Catalpa bignonioides is a stunning award-winning deciduous tree, ideal to use in a lawn or wide border as a feature tree. The large, pale-green, heart-shaped leaves (up to 25cm across) are complimented by profuse quantities of showy panicles of orchid-type flowers in late summer. The fragrant flowers are mainly white with orange and purple markings on the throat and are followed by slender bean like pods (up to 40cm long) which can persist into winter.
With a spreading shape, Catalpa bignonioides reaches an estimated height and spread of 6 x 5 metres in 20 years, although can be coppiced to grow as a multi stem. Known as an Indian Bean tree, it appreciate a sunny spot and well-drained, moist soil. Young trees need protection from frosts so a sheltered position is best and will prevent the wonderful large leaves being torn. Indian bean trees cope well with pollution so are great in city gardens - there's a row of mature trees, believed to have been planted in 1857, outside the Houses of Parliament.
AKA Common Catalpa, Indian Bean Tree, Eastern Catalpa, Southern Catalpa, Cigartree, Smoking Bean Tree, Catawba
Our pot grown Indian Bean trees can be planted at any time of the year. Start by removing all weeds and grass within a metre of your intended planting hole. Dig a square hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2x as wide. To help your tree establish more effectively, especially if you have poor soil, we advise sprinkling root grow in the hole.
Take the pot off and gently loosen the roots, then place into the planting hole. Mix 50% of the original soil with 50% compost, then fill in the hole and firm around gently, making sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree. We recommend using a stake and tie kit and, if your area is prone to rabbits, a rabbit guard too. For further information, visit our help and advice section.
If you’re planting in spring, summer or dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. Make sure to keep an eye on young Indian Bean trees and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. We stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.
Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons.
Indian Bean trees do not require too much regular pruning. Removing any weak or wayward branches will help to tidy up the frame, whilst pruning lower branches will aid in raising the canopy. Although it is not necessary, Indian bean trees take well to hard pruning. If you wish to, you can hard prune in autumn to winter which will encourage fresh, fast growth in spring. This is great if you inherit an established catalpa tree that has not been well looked after.
Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.
There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date.
Trees on pre-order are still growing and an estimate of when they will be ready for despatch is given on the basket page.
Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.
Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees. For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.
1 small tree (most trees under 1.5 metres in height) : £7.95 + vat
1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat
2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat
1-4 trees delivered by pallet (inc. mature Japanese Maples): £19.95 + vat
Mature and pleached trees or orders too large for pallet: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. It is a one off charge and will not increase if you add to the order.
The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.
Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.
The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. Below are definitions of terms:
Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.
Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.
Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.
Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.
Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.
Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.
Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.
Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:
Standard either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard 10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard 12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height
|Plant Specification||Form||Supplied Size||Root type||Price||Quantity Qty|
|Pruned & Shaped Tree||150-200cm||10L pot||£54.99 (ex VAT)|