How to Plant Bean Hyacinth


The annual flower, hyacinth bean--also known as Dolichos lablab--was common in American gardens; according to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, "this heirloom vine has been grown at Monticello for years." Hyacinth bean produces a twining maroon vine that reaches upwards to 20 feet, with dark green leaves veined in maroon. The blossoms are spikes of small lilac-colored flowers that bloom from late spring to early winter. The maroon bean pods form shortly after the flowers appear and can be harvested for the next season.

Step 1

Select a site for the hyacinth bean that receives full to partial sunlight. The more sunlight this plant receives, the more it will flower.

Step 2

Prepare the soil a month before planting. Dig up the flower bed, remove weeds, rocks, and other garden debris. Mix compost, decayed manure or leaves into the soil to enrich it.

Step 3

Plant hyacinth beans after the last frost date. Plant the seeds 1 inch deep. Keep the soil over the seeds moist but not soggy. After the seedlings appear, thin the plants to 6 inches apart.

Step 4

Place a plant support for the hyacinth beans to climb. This can be a trellis, a garden pergola, a fence or porch rail.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost, decayed manure or leaves
  • Hyacinth bean pods
  • Water
  • Plant support


  • "The Complete Garden Flower Book;" Catie Ziller; 2001

Who Can Help

  • University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture: Purple Hyacinth Bean
Keywords: annuals, hyacinth bean, grow hyacinth bean

About this Author

Since 1995, H.B. Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications including “PB&J,” Disney’s “Family Fun,” “ParentLife,” Living With Teenagers,” and Thomas Nelson’s NYTimes Best-selling “Resolve.” After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.