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Lima bean

Phaseolus lunatus

Lima bean

It's true about lima beans -- you either love them or hate them. But if you hate them, it may be because they haven't been the small, tender, and creamy-sweet beans you get when you grow them in your backyard.

Similar to snap beans, lima beans grow on bush or vining types, and they may be harvested green or allowed to stay on the vine longer to dry. However, unlike snap beans, limas require more heat and a longer time (75 to 88 days) to mature.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
24-36 inches tall (bush types); 8-12 feet tall (pole types)
Plant Width:
18-30 inches wide
Top Varieties

Phaseolus lunatus 'Fordhook 242' a bush variety that tolerates heat, cold, and drought. It bears pods with three to five greenish-white seeds. 75 days
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Harvest Tips
Harvest lima beans for shelling when the seeds have reached full size and the pods are plump. For dried lima beans, wait until the pods turn brown and brittle.