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What’s happened to my runner beans?

Hi. Novice gardener here, please bear with me.
I have Lady Di variety runners planted 3 plants per large pot in general purpose compost on the patio and supported on teepee frames. They’ve been growing really well and I’ve had a huge harvest over the last 3 weeks. I was feeling pleased with myself but cropping has reduced massively in the last week or so. More worryingly, a lot of the remaining pods are yellowing, withered or simply dropping off at various stages of maturity.
I water them quite heavily most days and have included some diluted tomato plant feed every couple of weeks. There’s no sign of disease, leaves are healthy and numerous but there are few flowers coming.
Any ideas what has happened to my previously amazing beans?
I'm wondering if the incredible heatwave has had a negative effect. Maybe over or under watering? I’m a bit stuck.


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,464

    robh91WnNXnh  I'm suspecting that, in some way, your beans have run out of nutrition - at least of the type they need.  If pots are your only option, I wouldn't have more than one per pot but they're a crop that pays dividends for preparation and growing in open ground.  Are you restricted in this way?
  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 402
    I would say it's the heatwave, on our local allotments a lot of growers have said the same thing. My row of runners were covered in flowers and had started cropping. However since the heatwave a lot of the flowers just dropped off. Fortunately new flowers are now starting to appear. It's early in the season and so long as the weather behaves there's a good chance they'll recover 🤞
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,953
    I agree - blame the heatwave.
    Mine have dropped all their flowers and all the beans that were forming since the heatwave - but more will come.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,910
    Runner beans like cool damp summers better. I usually sow some runners and some french beans - the french ones do better in a hot dry year. I rarely get a good crop from both but usually one or other does well
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,138
    We’ve had a great crop of runners so far … best ever in fact … but the very hot spell resulted in small shrivelled yellow beans as you describe. I shall feed with tomato feed, water well and keep my fingers crossed for a new flush of beans. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks everyone, I feel a bit better knowing it’s not just me, obviously not wishing the problem on anyone else though..
    Pots are really my only option. They’re the biggest I could find, about 50cm dia x 50 deep, I’m hopeful they’re not too cramped but I’ll make sure I keep on top of feeding.
    looking at them this morning I can see more flowers appearing, looking more hopeful.
    Thanks to all.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,138
    I picked another kilo this morning so it seems that the only shrivelled ones are those that were ‘initiated’ on the very hottest days. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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