With beautiful purple flowers and beans, the hyacinth bean vine (scientific name Lablab purpureus) is a tall (about 20 feet high) and popular annual plant suited for all types of landscape design. Not only are its flowers graceful, but they are fragrant too, thus attracting bees, butterflies, and birds. The uniqueness of this vine also lies in its aromatic and attractive bluish-green foliage, which creates a colorful background for other plants in the garden. Caring for a hyacinth bean vine is easy, as the plant is hardy, and requires little maintenance.
Some Useful Tips
If you do not have one of these plants in your yard, you are missing out on one of the most attractive flowers that can brighten up your landscape. Growing this vine is very simple, as this annual plant is hardy and adapts in a wide range of growing conditions.
Growing Site: The most challenging step in growing any hyacinth is selecting the suitable plantation site with a nearby supporting structure, like a fence or wall. As the plant grows best in full sunlight and well-drained soil, make sure you select an area that is exposed to direct or strong indirect sunlight. If you do not have any such plantation site, consider growing it in a pot placed in a suitable corner.
Preparing Soil: The major advantage of growing this vine is its ability to grow in different types of soil with pH ranging between 6 and 7.8. Healthy vines can be maintained in most areas, irrespective of the soil condition. Nevertheless, to promote healthy blooming, you can mix garden soil with a rich concentration of farmyard compost prior to planting them.
Propagation: This magnificent flowering vine propagates by means of seeds, which you can purchase from your local nursery. In general, its seeds are widely available during the spring season. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water, and directly sow them outdoors at a depth of 1 inch.
Care: These seeds require about 2-3 weeks for germination. While transplanting, maintain a space of 6 inches between two seedlings. It requires moderate irrigation (or a moist soil) and fertilization after every two months. Immediately before the flowering period, you can supplement the soil with a phosphorus formula.
Blooming: This vine is a fast-growing plant. With proper care, you will notice white and purple flowers developing in early summer, with the flowering period continuing till mid-fall. This means that you can enjoy fragrant, purple flowers till the arrival of frost. But one point to be noted is that the pods and seeds of this vine are poisonous, and they should not be ingested by humans or pets.
Collect Seeds: Since this is an annual plant, you will need to collect some seeds before it withers for planting next year's batch. This will allow you to save the money you would have spent on buying a fresh batch. Allow the seed pods to mature and dry, while on the plant. Harvest pods gently and break them open to remove the seeds. You can store these seeds in an airtight container placed in a cool and dry area.
If you fail to collect seeds for the next season, the fallen seeds will germinate in the same growing site. With a very low amount of disease and pest incidences, growing a healthy hyacinth bean vine requires little effort.