Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yes, Dry the Pods of the Hyacinth Bean

Hi, Christy

Do not worry about frosts damaging the beans for next year's plants. I have picked pods off the ground or the soil in pots in the spring after the pods and the beans in them have been lying there all winter and have planted them successfully.

Indeed, the plants came up as mightily as ever.

On the other hand, if you are the orderly type and like to be sure about your chances - do pick the pods and let the beans dry in the pods. They will shrivel up and trun beige. Seal them in a zip-lock bag and wait till the spring. Then you want to pick out the hard black beans with the one white slitty eye and plant them after ascertaining that there is no danger of frost.

If you really want lablabs in the winter, you can even plant them indoor as house plants.

I've grown Dolichos lablab for years now, all my plants were from two pods picked off the vine on a visit to a friend of a friend's garden. I've given many many pods to friends who've given pods away and so forth.


from Christy V: About Hyacinth Beans

I just picked some of the pods...we're suppose to get our first frost tonight. Can I pick more pods after the frost for seeds. Do I let the pod dry out and then remove the seeds. Or do I remove the seeds and let them dry out. I've never tried anything like this before. Thanks for your help!

Sep 30, 2009 10:08:00 PM

Thursday, January 22, 2009


If you, like me, every so often in the throes of a cold winter's day, hark back to memories of late summer or even early fall, you may be thinking about Brugmansias, or angel's trumpets, a tender perennial in the northeastern zones from 7 and downwards.

From mid-August to first frost, the absolutely gorgeous pink fluting trumpets of my plant, possibly a Brugmansia Pink (x suaveolens,) would serially burst forth from their pod buds to hang from the branching stalks of the 6 feet tall miniature tree - grown in a pot - because its tenderness dictates that it be brought in as soon as cold threatens. So it comes into the little poly-carbonate greenhouse which leans into the backside of the house.

The leaves shed themselves, the main stalk remains green. You can cut the main stem down to a foot or so. The one residing under the table which I've cut back to about 15" tall has already leafed out profusely. This year, I decided to keep the second Brugmansia tall, cutting back only the tips. The green five foot high stalks have started to leaf out just about now.

But what about rooting up the cuttings? I hate to waste perfectly healthy stem cuttings, and after all, that's how my two plants began life with me. So I stuck the 5 pieces I gleaned from my trimmings, each about 4 inches long, into compost in a pot; I watered the pot and pulled a clear plastic bag (punching a few small holes for ventilation) over the mouth of the pot to promote the humidity necessary for speedier rooting.

And lo and behold, within 10 days, the cuttings signaled life by leafing out happily. So now, friends who have room and who wish their own angel's trumpets know what's in store for them come spring.

Most herbaceous plants, or even some semi-woody ones, will not object to similar treatment. What may vary with particular plants might be the time of year propagation by stem cutting is undertaken. Some woodier species may need a little boost with a bit of rooting hormone, it does not matter whether powder or gel.