plant quick find clear

sunlight

flower color

foliage color

plant type

height

seasonal features

special features

problem solvers

Lima Bean

Phaseolus lunatus

Grow your own lima beans and develop a new appreciation for this nutrient-rich vegetable. A close relative to snap beans, this warm-season crop is easy to start from seed planted right in the garden. Plus, it’s a good producer. Enjoy lima beans fresh by picking pods when they are full and bright green, or allow beans to dry on the plant and harvest dried beans for use during the cooler months.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

From 1 to 20 feet

Width:

18-30 inches wide

Zones:

2-11

Propagation

Compact Versus Climbing

Lima beans grow as bush-type plants or climbing plants. Often considered easier to harvest, bush-type lima beans form pods on compact plants that are 1 to 2 feet tall and wide.

Climbing plants (commonly called pole lima bean) require a strong support in the form of a sturdy trellis, fence, or tepee. Great for small spaces, climbing lima beans will scramble up instead of out, making great use of a raised bed or container vegetable garden. Plan for bush-type varieties to be ready for harvest 60 to 80 days after sowing. Pole lima bean varieties can be harvested in 85 to 90 days.

Lima Beans Care

Lima beans grow best in full sun and moist, loose, well-drained soil. Like most vegetables, lima beans require at least 8 hours of bright sunlight a day. If your planting area is made of heavy soil or slow-draining clay, plant lima beans in a raised bed filled with rich top soil. If space is a challenge, plant a climbing variety of lima bean in a large container filled with quality potting soil. Plant a sturdy tepee in the container for the beans to climb.

Lima beans require exceptionally warm soil (at least 65 degrees F) to germinate, unlike snap beans—which will thrive when planted any time after the frost-free date. Therefore, plant lima beans in the garden about 2 weeks after the average frost-free date in your area. Plant seeds 1 to 1 ½ inches deep and spaced 2 to 4 inches apart within the row. After germination, thin seedlings to 4 to 6 inches between plants.

Lima beans grow best when temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees F and they get 1 inch of water per week either from rain or irrigation. Hot, dry conditions during flowering may cause the flowers to drop off without setting pods. Lima beans may flower again when temperatures drop. There is no need to fertilize plants. In fact, excessive nitrogen fertilizer can prevent pods from forming even though it also promotes lush growth.

If you want to serve fresh beans, harvest lima beans when the pods are well-filled and bright green. It's better to harvest fresh lima beans a few days too soon, rather than a few days too late. When in doubt, harvest them. For dry beans, let the pods dry on the plants. Keep a close eye on their progress and harvest beans before the pods shatter.

More Varieties of Lima Bean

'Fordhook 242' lima bean

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

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE
close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close
I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close