Dolichos lablab v alba Cultivar (Hyacinth bean), picture by 阿橋 HQ; CC.
Dolichos Growing and Care Guide
Common Names: Hyacinth Bean, Lablab, Sarawak Bean, Seim Bean, Indian Bean, Dolichos Bean, Itab. Life Cycle: Hardy perennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners. Hardy biennial. Height: 360 inches (900 cm). Native: Tropical regions; Borneo.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10. Flowers: Summer to the first frost. Flower Details: Purple, white. Pea-like. Foliage: Leaflets in threes. Purplish-green or green. Triangular or oval.
Sow Outside: Cover seeds. Following last frost. Spacing: 30 to 40 inches (75 to 100 cm). Sow Inside: Soak seeds for one day. Peat pots. Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Rich soil. Moist soil. Provide trellis. Drought tolerant. Family: Fabaceae / Leguminosae. Miscellaneous: Has attractive flat and curved red or pale green pods.
How to Grow Hyacinth bean (Dolichos)
If planting outdoors, then sow the Dolichos seeds into a sunny area of the garden after the last frost of spring. Simply cover the seed with a light dusting of soil
When growing Hyacinth bean (or other Dolichos plants) indoors first, then you will first need to soak the seeds for a day in warm water before sowing.
They will require about two weeks to one month to germinate at a temperature of about 21 degrees Centigrade (70°F).
Once the seedlings are ready, after about 7 or 8 weeks, they can be transplanted into the garden with a spacing of about 60 to 90 cm (two to three feet).
Caring for Hyacinth Beans and other Dolichos Plants in the Garden
As Hyacinth beans are climbers, they will require a trellis for support when growing.
Dolichos can only be reliably grown from seed, so don't attempt to take cuttings or to divide plants.