Coral Bean Care – How To Plant Coral Bean Seeds
By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
The coral bean (Erythrinaherbacea) is low-maintenance specimen. Grow the coral bean plant in anatural garden or as part of a mixed shrub border. Colorful and attractive, theplant has showy spring, tubular blooms and pods of attention-grabbing red seedsin autumn. Green pea-like pods turn blackish purple with seeds that are shinyand scarlet inside.
Grow the coral bean with othercolorful plants, as the shiny leaves may become sparse during summer heat.Flowers are shaped like an arrowhead and blooms appear profusely on numerusannual stems. They are a magnet for hummingbirds.
About Coral Bean Planting
Also called the Cherokee bean, this family of plants grows in warm-season climates around the world. In most areas without freezing temperatures, the perennial remains or dies back to return in spring.
Grow it as an annual in locations with freezing temperatures. If your winters are only somewhat cold, just the top of the bush may die out. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-11.
Collect seeds from the autumn podsif you wish to grow it in a different area. It is recommended to wear gloves,as the attractive red seeds are poisonous. Otherwise, dropping seeds willlikely produce more plants the following year. When collecting seeds or workingwith the plant, be careful of occasional thorns too. And, of course, don’tallow children to touch the seeds. In fact, you may want to avoid it altogetherif you have small kids or pets.
How to Plant Coral Bean
When planting, add coarse sand orother amendment to make soil welldraining for the top two to three inches (5 to 7.6 cm.). Thisplant is particularly sensitive to water on the roots. If soil is clay, amendit before planting with coarse sand.
When planting several coral bean plants,allow three to five feet (.91 to 1.5 m.) between them. Dig a hole deep enoughthat the top of the plant’s soil is even with the ground.
Water the plants thoroughly afterplanting. Water slowly so that it penetrates the root system and ensure that itdrains off quickly. The plant should not sit in water for an extended period oftime. Continue to water once a week during the first season.
Coral bean care includes wateringand fertilization with a balancedfertilizer (10-10-10). Add a two- to three-inch covering ofmulch to retain moisture and protect the sensitive root system from cold.
Enjoy the beautiful springtimeblooms and the hordes of hummingbirds which are commonly drawn to the plant.
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10 Great Plants for Attracting Hummingbirds
Seeing a hummingbird darting through your garden is as delightful as seeing your flowers burst into bloom. To attract hummingbirds and keep them coming back to your garden regularly, make sure that, along with hummingbird feeders, you include a few hummingbird plants in your design.
What makes a plant a hummingbird favorite? It needs to be nectar-rich and preferably tubular in shape, which encourages the tiny birds to feed. Some popular choices are outlined below.
Coral Bells Varieties
There are several different varieties of coral bells, and the most notable differences between them can be seen in their color variety. They include:
- Heuchera 'Autumn Leaves': As hinted at by its name, the leaves on this varietal change color through the seasons, from red to caramel to ruby.
- Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles': This varietal has ruffled leaves with rich chocolaty color on the top and deep burgundy on the bottom.
- Heuchera 'Green Spice': This hardy varietal has large green leaves that are veined in maroon.
- Heuchera 'Marmalade': Another frilly varietal, the leaves on this version appear in shades ranging from umber to deep sienna.