- Recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society
- Large white horse-chestnut like flowers in summer
- Happy in the ground or a large container
Get a Catalpa bignonioides Aurea Indian Bean Tree for your outdoor space for a rare and exotic-looking tree that is full hardy in the UK. The leaves come out in spring as delicate red hearts and develop over the spring and summer into a charming buttery yellow.
In July and August your Indian Bean Tree comes into bee-attracting flower with house-chestnut like candelabra blooms and these then turn into pods that reach over 30cm (12in) in length to extend the display.
You can plant your 2litre tree directly in the ground with lots of well-rotted manure incorporated into the soil and it will reach 10m (32ft) in 10-15 years. You can grow Indian Bean Tree in a large container with soil rich in nutrients which will keep its height in check to a more manageable 2-3m (6 ½-10ft) high.
Position Catalpa in full shade or part shade. The attractive yellow leaves are sensitive to sun and scorch easily given full sun. Grown in dappled shade or on a north-facing site is ideal, and your tree will thrive in these conditions.
You can leave the Indian bean tree to grow into a tree shape which encourages further flowering. Cut the side stems to the central trunk which encourages super-large leaves to emerge, up to 45cm (18in) across. This has the double advantage of keeping the height of the tree in check and gives impactful leaves. Be sure to replace tired soil with rich soil each autumn or spring.
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