Vaughn is a seasoned horticulturist boasting a comprehensive education in botany. His career spans a myriad of roles in renowned botanical gardens and nurseries, earning him extensive expertise in perennial plants. When not immersed in his plant-filled world, Vaughn indulges in birdwatching and nurturing his photography skills.
Perennial bean plants are a fantastic addition to any garden. Not only do they provide a bountiful harvest year after year, but they also require less effort and maintenance compared to annual bean plants. In this guide, I'll introduce you to some of the best perennial bean plants that you can plant once and enjoy for years to come.
1. Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus): This stunning vine produces vibrant red flowers and edible beans. It is a vigorous grower, reaching heights of up to 10 feet. Scarlet Runner Beans prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are hardy in USDA zones 3-11 and can tolerate cooler temperatures. These beans are not only delicious but also attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
2. Asparagus Bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis): Also known as Yardlong Beans or Chinese Long Beans, Asparagus Beans are slender and can grow up to 3 feet long. They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and are commonly used in Asian cuisine. Asparagus Beans thrive in warm climates and require a trellis or support for climbing. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-11 but can be grown as annuals in cooler regions.
3. Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus): Winged Beans are unique and versatile plants that produce edible leaves, flowers, and tubers in addition to the beans. The beans have a nutty flavor and can be used in stir-fries, soups, and salads. Winged Beans prefer warm climates and well-drained soil. They are hardy in USDA zones 10-11 but can be grown as annuals in cooler regions.
4. Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus): Hyacinth Beans are known for their stunning purple flowers and glossy, purple pods. The beans are typically harvested when young and tender. Hyacinth Beans prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-11 but can be grown as annuals in cooler regions. It's important to note that the seeds and pods of Hyacinth Beans are toxic if ingested, so exercise caution if you have children or pets.
5. Perennial Pea (Lathyrus latifolius): While not a true bean, Perennial Peas are a great alternative for those looking for a low-maintenance perennial vine. They produce clusters of sweetly scented flowers in various colors, including pink, purple, and white. Perennial Peas prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They are hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and can tolerate colder temperatures.
To grow perennial bean plants successfully, ensure you provide them with the right growing conditions, including adequate sunlight, well-drained soil, and proper support for climbing varieties. Regular watering and occasional fertilization will also help promote healthy growth and abundant harvests.
By incorporating these perennial bean plants into your garden, you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh, homegrown beans year after year. Happy gardening!