If Jack really had a bag of magic beans, they would have been runner beans! Runner beans are our absolute favorite perennial bean. These beans are gorgeous, yummy, and climb to the sky with ease. We've collected rare runner bean varieties from around the world and have continued to select for perennial nature, amazing colors, and rich, savory taste. You'll receive a blend of colors from our collection and can enjoy the rich variety of colors of beans and blossoms. Once you taste our runner beans, you'll forget that any other bean ever existed. (Phaseolus coccineus)
Why We Love Them
Here are some of the reasons why we absolutely love these runner beans:
1) GORGEOUS, EDIBLE BLOOMS - Runner beans are so beautiful that many people grow them as an ornamental plant. The hummingbirds and bees love to dance among their beautiful red, white, and peach flowers. The beautiful blooms are delicious in salads and taste like fresh green beans.
2) GREAT VINING PLANT TO CREATE SHADE - These magic vines will happily scramble up any support you give them, topping out at about 10 feet. They create beautiful shade in the summertime. A runner bean teepee is a gorgeous centerpiece for the garden (and a fun place for kids to hide!)
3) DELICIOUS FOOD THROUGHOUT THE SEASON - There are so many ways to enjoy the food from these plants. You can cook the young immature pods and eat them as delicious green beans. You can eat the beans when they are still soft like shell beans, and you can dry them fully and store them for the rest of the year. Even the roots are edible! Runner bean burritos are a family favorite around here!
How to Grow Them
Here are a few tips on how to grow runner beans:
|SUN||Full or part sun
|MOISTURE||Average moisture, good drainage
|GROWING ZONES||Perennial in USDA 8-10, Annual everywhere else. (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)|
|SIZE||8-12 feet tall and 2 feet wide|
|GROWING FROM SEED||
DIRECT SOW: Plant 2” deep with 8” spacing in the spring when the soil has reached 50 degrees. Keep moist until germination in approx 7-14 days. The above-ground foliage is frost-tender. Protect baby plants from slugs.
PRO TIP: Give your runner beans something to grow up. A trellis or bamboo teepee work great! If you want to grow them as a perennial, cut to the ground after your last harvest and then mulch well to protect them from winter frost.
How to Harvest & Use Them
One of the things that makes these beans magical is that the more you pick them, the more they produce! You can eat the beautiful blossoms in salads. Harvest the young pods while they are still flat and young and eat like fresh green beans. You can harvest the beans when they are fully plumped out and cook like broad beans. And you can let them fully ripen at the end of the season and harvest as the most delicious, hearty dried bean you've ever eaten!
We love to cook our dried runner beans in the Instant Pot. These are heavenly! We're grateful to Dad Cooks Dinner for this great recipe:
INSTANT POT RUNNER BEANS
- 1 pound dried runner beans
- Large bowl of water for soaking
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or quick soak.
Overnight soak: Cover the beans with water, with the water level at least an inch above the beans. Leave the beans to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight.
OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 1 hour rest: Put the beans and 8 cups of water in the pressure cooker pot. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then let the beans sit for 1 hour.
Pressure Cook for 20 minutes with a Quick Pressure Release: Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid. Put the beans in the pressure cooker, add 5 cups of water, sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt, then add the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 20 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 16 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Quick release the pressure
Serve: Discard the bay leaves and any garlic cloves you can find. (The garlic tends to dissolve under pressure - that’s OK.) To use as a side dish, serve the beans with their broth; to add to another recipe, drain the beans. Enjoy!