Firebeans - brilliant ornamental and useful plants for the summer garden

Firebeans - brilliant ornamental and useful plants for the summer garden

Plant firebeans properly

Fire beans bought ready-made or grown on the windowsill are so sensitive to the cold that the planting time begins at the beginning / middle of May at the earliest. First install the necessary trellis in the sunny to partially shaded location. Then loosen up the soil finely in order to dig small holes in it at intervals of 30-40 cm. Enrich the excavation with compost and a little sand before planting the young bug beans. After the first watering, spread a 5-6 cm high layer of mulch.

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also read

  • Fire beans: edible or just ornamental?
  • Fire beans - poisonous in their raw state
  • Harvest firebeans

Care tips

With the following care program you set the course for a cultivation of beetle beans that leaves nothing to be desired:

  • Repeatedly pile up freshly planted firebeans from a height of 20 cm
  • Keep the substrate and the garden soil constantly moist with alternating soft and normal water
  • Fertilize organically every 14 days from May until harvest
  • Alternatively, pour weekly with diluted nettle manure (ratio 1:10)
  • Only clean off dead flowers when no harvest is planned

In the bed, the tropical beetle beans thrive as an annual, as they already fail at temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. In bucket culture you are free to dare to spend the winter. Clear the plants that have been cut close to the ground in good time to the darkened winter quarters with temperatures of 10-12 degrees Celsius. Do not give fertilizers and water only rarely.

Which location is suitable?

Firebeans want a sunny to partially shaded location, preferably protected from strong winds. In particular, look out for a location that has enough space to mount a climbing aid. In any good garden soil, the tropical climbers develop rapid growth and abundant flowers. A humus-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5 is advantageous. Please ensure a crop rotation of at least 3 years.

What soil does the plant need?

Beetle beans achieve their floral optimum in loamy, sandy, loose and humus rich soil with a pH value of 5.5 to 7.5. Exotic beauties do not like a strongly nutrient-stressed soil any more than a permanent wet location. If in doubt, mix in a few handfuls of sand in loamy soil. For the bucket culture, we recommend a peat-reduced, organic vegetable soil for a carefree enjoyment of the aromatic legumes.

When is the flowering time?

From June to September beetle beans give us a furious blaze of color with inflorescences up to 35 cm in length. Now is the time for the pollinators to turn the opulent flower dress into a rich harvest of delicious firebeans. If you are only interested in the decorative value of this exotic climbing plant, cut off withered inflorescences as soon as possible to make room for new buds.

Pour fire beans

In the sunny location, firebeans evaporate abundant moisture through the imposing foliage. You should therefore water regularly as soon as the surface of the bed soil and substrate has dried. Ideally, you should alternate between soft rainwater and normal tap water so that no excess lime builds up in the soil or the pH value soars to undesirable heights.

Fertilize fire beans properly

In contrast to the pronounced need for watering, beetle beans prove to be frugal in terms of their nutrient balance. If you are aiming for a harvest of the tasty legumes, we recommend organic fertilization with compost. From May until harvest, lightly work ripe garden compost into the soil every 14 days and water. The specialist trade has organic liquid fertilizer for firebeans in the bucket. Alternatively, from May onwards, you can administer nettle manure once a week, diluted with water at a ratio of 1:10.


Given a temperature minimum of 10 degrees Celsius, beetle beans thrive in beds in our latitudes as annual ornamental and useful plants. Cultivated in the bucket, there is still a chance of overwintering. Cut the withered and harvested firebeans close to the ground and move them to frost-free winter quarters. At temperatures of 10-12 degrees Celsius, water from time to time so that the root ball does not dry out. There is no fertilization during the resting period. After 2-3 years the plant has formed a tuberous root system, similar to a dahlia. You can get this out of the ground in autumn and keep it dry in sand or newspaper in the cool, dark cellar until next May.

Propagate fire beans

Leave a few firebeans on the plant in the fall to use the mature seeds for propagation. When dried in an airy place, store the seeds in the airtight, dark screw-top jar in the cool cellar until next spring. At the beginning of April you can start sowing according to these brief instructions:

  • Roughen the thick, dried seeds with a file
  • Pre-soak in lukewarm water for 12-24 hours
  • Put 2-3 cm deep in pots with poor growing substrate (9.05 € at Amazon *) and water
  • Keep constantly moist in the heated indoor greenhouse at 20 degrees Celsius

Alternatively, put a plastic cap over the potty and place it on the warm, partially shaded window sill. When germination begins, the cover has done its job and is removed. Maintain the young bug beans with soft irrigation water until mid-May. From a height of 10-12 cm, apply liquid fertilizer for vegetables that has been diluted by half every 2 weeks.

Are Firebeans Poisonous?

Like all other types of beans, firebeans are not suitable for fresh consumption. Only heating to more than 75 degrees Celsius dissolves the toxins it contains. Until then, humans and animals suffer symptoms of poisoning such as nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. In any case, grow bug beans out of the reach of children and pets. Since mere skin contact can trigger severe allergies, we recommend the use of gloves for all planting and maintenance work.

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Nice varieties

  • Lady Di: A royal runner bean with red flowers and stringless beans; an ornamental and pleasure plant in a class of its own
  • Hesita: With a height of 30 cm, the ideal beetle beans for the balcony and terrace with two-tone flowers in red and white
  • Golden Sunshine: Optical highlight with red flowers over golden yellow leaves and delicious green legumes
  • Magier: The variety produces purple, black-speckled beans, perfect for the beetle bean salad
  • Bulgarian Snow Queen: Extravagant variety that sets the scene with white fruits and white seeds