The Care of Indian Bean Trees

Written by sarah dewitt ince
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The Care of Indian Bean Trees
The Indian bean tree's leaves turn cooper or bronze in the fall. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) requires minimal care to thrive. It can reach heights of up to 40 feet tall. This hardy tree grows rapidly and tolerates a wide range of soils. The Indian bean tree has yellowish-green heart-shaped leaves and blooms tiny white, yellow and purple flowers in the spring and summer. This exotic beauty adds a bit of vibrant green and yellow colour to your landscape. Watering is required only if there is no rainfall. Water your tree with 1 inch of water every other week during dry seasons.

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Sun

Sun is the most basic requirement for an Indian bean tree. This plant thrives in full to partial sun. It tolerates hot summers and very cold winters without problems. Weather changes don't affect this tree and there is no need to cover it during the winter months. Plant your Indian bean tree where it can get six or more hours of average sunshine per day.

Soils

The Indian bean tree grows well in a wide range of soils including sandy, loamy, well-draining, fertile and claylike with a pH that ranges between 5.5 to 7.5 . Prepare the soil before planting your tree. Till the ground with a rototiller to break up large rocks and loosen the dirt. Add a 5-inch layer of fertiliser of compost to increase the fertility of the soil. Dig a 1-foot-deep hole for Indian bean transplants. After planting, add a 4-inch layer of mulch to lock in moisture around the tree. Don't plant shrubs or other trees close to the Indian bean tree. Give the tree at least 6 feet or more to spread. All trees have complex root systems that spread underground. Planting other species of plants too close can interfere with the growth the tree. This plant is invasive only in certain areas. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends consulting with your local state natural resource agriculture department to ensure that the Indian bean tree is a good choice for your location.

Pruning

Indian bean trees require light pruning once a year. Prune your tree with garden shears in the spring when temperatures are mild. Cut off dead leaves and excess growth. Remove branches that rub together and cut off diseased or dying leaves and branches. This tree naturally drops large amounts of flowers in the spring and summer months.

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