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A picture of a Runner Bean

Runner Bean

Phaseolus coccineus

Also known as

Scarlet Runner Bean, Dutch Case-Knife Bean, Multiflora Bean, Bean

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

H6-H1c

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

3m

Max

50cm

1m

Min

20cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Runner Bean

A red flower with green leaves on a Phaseolus coccineus plant
A close up of a Phaseolus coccineus flower
A close up of some runner beans on a Phaseolus coccineus plant
A photo of Runner Bean
A photo of Runner Bean

Runner Bean Overview

The Runner Bean is similar to the common bean but differs in the way that it is a perennial that has fleshy rhizome roots. However, because it is frost tender it is often grown like an annual in the UK. Fast growing with striking scarlet flowers this plant is as much of an ornamental as it is a vegetable crop.

Common problems with Runner Bean

Runner Bean Companion Plants

How to harvest Runner Bean

Harvest the immature green pods can be harvested from the plant by cutting them from the stem. Continuous harvesting encourages higher yields.

How to propagate Runner Bean

Seed

Can be sown indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost in Spring or outside after the last frost. Plants will need staking or framework to climb once germinated. Sow 15-20cm apart.

Rhizomes

Rhizomes can be divided to propagate the plant during the spring in warm climates.

Special features of Runner Bean

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Bright scarlet flowers stand out against the lush green foliage.

Crop rotation

Runner Beans are legumes and so they enrich the soil with Nitrogen.

Other uses of Runner Bean

Cultivated worldwide for their beans

Edible

The immature bean pods can be used as a cooked vegetable.

Edibles to Plant Out in July

Young plants started off indoors can now be planted out.

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Edibles to Sow Outdoors in August

Successional sowings of these quick growing and cropping plants will fill spaces and ensure a prolonged harvest.

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