To harvest and save your hyacinth bean vine seeds, wait for the pods to mature and begin to dry and shrivel up.
Then, pick them just before the first frost and save them in a cool, dry location.
Hyacinth bean vines are a popular ornamental vine that produces beautiful, pink-purple blossoms and red pods but needs replanting annually.
Thus, you can save a lot of money by harvesting its seeds and keeping them for next year, and we’re going to outline how to do so in this article.
So, keep reading if you want to know the in-depth steps for properly harvesting and saving these seeds.
When to Harvest Hyacinth Bean Vine Seeds
There is an ideal time to harvest seed pods if you intend to save and store them through the winter.
When it comes to the hyacinth bean vine, the seed pods will take on a reddish-purple color and leathery texture as they reach maturity.
They will also start to wrinkle up and dry out.
But, note that you don’t necessarily have to harvest them when they are completely dry.
As long as the wrinkling and drying have begun, the seeds should be ready for harvest.
Usually, the best time to harvest the pods is about the time of the first frost or just before it.
Yet, depending on where you live, this date range will vary.
For example, if you live in gardening zone 6 of the United States, the first frost usually falls between October 17-31.
However, colder zones can experience frost sooner, while warmer areas will probably have their first frost later.
Another telltale sign that the pods are ready for harvest is that the blooms on the bean pods will start shriveling up and falling away.
When the pods appear ready for harvest, you can simply pick them off the vines with your fingers.
But, you may find that it’s easier and less messy to remove them if you use garden shears or scissors.
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How to Harvest the Beans From the Pods
Your next step is to extract the hyacinth beans from their pods so that you can properly store them.
Depending on how well your vines grew during the season, the pods may contain only a few viable seeds or several.
So, if there aren’t enough seeds inside the pod you selected, you may need to harvest more.
Yet, no matter how many you have, you’ll want to start by carefully opening up the skin of the pods to reveal the lima bean-shaped hyacinth seeds.
Harvesting From Completely Dry Seed Pods
Don’t worry about being too gentle, as using the snap method to open super dry pods may be more effective.
And you can snap them open by squeezing the sides of the pods until they burst.
Then, after you snap open the pods, the seeds should fall right out and be easily accessible.
Afterward, remove the hyacinth bean seeds and set them aside in a safe location for now.
Harvesting From Rubbery Seed Pods
If you are using moister seed pods, though, you won’t be able to snap them open because they’ll be rubbery.
Instead, you can open them up along the side of the seed pod that looks almost like a seam.
This ridge acts almost like a natural perforation so that you can get the pod open to reveal the seeds.
However, before you store these seeds through the winter, you should make sure they are completely dry so that you don’t compromise their viability for next year.
You can do so by patting them dry with a paper towel or setting them in the sun for a little while.
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Storing Hyacinth Bean Vine Seeds
Now, onto the storing process.
There isn’t one correct way to save seeds for next year, but some methods are arguably more effective than others.
But, note that if you have elected to harvest some of your seeds from pods that aren’t completely dry yet, they might need some time to dry before going into storage.
You can take care of this issue by setting them on a windowsill where they will get warmth and sunlight.
Or, you can place your seeds outside on a dry day that isn’t too hot.
For storage, many gardeners will simply place their bean seeds in an envelope and keep that envelope at 68-77˚ F (20-25˚ C) throughout the offseason.
You might also elect to keep your seeds in a jar with a lid so that they are more sealed.
However, with this method, you have to be careful not to let condensation form and get your seeds wet.
Thus, no matter how you store your seeds, just make sure you avoid harsh temperatures and moisture.
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Hyacinth bean vines produce beautiful purplish-red seed pods that you can harvest and store for gardening use next year.
And to harvest the seeds, all you need to do is pluck a mature pod from a plant, crack it open, and take out the seeds.
Then, store them in a container in a cool, dry location for the winter so that you can plant them next year.
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