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runner beans, healthy plants, few beans!

we have very healthy looking runner bean plants which have had flowers, though not an abundance but have produced very few beans and the majority of pods that have produced have been misshapen or shriveled up and fallen off. I would have thought the summer we've had would have produced a bumper crop! we've kept them watered and are in a sunny position so what's going wrong?! any ideas?


  • May be problems with the pollination? Are there enough honey bees around?

  • Hi,'re not on your with this problem, it's very common.

    To save myself the chore of composing a reply, I add this RHS link that explains it very well:

    PS. As the nights are now getting cooler, things may improve over the next few weeks.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    I was out at 6.00 am yesterday in the garden and the runner beans were a'buzz with bees. The bean flowers are white (there is a theory the bees are not attuned to scarlet flowers), and the crop is heavy. Most of the bees are bumbles.

    This is the second year we have grown white flowered beans. Moonlight I think, out of a sack at the garden centre.
  • Davidk, thank you very much for the link, very useful! I grabbed a feelingvthe soil may need enriching as the spinach I grew in the same bed bolted immediately which is attributed to that. also, I think my plan of planting a lavender hedge to attract insects may have backfired! though I see lots of bees on the beans, maybe not enough so Marco you might need right on that.

    welshonion, I'll have a look or . for white flowered varieties, thankyou!
  • Sassi, I grow the white flowered variety 'White Lady' and have to say that after many years experience, is the best runner bean introduction ever.

    This is the seed merchant description, which I can vouch for as being accurate:

    " A premier variety in every way! Vigorous, high yielding plants produce the most tender, thick, succulent pods you have ever tasted. The delicious long, mid green beans of Runner Bean ‘White Lady’ are stringless with a wonderful smooth texture. These white flowered plants are less prone to bird attack than their red flowered cousins, and set well, even in high temperatures, guaranteeing a plentiful crop. Height: 3m (10’). Spread: 30cm (12”)."

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