Growing Lima Beans In Pots – A Planting Guide

Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Hello gardeners, today we are here with a new article called growing lima beans in pots. Are you interested in growing lime beans in pots? Well, follow this complete article to know all the requirements for growing lima beans in pots.

Introduction to Growing Lima Beans in Pots

The lima bean is a tender annual plant. Phaseolus lunatus is commonly known as the lima bean, butter bean, sieva bean, double bean, or Madagascar bean, it is a legume grown for its very edible seeds or beans. The beans are very nutritious, and they are not difficult to grow.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Lima beans are tender annuals easily grown for their flat and crescent-oval-shaped seeds. The smaller varieties are quicker to mature out; this is why you often see “baby” lima beans for sale more often than the larger lima beans. Lima bean plants are started in early spring, from seed or starts, and they may not be ready for harvest for two to three months, depending on the variety you choose.

Types/Varieties of Lima Beans to Grow in Pots at Home

There are two different types of lima beans. They are bush and pole or vine varieties. Bush types of lima beans grow to nearly about 2 feet tall or 6m and they will also tend to have very smaller seeds and they bear more quickly than pole lima bean varieties. Pole lima beans have very large seeds and can grow nearly about 10 to 12 feet or 3-3.6m high.

Suitable Pots for Growing Lima Beans

Bush lima beans can be easily grown in pots, but you will need many pots for a practical harvest. Choose containers that are nearly about 12 inches wide and at least 8 inches deep, and then fill them with potting soil or a mix of well-draining soil and even compost.

Suitable Soil for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

As legumes, lima beans will not need overly rich soil. The soil should be well-draining and moderately rich in high organic matter. Heavy clay soil can pose growing problems because lima beans have deep, very expansive roots and do not like to sit in wet soil always. The soil pH should be in the neutral range that means from 6.0 to 6.8.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

You will just need a spot with full sun to get the most from your lima beans. They survive best in warm temperatures and long days. In addition to light for better growth, full sun exposure will help keep the vines dry and less prone to any fungal problems.

Temperature and Humidity for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Lima beans can be a bit temperamental about the temperature. They do not like very extremes and grow best in climates that stay around 21°C for several months. However, they can easily handle warm temperatures better than prolonged cool temperatures. Lima bean plants are not very frost-hardy.

Germinating Lima Beans Seeds for Growing in Pots

Germinate lima beans in a bag. Wrap your lima beans in a wet paper towel, and then seal the paper towel inside an airtight plastic bag. Let the seeds of lima beans germinate for a few days until they sprout stems and very small roots. Each lima bean should feature one prominent, noticeable stem.

Bean plant
Bean Plant (Image credit: pixabay)

Planting Time for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Lima beans are a tender annual that grows very well in air temperatures between 15-21°C. Sow the lima bean seeds in the pot nearly about 3 to 4 weeks after the average date of the last frost in spring when the soil temperature has warmed to 18°C or more for at least 5 days. Start lima beans indoors as early as 2 or 3 weeks before the average last frost date in the spring season for transplanting into the pot 3 or 4 weeks after the last frost. Start beans indoors in a biodegradable peat or paper pot that can be set whole into the pot so as not to disturb plant roots. For continuous harvest through the complete growing season, sow succession crop bush lima beans every two weeks or follow bush lima beans with long-maturing pole lima beans. Pole lima beans require a very long growing period and are not a good choice where the season is very short. Lima beans will not set pods in temperatures that are above 26°C or cold or wet weather. Time your plantings to avoid very hot weather. In mild-winter regions, lima beans need to be sown in autumn for winter harvest.

How to Start Seedlings in Pot?

Start seedlings in a pot. If you live in a region with a very short growing season, start the seeds in seedling pots roughly nearly 3-4 weeks before you expect the final frost of the spring. Bury each seed under 1-2 inches of loose soil. Keep them in a warm and moist environment, no cooler than 16°C and no hotter than 21°C.

Better consider using a biodegradable peat or paper pot. Lima bean seedlings can be very delicate and difficult to transplant, so it is safest to use a pot that you can plant directly into the big pot. Do not try to plant a clay or plastic pot into the other pot, as this will limit the plant’s growth.

Planting Procedure for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Mix the fertilizer into the top 3–4 inches or 7.6–10.2 cm of soil in your pot. Fill your pot with enough potting mix to come with 3 inches or 7.6 cm from the top. Then, spread a 5-10-10 or 10-20-10 fertilizer over the soil in your pot and mix it into the top 3 or 4 inches or 7.6 or 10.2 cm of the soil before you plant the lima bean seeds.

You don’t need much fertilizer; you just sprinkle a light dusting over the surface of the soil in your pot and then mix it into the soil.

Lima beans do not need regular fertilization. An initial nutrient boost before you plant the bean seeds is perfect.

Push pole or bush beans 1 inch or 2.5 cm deep into the soil. Make a 1 inch or 2.5 cm hole together with your finger and drop a seed into it. to save lots of a tough time, you’ll scatter the seeds over the surface of the soil and push all down 1 inch or 2.5 cm. Then, cover the seeds with potting mix.

Leave 2–3 inches or 5.1–7.6 cm of space between each pole bean seed. You’ll plant more pole beans during a container since most of their growth is vertical. Space each lima bean nearly about 2 to 3 inches or 5.1 to 7.6 cm apart. You’ll probably fit 2 to 4 bush plants in 1 large pot.

Give each bush bean 4 to six inches or 10 to fifteen cm of space. Bush beans take up tons more room within the pot, so leave more room between each seed. If you do not leave a minimum of 4 to six inches or 10 to fifteen cm of space, the plants can crowd one another, and that they won’t be placed on the maximum amount of growth. you will get more beans if your plants have room to grow.

Water Requirement for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Water them regularly. Keep the pot damp, but not soggy. Be careful not to water too heavily or even too frequently, lest you drown the very delicate lima bean seedlings. Be aware, however, that they require nearly about one inch of water each week which means rain or irrigation during the blossoming and pod development stages. Pour the water at the base of the bean plants, not over the top: disease and mildew can develop in consistently-wet foliage.

Spread mulch around the base of the plant to conserve constant moisture. This will keep you from having to water every day, as the hot season or weather develops, and it should keep the weeds down.

Frequent watering is especially very important in the heat of summer. Seed pods can easily dry and crack when the climate grows too hot.

Caring Tips for Growing Lima Beans in Pots          

Very large lima bean seed may have trouble pushing through the soil that has not been well worked and at sowing, cover the seeds with sand, vermiculite, or even with a peat moss-vermiculite mix instead. Plant the beans carefully to avoid disturbing the complete shallow root system. Do not handle beans when they are very wet; this may spread fungus spores. So, set poles, stakes, or trellises in place before planting lima beans.

Remove all the weeds to prevent bacteria and mould. If you see leaves with white mould, you need to remove them from the plant along with any other weeds in the base of your pot. If mouldy leaves or weeds fill the pot, they can choke out the lima bean plants.

This is another reason it is very important to leave space between your plants. If they are too crowded, mould and even bacteria can easily spread from one plant to another.

Providing Support for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Make sure to provide a support structure for vine bean varieties. All the indeterminate beans need a pole or trellis to reach their full growth potential. Set this up as soon as you plant the seeds or even earlier so that you will not take a risk in damaging the delicate roots. You can set up a wooden or metal pole that is at least five feet tall, and that should be no more than an inch in diameter. The support should be securely staked into the pot beside the plant. As the lima bean plant grows, you will need to patiently and carefully guide the seeking vine so that it begins to wrap around the pole.

Once the vine has “embraced” the pole, then the plant should grow up and around the support without any further coaxing.

Suitable Fertilizers for Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Lima beans generally do not need any extra fertilizer, especially if the soil is already very rich. However, since lima beans have a very long growing season, it helps to give them a side dressing of compost or high composted manure, or a dose of high organic fertilizer, mid-season. These slow-releasing sources of nutrients will help the plants to continue for the rest of the growing season.

In case if you miss this: Growing Organic Spinach At Home.

Common Pests and Diseases in Lima Beans

Common pests:

Beans can be easily attacked by aphids, bean beetles, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and even mites. Aphids, leafhoppers, and mites can be sprayed away with a big blast of water from the hose or even controlled with the help of insecticidal soap. Look for small eggs and infestations and then crush them between your fingers and thumb. Pinch out and remove very large infestations. Aphids can easily spread the bean mosaic virus. Keep the garden very clean and free of debris so that pests cannot harbour or over-winter in the pot.

Common diseases:

Beans are easily susceptible to blight, mosaic, and even anthracnose. Better plant disease-resistant varieties or types. Keep the pot clean and free of debris. Avoid handling plants when they are too wet so as not to spread any fungal spores. Removed all the diseased plants and put them in a paper bag and then throw them away. Lima beans are susceptible to many other soil-borne diseases and rotating beans so will not grow in the same location more than every three years and will reduce soil-borne diseases.

Harvesting Lima Beans

Bush lima beans will be ready for harvest within 60 to 80 after sowing and pole beans will be ready for harvest within 85 to 90 days after sowing seed. Pick lima beans when pods are very plump and firm. Continue to pick the pods as soon as they become very plump to extend flowering and the production of new pods. Pods that are left too long will result in seeds that are tough and mealy. Bush lima beans will produce 2 or 3 pickings in a season.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Lima Beans in Pots

Do lima beans need a trellis to grow?

Some of the lima beans have a climbing habit and they will require trellising. Others, however, the bush beans that do not need much support to grow. So better know the growing habit of your lima bean before planting it in your pot.

How long will it take to grow lima beans?

It takes approximately 60 to 80 days.

Bush lima beans will take approximately 60 to 80 days to produce complete ripe pods, where pole lima beans will just need 75 to 90 days, depending on the variety you choose. The lima bean pods will be ready to harvest once the pods are firm, plump, and between four to eight inches in length.

Do I have to soak lima beans before planting?

Grow lima beans in soil that is evenly very moist and well-drained. Lima bean seeds may crack and germinate very poorly if the soil moisture is too high at the time of sowing. So, do not soak seeds in advance of planting or they may crack and do not over-water after sowing.

How often do I water my lima beans?

Water them regularly. Keep the soil always moist until germination, then make sure that the plants receive at least 1 inch of water per week. In hot and dry weather, you need to water more frequently and better mulch around the roots to keep the pot cool.

Why are my lima beans not producing out?

  1. Maybe the soil is too wet – lima bean plants in soil that are too wet will produce blooms but they will not produce pods.
  2. There may be no enough water – Much like when the temperatures are very high, lima bean plants that receive too little water will be stressed and they will drop their blossoms or flowers because they must focus on keeping the mother plant alive.

What type of soil is best for growing lima beans?

Loamy soils are best for growing lima beans.

Lima beans will grow best on medium to light, loamy soils that are well-drained and well supplied with high organic matter.

How long after flowering do lima beans appear?

Maturity after blooms

Lima bean pods appear as soon as the blossom or flowers drops and grow very rapidly in good weather. Slender pods will be ready within a week, while it may take nearly 10 days or more for the pods to fill out completely. Checking the pods daily ensures that they will not become overgrown and toughen.

Will lima beans bought from the grocery store grow?

Lima beans grow very well from the same seeds sold as dry beans for eating at the grocery store, but that will not mean all grocery store lima beans can grow into a healthy lima bean plant. You need to first test the seeds to make sure that they are viable, or able to germinate out and grow.

How many lima beans does one plant produce?

One plant can nearly produce 120 beans.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here