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Establishing an Indian Bean Tree

ashley+gwashley+gw Posts: 2
I have grown an Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides) from seed given to me 10 years ago, now in a big 14" pot standing in a tray of water. It has this year for the first time flowered, and repaid the wait with its glorious show.  Now I know this can grow to a biggish tree, and I have the space, so my question is; How should I plan to get this to its final position in the garden? My ground is ex pasture land, quite fertile from what I can see over the last 7 years, medium loam down to 24" then breaking to a clay pan. I did originally have 3 seedlings, this is the last, so I want to give it the very best chance to mature to all its glory.

And suggestions gratefully received. 


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,070
    Firstly , well done for raising one from seed !
    Secondly , Catalpa's tend to broaden out rather than attain giddy heights of glory .
    Planted in a sunny situation with ample room for expansion , possibly with shelter from drying winds , I cannot foresee major problems .
    Good luck !
    (PS Keep well watered for the first few-months ).
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    edited July 2019
    I don't have anything to add, sorry , but so excited for you having managed and raised it for ten years.
    They are wonderful trees I saw a very ancient propped up on in Bishops Palace gardens Chichester last year covered in .... Beans. The long pods were amazing wish I could have seen it in flower.
    Good Luck with yours.

    I had a search but cannot find what kind of soil they have there, it may be a clay base or chalk.
    I wish I had room to grow one I would love to have a go.
    Do please post a photo of yours if you can.

    The gardens there are behind a tall wall and bank so very sheltered.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,070
    Just had a look at Soilscapes information for Chichester ; their verdict seems to be naturally loamy with high natural groundwater .
    Sounds pretty similar to ashley+gw's conditions .

  • ashley+gwashley+gw Posts: 2
    @Rubytoo @Paul B3  Thanks for your responses folks.  I seem to remember visiting a garden somewhere in Oxfordshire that had one growing to about 25 foot. It was in a walled garden too.  I also think there might be one at Harlow Carr RHS garden but can't remember; it was in a more open aspect. 

    Thanks for the tip re soilscapes. Not seen that one before.  I think that given my soil I might be safe to plant with perhaps a little grit around the root ball but will have to find some shelter for it.

    Here's a close up of the flower:

    And it smells good too. Currently on my small patio and the fragrance goes beautifully with the Jasmin we have there as well.

    Thanks again.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    That is beautiful @ashley+gw thanks for taking the time to post the picture.
    And good luck with the planting.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I have one in my garden which I have grown from a 12 inch stick. It is now about 20 foot high after 15(?) years but has never flowered. Mind you I do live in Scotland and they much prefer warmer climes! Leaves only get to hand size as well not the dinner plate size as it should. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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