How to Take Care of a Lucky Bean Plant


The lucky bean plant (Castanospermum australe) is a hardy tree that is native to parts of Australia. It is also frequently called the Moreton Bay chestnut tree or the black bean tree. The tree, which features glossy green leaves and bright red and yellow flowers, is often grown as an indoor plant, where containers keep it small. In the wild, however, the lucky bean plant can become a tree with a height of 130 feet.

Step 1

Choose the right location for your lucky bean plant. If planting outside in the ground, plant it well away from any underground power or water lines, as the root system is extensive. Also consider the wide canopy of the mature tree. Although slow growing, in time this plant will provide a large amount of shade, making it a good choice for planting near patios or in areas that do not have shade.

Step 2

Plant your lucky bean plant in rich, well-draining soil. Although these trees are found in the rain forest in the wild, standing water can lead to root rot and is best avoided. Any potting soil rich in organic material will work for container plants.

Step 3

Expose your Castanospermum australe to plenty of sunlight. While the plant will tolerate light shade, it grows best in full sunlight, which is defined as a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day and preferably eight hours.

Step 4

Water your lucky bean plant well during the growing season. The soil should always be moist.

Step 5

Fertilize potted lucky bean plants with a slow-release, balanced (10-10-10), water- soluble fertilizer at the start of the growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the plant away from pets and children, as the leaves and seeds are toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Rich potting soil (optional)
  • Slow-release, balanced (10-10-10), water soluble fertilizer (optional)


  • Australian National Botanic Gardens: Castanospermum australe
  • Daley's Fruit: Black Bean Tree

Who Can Help

  • James Cook University: Castanospermum australe
Keywords: Moreton Bay Chestnut, Black Bean Tree, Castanospermum australe, lucky bean tree

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.