooms and soft feathery like foliage. So many plants, so little time…

    • b. martin says:

      thanks brad! yes, moonflower seeds! i am trying to get some. my boyfriend’s mom gave some to my mother and they talk about how amazing it smells. i have not heard of cypress vine, but will have to look that one up 🙂

      • Brad says:

        Target and Home Depot usually have some. Or, next time you are in Atlanta, I’m sure I have some though they will be a few years old…

        • b. martin says:

          i am totally going to take you up on that 🙂 i just looked it up and it is BEAUTIFUL. plus, i read that it grows well in TN 🙂

  3. Lori says:

    Any good plants to grow in the shade? There is hardly any direct sun in the yard here, and it can be hard to find things that will grow in this light.

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