The botanical name of coral bean is Erythrina herbacea and the plant is low-maintenance specimen. You can easily grow the coral bean plant in a natural garden or as part of a mixed shrub border. The plant is colorful and attractive; it has showy spring, tubular blooms and pods of attention-grabbing red seeds in autumn. The green pea-like pods turn blackish purple with the seeds that are shiny and scarlet inside. You can also grow the coral bean plants with other colorful plants as the shiny leaves may become sparse during summer heat. The flowers of the plant are shaped like an arrowhead and blooms appear profusely on numerus annual stems. The coral bean plants are a magnet for hummingbirds. Continue reading to learn how to propagate coral bean.


Coral Bean Plant Info

Coral bean is also called the Cherokee bean; actually this family of plants grows in warm-season climates around the world. In some areas that is without freezing temperatures, the perennial remains or dies back to return in spring. You can grow Coral bean as an annual in locations with freezing temperatures. If your winters are only somewhat cold, just the top of the bush may die out. The Coral bean plant is hardy in USDA zones eight to eleven. Collect the Coral bean seeds from the autumn pods if you wish to grow it in a different area. It is actually recommended to wear gloves, as the attractive red Coral bean seeds are poisonous. Otherwise, the dropping Coral bean seeds will likely produce more plants the following year. If you are collecting the coral bean seeds or working with the plant, be very careful of occasional thorns too. And, of course, do not allow children to touch the coral bean seeds. In fact, you may want to avoid it altogether if you have small kids or pets around.


How to Propagate Coral Bean

If you want to plant, add coarse sand or other amendment to the soil to make the soil well draining for the top two to three inches. The coral bean plant is particularly sensitive to water on the roots. If the soil is clay you can amend it before planting with coarse sand. If you are planting several coral bean plants, allow three to five feet between them. Dig a hole that is deep enough that the top of the plant’s soil is even with the ground. Make sure you water the plants thoroughly after planting. Try and water slowly so that it can penetrates the root system, also ensure that it drains off quickly. The coral bean plant should not sit in water for an extended period of time. You can continue to water the plant once a week during the first season. The Coral bean plant care includes watering and fertilization with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10). Add a two to three inch covering of mulch to retain moisture and to also protect the sensitive root system from cold. You will really enjoy the beautiful springtime blooms and the hordes of hummingbirds which are commonly drawn to the coral bean plant.

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