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Runner Bean in the GardenTags plant encyclopedia

Phaseolus coccineus

 

Runner Bean

Runner Beans, or Scarlet Runner Beans, are climbing perennials grown as a half hardy annuals, producing lots of fleshy pods from early summer to the first frost. There are two main types of runner bean - tall climbing runner beans which require support in order to grow well, or dwarf forms which are much smaller and do not need additional support. The former climbing forms are the more traditional way to grow runner beans, whereas the dwarf forms are more suited to those with less space for growing or constructing supports. They are naturally a climbing plant with green leaves, and they produce flowers traditionally of scarlet red, but now white, pink or even bicolor cultivars are available. The bean pods appear after the flowers, and it is the flat pods which are usually eaten cooked. They will produce beans in most types of soil, but do best when planted in ground that has lots of compost, peat or well rotted farmyard manure. Runner beans are deep rooted so they need plenty of space as a root run to grow well. Do not add nitrogen rich fertiliser, or a lot of leaf growth will result and fewer beans. Use high potash feeds. Runner beans fix the soil with nitrogen from nodules in their root system. so when finished producing, cut them down at soil level and leave the roots in the ground till spring when other veg. should be planted following the beans (rotational growing). Although they are botanically perennials, they are sensitive to frost and are usually grown as a half-hardy annual. It is possible however to lift an store roots over winter in a frost free place and plant out again next spring after the last frosts.

Contributed by @Kate

 
plant Features
  • Runner Bean likes full sun

    Full sun

  • Runner Bean likes frequent watering

    Frequent watering

  • Runner Bean is not frost hardy

    Not Frost hardy

  • Runner Bean likes moist and fertile

    Moist and fertile

 
Similar plants are available to buy from 3 store(s) in the UK
 
plant information

Common name

Runner Bean

Latin name

Phaseolus coccineus

type

Vegetable

family

Fabaceae

ph

7.0 - 8.5 Acid - Neutral

  • Light

    Runner Bean likes full sun

    Full sun

  • Frost

    Runner Bean is not frost hardy

    Not Frost hardy

  • Soil

    Runner Bean likes moist and fertile

    Moist and fertile

  • Water

    Runner Bean likes frequent watering

    Frequent watering

Plant & bloom calendar

  •  
    Best time to plant
  •  
    When to harvest

full grown dimensions

The size of a fully grown Runner Bean is 0.30meters x 2.00meters 0.30 M 2.00 M

Phaseolus coccineus

Runner Beans, or Scarlet Runner Beans, are climbing perennials grown as a half hardy annuals, producing lots of fleshy pods from early summer to the first frost. There are two main types of runner bean - tall climbing runner beans which require support in order to grow well, or dwarf forms which are much smaller and do not need additional support. The former climbing forms are the more traditional way to grow runner beans, whereas the dwarf forms are more suited to those with less space for growing or constructing supports. They are naturally a climbing plant with green leaves, and they produce flowers traditionally of scarlet red, but now white, pink or even bicolor cultivars are available. The bean pods appear after the flowers, and it is the flat pods which are usually eaten cooked. They will produce beans in most types of soil, but do best when planted in ground that has lots of compost, peat or well rotted farmyard manure. Runner beans are deep rooted so they need plenty of space as a root run to grow well. Do not add nitrogen rich fertiliser, or a lot of leaf growth will result and fewer beans. Use high potash feeds. Runner beans fix the soil with nitrogen from nodules in their root system. so when finished producing, cut them down at soil level and leave the roots in the ground till spring when other veg. should be planted following the beans (rotational growing). Although they are botanically perennials, they are sensitive to frost and are usually grown as a half-hardy annual. It is possible however to lift an store roots over winter in a frost free place and plant out again next spring after the last frosts.


Sowing indoors

From Early Spring TO Mid Spring

Sow runners beans in divided trays or pots in moist compost under glass in early spring to plant out mid spring to the final position when risk of frost has passed. Sow the seeds 2" deep, and keep compost moist. Harden off seedlings grown indoors before planting them out

 

Sowing outdoors

From Early Summer TO Early Summer

In early Summer the seeds can be sown straight into their growing position, in soil that has been previously manured (see "tasks - fertilising"). Sow at the foot of the canes, one or two seeds per cane, and sow 2" deep.

 

Planting

From Early Summer TO Mid Summer

Plant out seedlings grown in pots or trays as soon ask risk of frost has passed. Plant each one at the base of a cane, and water in well.

 
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