How to Grow Yardlong Beans – A Beginner’s Guide

yardlong beans plant growing in garden

Yardlong beans, which are known botanically as Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing yardlong beans as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Quick Reference Guide for Growing Yardlong Beans

Best Time to Plant 1-2 weeks after the last spring frost
Soil Type Well-drained, loamy soil
Soil pH 6.0-7.5
Seed Spacing 1″ apart in rows 3′ apart
Seed Depth 1-2″
Germination Time 7-14 days
Harvest Time 60-70 days from seed to harvest
Pod Length 10-12″ long
Safe for Bees Yes

Best Time to Plant Yardlong Beans

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the yardlong bean seeds 1 to 2 weeks after the last spring frost. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather. To check when yardlong beans are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Yardlong Beans the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing yardlong beans in your home garden. Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your yardlong beans grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained, loamy. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.5.

Not typically grown from seed 1″ apart in rows 3′ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 1-2″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your yardlong bean seedlings 8-12″ apart when seedlings are 2-3″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Yardlong Beans

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your yardlong beans. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it. Ideally, your yardlong beans should be getting full sun.

How Much to Water Yardlong Beans

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your yardlong beans do, and the amount of water is no different. Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your yardlong beans begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Yardlong Beans to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your yardlong beans grow. It takes approximately 7-14 days to germinate, and a total of 60-70days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Yardlong Beans

The best time to harvest your yardlong beans is when pods are 10-12″ long and still tender. Yardlong beans can grow up to about 7-12′ tall vines with 10-12″ pods.

What Can Yardlong Beans Be Used For?

Food Use: great in stir-fries, salads, and soups. Flavor Profile: sweet and crisp, similar to a green bean.

Can Yardlong Beans Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant up to 1 plant per 12″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control. It also gives you the flexibility to move your yardlong beans around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Yardlong Beans Safe for Bees?

Yes, yardlong beans are safe for bees. According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, it is important to note that growing yardlong beans is bee-friendly.

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