Coix Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Coix plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Job's Tears, Coixseed, & Vyjanti Beads: Cultivation & Garden Use

Coix is a genus of grass that can reach about one meter in height.

Although it is a half hardy perennial gardeners often grow it as a half hardy annual.

Jobs tears
Jobs tears by Teclasorg.

Coix seed
Coix seed by Joe Wu.

Coix Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Job's Tears, Vyjanti Beads, Coixseed, Adlai, Beed Seeds.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 36 to 54 inches (90 to 140 cm).
Native: East and Southeast Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 1 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Green but inconspicuous. Grown for its ornamental green/purple fruits.
Foliage: Sword-like.
Sow Outside: Best to start indoors. Spacing: 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45cm).
Sow Inside: Soak seeds overnight. Use Peat pots. 1/2 inch (12mm). Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature 60 to 70°F (15 to 21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors when minimum temperature is not below 45°F (7°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Rich soils. Watering during dry spells.
Family: Poaceae.
Miscellaneous: Used as a food plant in Asia where it is known as Chinese pearl barley. Also used to make teas and alcoholic beverages.

How to grow Job's tears and other Coix Plants

It is best to grow Coix from seeds indoors first. The seeds should be soaked in warm water overnight then sown in peat pots at a depth of 12 mm.

They take around two to four weeks to germinate at a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees centigrade.

The seedlings of Jacob's tears should be planted outside with a spacing of about 45 cm into an area of well drained rich soil.

Caring for Coix in the garden

Coix can grow in either sunny or partially shaded areas. In prolonged dry spells it is recommended to water Coix.

Common Questions

How many members does the Coix genus have?

The Coix genus is quite small, with only about ten species, the most famous of which is Coix lacryma-jobi, commonly known as Job's Tears.

Do members of Coix make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Coix lacryma-jobi is often grown for its interesting seeds, ornamental value, and easy care, making it a fascinating addition to gardens.

Which Coix species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Coix lacryma-jobi (Job's Tears) is the most commonly grown species, valued for its unique, bead-like seeds and tall, grassy foliage.

Are members of the Coix plant genus fragrant?

Members of the Coix genus are not known to be fragrant. They are mostly grown for their ornamental seeds and grass-like appearance.

What is the perfect location to grow Coix?

Coix prefers full sun to partial shade, with rich, well-drained soil. It's a great plant for borders, containers, or as a striking accent plant.

Is Coix invasive in the USA?

Coix lacryma-jobi is not generally considered invasive in the USA, but it can self-seed under favorable conditions.

How do I remove Coix plants from my garden?

For Coix removal, pull the plant out ensuring all roots are removed. To prevent spreading, remove the plant before it seeds.


The Coix genus, part of the Poaceae family, is native to East Asia. The most known species, Coix lacryma-jobi or Job's tears, is a type of grain known for its hard, shiny seeds often used in crafts and jewelry, and tall, corn-like stalks.

To grow Coix, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in the spring after the last frost. Regular watering is necessary. They are relatively easy to grow, given their tolerance to different soil conditions, and can be used as an ornamental grass or grain crop.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Coix plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Poaceae growing guides: How to grow Rabbit tail grass and Stipa plants.