Runner bean - Phaseolus coccineus

A great, easy to grow, vegetable plant, even if growing on the smallest plot, they climb upwards using up very little space. Sow directly outside, in mid-May, by pushing seeds an inch deep into well prepared soil, or start off in pots, in early May, and plant outside once the first leaves have unfurlled. If growing up poles arranged as a wigwam or teepee, they can be underplanted with a marrow, courgette or pumpkin.

Suggested sowing time:


(Key: sow indoors,   sow outside,   sow outside under cover.)

Culinary use:

Pick the beans when they are small, left on the plant they will get tough and stringy. Leaving beans on the plant will also reduce the number of future flowers the plant produces.

Cultivars and varieties:

Phaseolus coccineus 'Celebration' - pink flowers

Phaseolus coccineus 'Firestorm' - A stringless, easy to grow bean. Similar to a french bean if picked when young.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Moonlight'

Phaseolus coccineus 'Red Rum' - bright, scarlet flowers with tender, long beans.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Scarlet Emperor'

Phaseolus coccineus 'St George' - red and white flowers.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Stardust' - White flowers with tender, stringless beans

Seeds to plant now:

Indoor or in a heated greenhouse

Coriander

Cress

Cucumber

Forget-me-not

Ornamental Pepper

Tomato

Outside

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Antwerp hollyhock, Fig-leaved hollyhock, hollyhock

Aster

Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Basil, Sweet basil, Common basil

Beet, Beetroot, Chard

Beetroot, Garden beet

Borecole, Kale

Bristly hollyhock

Broccoli

Cabbage

Candytuft

Cardoon

Carrot

Cauliflower

Celery

Common hollyhock

Cornflower

Courgette

Delphinium

French bean, fine bean

Hollyhock

Italian beetroot, Beetroot, Garden beet

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Love-in-a-mist

Marrow

Nasturtium

Normandy sorrel

Ornamental winter kale

Radish

Runner bean

Spinach

Spinach, Summer spinach

Spring onion

Sweet corn

Sweet pea

Swiss chard, Ruby chard, Rhubard chard

Turnip

Outside under cover

Cucumber

Sweet corn