If you want to give this slow grower a boost, give him some liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer.
Most light conditions
He’ll be fine in moderately shady conditions, but he’ll thrive in brighter light. He even enjoys full sun.
He likes to dry out a bit between waterings. If the top two inches of soil feel dry, time for a drink.
Don’t be alarmed when the seeds eventually dry up and detach. It just means they’ve completed their job.
Moreton Bay chestnut; Black bean
Poisonous if eaten
Nursery pot size
This plant still has those big green pods attached because it’s actually just a baby. In its natural habitat it would be a mighty tree, as tall as 40 metres. You’d typically find it on the east coast of Australia. Every spring, it erupts in beautiful sweet pea-like red and yellow flowers. They give way to large seed pods, from which come the seeds you see here.
If you’re worried it’s going to outgrow your home, don’t be. Castanospermum has long been grown as an indoor plant. As long as you keep it in a small pot and give it the occasional trim, it will stay nice and compact. It’s unlikely to flower inside, but it has so much more going for it, with its ‘mini forest’ look. As gorgeous as those seeds look, they’re poisonous, so don’t let any people or animals nibble them.
Did you know?
Castanospermum is very important to Aboriginal people. It’s used to make animal traps and spears.