Growing Beans - climbing, also Pole beans, Runner beans, Scarlet Runners

Phaseolus vulgaris, Phaseolus coccineus : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Beans - climbing in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 9-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, spinach, lettuce, summer savory, dill, carrots, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry, cucumbers, zucchini, tagates minuta (wild marigold)
  • Avoid growing close to: Alliums (Chives, leek, garlic, onions), Florence fennel
  • A few young Scarlet Runners
  • Purple climbing beans

Grow beans up fences, trellis, sweet corn, trees. Almost anywhere can be 'vertically productive'.

Keep well watered and pick regularly to encourage new flowers. Watch out for snails, as they will eat through the stems near ground level, and will completely eat newly sprouted beans. If you have nice new beans plants one day, and none the next, then it is probably slugs or snails.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - climbing

Use young in salads - blanch and cool. Will freeze well.

Your comments and tips

14 Jan 22, Midhun (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I’ve planted scarlet beans this year and they were growing good and producing good numbers of beans but after few days the leaves started turning yellow and the plant is dying very quickly, any one know what is the problem here? Thanks
24 Jan 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check for bean fly grub in the stems. I dont grow beans in Autumn for that reason, grow mine in Spring
03 Dec 21, Greg (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Does that include just planting seeds right now? I have heard that too - too much water can rot the seed too. I'm planting dwarf, yellow wax.
07 Dec 21, Anonymous (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Plant into damp soil and give a quick watering then don't water for 3-4 days and only give a light watering depending on how dry the top 2(?)
30 Nov 21, Andrew (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When Scarlett Runner beans get to the top of the frames they tend to drop down to find somewhere to attach. They get really quite top heavy and dark. Can you snip off the top once they go over. By the way we get huge amounts of beans. Also Butter Bean do extremely well here in the BOP
30 Nov 21, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You can safely snip off your scarlet runners when they reach the top of the frames. They will produce more shoots lower down.
08 Aug 20, Debby Elizabeth Arnold (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I have seed packets of scarlet runner beans and wish to know if I can plant them now, August. It is hot: 87-90 degrees Fahrenheit. But cooling into Sept, and lovely, mid 80’s. Also we are fairly close to the ocean (Fernandina Beach) on 4th dune ridge, but have potting mix and Black Cow. Citrus and basil grow great in our yard. Have a spot there gets mostly full sun. Also my Purple Hyacinth, planted in June were doing great until the husband put weed killer on them and some lilies. Will they come back, or must I replant seeds? This is a first for me. Thank you!
10 Aug 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The planting guide says that you can plant them now. Plant and give a good watering and don't water for 3-5 days. Too much watering in hot weather will rot the seeds.
06 Apr 20, Jeanette Hagan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We bought a packet of bean seeds about 6 years ago from M10. Unfortunately we lost the packet and can't identify the name of the bean. Can anyone help. The seed is black when you plant it. The beans are a climbing bean. Very flat and Matt (not shiny). They are the BEST tasting bean and produce prolifically. We save the seed annually, but would love to know what they are. Please!
07 Apr 20, Toni Robertson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi www.koanga.org.nz have a black runner bean seed called Takamatua. Check the photo on their site. Great range of NZ heritage seeds on this site.
Showing 1 - 10 of 36 comments

Hi Jo, We have several varieties of Runners here in the US (including white half runner and pink half runner) that are usually dried then stored for over winter use. Maybe they are just more common in the mid-southern area of the US? The are my personal favorite bean. We absolutely have snails (smaller than you are used to ,I am sure) and slugs here, but it is drier here than London so they hide under rock and underground until it rains, or you can find them early in the morning if you have a heavy dew on.

- Nell

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.