The right location is decisive for success in care and subsequent harvest. The runner bean likes it sunny and warm. On the other hand, it does not tolerate strong winds. A protected, bright corner in the garden is therefore ideal. For example, in the corner of a house, surrounded by a hedge or other protective plants. It just shouldn’t be overshadowed.

Climbing aid

Since the runner bean can grow to be over two meters high, it needs a suitable climbing aid. For this purpose, a trellis is ideal that the tendrils fan out a little wider. This also makes the subsequent harvest easier.
Traditionally, the runner bean is raised in so-called pole tents. To do this, a few sticks are inserted into the ground in a circle and then connected to one another at the top tips. On the one hand, this type of cultivation requires a large diameter, and on the other hand, due to the higher number of runner bean plants, it is not easy to remove all the beans later.

Simple rods that are used individually or a large-meshed wire mesh with a stable frame are also suitable. A grid can also be attached to the house wall. The main thing is that the climbing aid is as high as possible. Two meters in height are still easy to reach and keep the tendrils tidy.

The sowing

The love of warmth begins with the seeds. For this reason, runner beans should only be sown when the soil has reached a temperature of 10 ° C. Under no circumstances should the ground freeze after sowing.

Therefore, the ice saints should be awaited. Nobody has to be afraid of a harvest loss or even too late sowing. The runner beans can also be used until the end of June or even July. Since they only need two to three months of growth, no hobby gardener has to worry here.
But if you still want to harvest early and want to give the runner beans a little head start, you can prefer them in the house.

Whether they wander freely into the garden or come out into the fresh air as young plants – a hand’s breadth should be kept between them. To do this, they should be placed two to a maximum of three fingers deep in the earth. The holes created in this way can be closed with sand or substrate.
If the seeds germinate, a little substrate should be piled up around the young shoots, this gives additional stability and a little more protection.

Preference in the house

Runner beans are easy to care for and also prove to be easy to grow and pre-grow. The seeds only have to be placed in potting soil and lightly covered with substrate or sand. However, the final substrate from the garden can also be used directly. Pre-cultivation can take place at normal room temperature. The location should be chosen sunny. A windowsill or a winter garden are ideal.
From then on it is only a matter of keeping the seeds slightly moist. The first successes in germination are usually already after a few days, after two weeks at the latest the first tender shoots can be seen.

If the weather is stable, no more frost is expected and the soil has reached the necessary temperature of at least 10 ° C, the young plants are allowed outside. However, caution should be exercised here. Too fast and too great a temperature difference can damage them. It is therefore better if it is a little warmer in the garden.

Tip: If the runner beans are preferred in a warm room, they will be more robust and more resistant to diseases and pests. They also grow faster and healthier.

The right substrate

As quickly as runner beans grow upwards, their roots grow downwards as quickly. Therefore, they need a deep planting site.

When it comes to the substrate, they turn out to be easy to care for, soils rich in humus are ideal. However, it does not have to be expensive soil, ordinary garden soil that is enriched with compost is completely sufficient.


In addition to simple cultivation and easy-care substrate selection, caring for the runner bean also proves to be unproblematic. Watering, fertilizing and cutting a little if necessary – that’s all it takes to keep the runner bean healthy and to ensure a high yield.


Rainwater or the fresh water from the tap – both are tolerated by the runner bean. The water shouldn’t be too hard, but the climbing plant doesn’t react very sensitively to it.
As long as the runner bean has not sprouted, little should be watered. The substrate must not dry out completely, but neither must waterlogging develop.

Once the runner bean has sprouted, watering can be more frequent and more abundant. Because as soon as the first leaves appear, the water requirement increases rapidly. Just like the rate of growth. And of course you have to water more often if there is no rain or if the temperatures rise sharply in summer.


As with the preparation of the substrate, compost can also be used for fertilization. It is sufficient if this is slightly lifted under the ground around the runner bean and then watered.
As an additional nutrient supply, low-nitrogen, organic fertilizers are recommended. Bone meal, wood ash or liquid fertilizer designed for green plants are ideal.

It is important to note here that commercially available fertilizers are safe for plants that are intended for consumption.
The fertilizer can be added every two weeks. If the soil has been pre-fertilized before sowing, the intervals between the nutrients can also be slightly larger.

Tip: If the runner bean grows slowly or takes care of itself, a treatment with algae extract or a brew made from horsetail can be used. These help the otherwise undemanding plant on the jumps.


Usually it is not necessary to prune the runner beans before winter. However, it can happen that individual shoots become heavily knotted or are so unfavorable that harvesting would not be possible anyway.

If the plant parts cannot be folded or untied by hand, they should be cut. This saves strength for the plant during growth, which can be used elsewhere.

And of course parts that have turned yellow, black or brown or show other signs of an infestation with diseases and pests must also be removed.

To harvest

Runner beans are high-yielding plants that often do not only allow one harvest. Depending on the time of sowing and the weather conditions, the first harvest can take place as early as the end of July. Only if the beans are big enough, of course.

There can be a second harvest in autumn. Normally it is sufficient to pluck the bean pods or to bend them slightly at the origin. This is best done with two hands so as not to damage the plant or accidentally tear off entire shoots. A sharp knife can also be used.


If the thermometer drops, less water should be poured at first. And fertilization must also be tapered off.

At the end of October, the plant is then cut radically a hand’s breadth above the ground. To protect against frost, a mixture of compost and soil should be piled up and the plant should also be covered with straw and brushwood.

An opaque cover, however, is not recommended. Water should also be able to penetrate.
No more work should be done on the ground by November at the latest so that the runner beans go into hibernation.

Tip: Remove trellis, grids or bars if possible, this prevents damage and helps to extend the life of the product.

The care around the site

Runner beans themselves are undemanding and easy to care for, but if they are to keep producing high yields, the environment must be looked after a little.

  • Thoroughly remove weeds around the site
  • Dig up the bed once a year, in spring or autumn
  • Provide the entire bed with compost or fertilizer when digging up
  • Red beans and marigolds in the vicinity of the plant protect against diseases and pests

The fewer weeds there are near the runner beans, the more nutrients are left for the high-yielding plants.

Typical diseases and pests

Typical diseases and pests of the runner bean include the bean fly, aphids and fungi.
Fungal infections can be avoided if the young plants are watered sparingly, and especially before they germinate. In addition, the watering should be appropriate to the temperature. The colder it is, the less water the runner beans use. If parts of the plant are already infected by fungi, nettle liquid manure can help.

For this purpose, crushed nettle is put in a bucket with water and left there for at least a week. This solution is then used to water and wash the leaves. Of course, heavily affected areas have to be removed.

Natural enemies, such as ladybugs, are best used against aphids. If these are missing in the garden, they can be purchased in stores. Dusting rock dust on the leaves also helps here. The aphids dry up and fall off the runner beans.

Against the bean fly, it helps to prefer the runner beans indoors. The older the plants are when they are introduced into the bed, the less the pests’ maggots can harm them. It also makes sense to apply a protective preparation, such as an organic vegetable litter, with the plants. This keeps the bean fly away. And the smell of certain plants also has a defensive effect. This includes:

  • Tagetes
  • Dill
  • chamomile
  • tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Lauch

If these are placed near the runner beans, the smell can have a deterrent effect and thus drive away the bean flies. This is important as these can wreak havoc on otherwise high-yield beans. The first signs of an infestation are signs of eating, severely reduced growth and deformed bean pods.

Tip: The right location and appropriate care, as well as moving it forward in the house are already good prevention against pests and diseases. Regular checks also help to identify infestations at an early stage and give the treatment a better chance of success.

The culture in the bucket

The runner bean is usually grown in the garden bed, but it is also possible in the tub. To do this, however, a deep and large container must be selected, in which the roots find sufficient space.
Humus-rich bucket soil, which is enriched with compost or organic fertilizer, is suitable as a substrate. The location should of course also be sunny, warm and protected.

To do this, the runner bean needs a trellis or a grid on which the tendrils can spread. The advantage here: The runner bean can serve as a privacy screen on the balcony and terrace and keep unwanted glances away.

There is only a difference here when it is overwintered, because the runner bean does not have sufficient protection from frost in the bucket. Therefore, the vessel should either be wrapped in garden fleece or brought inside. A frost-free room that is occasionally ventilated is ideal. The runner beans still have to be blended.

The runner bean is an easy-care and undemanding plant that has a high yield and is ideal for newbies to gardening. With the right location and few maintenance measures, it can provide fresh vegetables for many years and stand freely in the garden or in a bucket.

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