Green Beans--Blossoms, but no beans?????????

karendw(SW Idaho)August 11, 2006

Hi! We have a lot of pole green beans that are nice & green with loads of blossoms, but no sign of green beans. Anyone know why that would be? Thanks, Karen

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gardenlad(6b KY)

What are your temperatures like? Although beans like hot weather, it it gets overly hot for any length of time the blossoms abort.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 7:50PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

How arid is your location? In my experience, in addition to heat stress, water stress can also cause blossom drop. Mulching around the plants will help retain moisture between rains, or between waterings (if you irrigate). I increase my irrigation schedule slightly when beans begin to blossom, it seems to reduce blossom drop for almost all species of beans.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:55PM
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karendw(SW Idaho)

It was hot for awhile, but cooler temps the last week and a half. Irrigation seems to be good. We picked some beans off of our bush beans, but I can't find any start of any on pole beans. Arghh! And we have 2 rows of 50 feet of pole beans that need to produce! They are a dark green, so I do wonder if we put too much fertilizer on them? Thanks, Karen

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 5:09PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

My pole beans are loaded with blossoms. Soon after a blossom wilts, a tiny bean pod is left behind. They are so small that from a couple of feet back, you wouldn't notice any pods at all. They are nearly microscopic. Well, maybe 1/4" long. The vines show promise of producing one heck of a lot of beans.

My bush beans, planted at the same time, are now in the mature, shelly stage. So I think different types and different varieties have very different DTM.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 6:56PM
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My pole beans are not producing either. I had the same problem last year as well. When the temps are really high, it does something to the pollen. I think I have picked 10 beans off of my trellis and I have had 4 pickings from my bush beans. I just planted more bushbean plants 3 days ago and they have emerged, figure that will take my throuugh the fall. I hate bending down and picking them, but at at least there is something to pick.

I don't know if I am going to plant pole beans next year. They are in the same place as last year, but I add in lots of compost and till my garden very well so I don't think that would make a difference. Maybe I will try them in another location, I don't know.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 11:48AM
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I planted pole and bush beans as well. I do think the heat slowed down production. I picked a lot of bush beans but not as much as I would have if it were not so hot. My poles are just now producing. Like you said I had nice green leaves but not many beans. But since it cooled of a little I see quite a few beans comming on. So I will get some. Just hang in there you may still have some beans. What kind of pole beans did you plant? I planted blue lakes.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 12:28PM
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Could the problem be related to pollination or lack thereof?
This year, there seems to be very few insects around. Perhaps similarly at your area? I've thought of inviting a beekeeper to set up a hive in my yard.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 1:03PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Marquette, beans are not dependent on pollinators; in fact they do little good.

Beans are self-pollinating, and drop their pollen the night before the flowers open.

Concievably, high humidity could effect pollen drop---as it sometimes does with tomatoes. But the presence or absence of bees and other pollinators has no significant effect.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:29PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

I think that Karen's problem was simply having a late variety. Pole beans vary widely in maturity dates. For example, Mennonite Purple Stripe was producing 6 weeks ago while Fat Man gave me the first small pods today.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 11:31PM
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Elaine Young

I've had the same problem - pole beans and scarlet runners. Loads of flowers, healthy plants, maybe 6 pole beans. Weather here has been decent this summer, not too hot, not too cool, not too humid, not too dry. Just the right balance for the most part of humidity, temps, rain, sun. The puzzle remains and I'm running out of time to get beans to eat this summer!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 3:27PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I don't know how long they have been in the ground but Pole beans just take longer than bush beans...When I first started growing them, every year I would go through the same worry...I'm not going to have any beans...I bet if you are patient, you will have beans soon.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Gardenlad says: "beans are not dependent on pollinators; in fact they do little good.
Beans are self-pollinating, and drop their pollen the night before the flowers open"

I don't doubt Gardenlad's thorough bean knowledge and expertise, bus his statement begs explanation.

If indeed beans are self pollinating, then why do bean varieties cross pollinate despite being grown twenty feet apart? Makes me wonder.... Also, to get pure bean seed, I understand that the plants must be bagged or caged if more than one variety of the same kind grows nearby (especially if bumblebees are pollinators, since they travel relatively far).

If the pollen has been dropped before the flower opens, then when the flower opens there is supposedly no pollen left for the bees to carry to the next flower, and cross pollination would supposedly not be possible. Gee, my head's a'spinning......

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 10:03PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Ruthie nailed it. Pole beans are procrastinators (like me). My White Willow Leaf limas finally have miniscule pods. They've been producing their tiny blossoms for a long time. Keep the faith.

So far as Gardenlad's statement about self-pollination is concerned, notice how carefully worded it is. It says "not dependent on pollinators", which is not quite the same as "not pollinated by pollinators". In my limited experience, beans are likely to have a small percentage of cross pollination from insects. If it's important to have a pure strain you need to prevent that. Otherwise, don't worry about it. How many other varieties are being grown in the vicinity is also a consideration.

BTW, I communicated with Gardenlad recently because I missed his presence here and was concerned. I was glad to hear that his absence is for good reasons and things are well with him.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 12:10AM
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Anyone familiar with 'Musica' green beans? Renee's Garden. Something is wrong...when beans are perfect, they are reasonably long, flat, and scrumptious. This year the beans, with a few exceptions, stay in a comma shape, and either get tough, or fall off. What's happening??? And my other Blue Lakes are barely producing at all. It's the 1st of September - I live in the Santa Cruz Mtns in CA and temperatures have been in the low 100s. I've also been using beautiful worm compost from my beautiful worms, and I'm thinking: 'too much nitrogen'? Too much of a good thing? Help...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:50AM
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bit saddened by this First time attempting this kind of thing and made a Teepee for the kids.. lots of green but NO BEANS!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 4:13PM
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I bet you'll yet get beans. I've had more issues with this problem this year, which makes me think "conditions." Some varieties seem slower to produce pods. But I'd be surprised if they didn't eventually produce.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 9:56AM
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My pole beans a full-vined but few blossoms appear. Is there anything I can do?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:48PM
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I have been growing pole beans for 30 years (10 in California & 20 in Missouri) and this is the first year that I have beautiful plants, lots of flowers and no beans. It was very hot (over 99) for over 15 days, but I've seen hot weather before and still got beans. The plants get regular water (from sprinklers) daily.
the weather is back to normal and I am waiting patiently or results.
I think maybe the seed (gurney's) is sterile. You just don't know with commercial seed anymore and their genetic engereening. i try to watch this and avoid buying GES.
Beans for me usually come in in August with slow start in Late july, here it is middle of Aug and NO sign of even starting to produce.
/is anyone else having the same results this summer?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:32AM
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I had the same problem. Now I'm getting loads of beans, finally! Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

The curved beans (and cukes) get that way from insect bites. We had an infestation of stinkbugs (green and black stages) which suck the juice out of the beans and also, I notice, cause the tiny new beans not to develop.

After tapping the bugs into a can of soapy water twice a day, they seem to have decreased in number enough for the beans to start heavily producing.

I read that beans like cool weather, so now that autumn is near, they seem happier.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:20PM
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sybere(9 CA)

sooo how hot is too hot. we've had temperatures over 100 for at least a week. not only am I not getting flowers but my leaves are drying up and!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:22PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I can only share my experience in very hot Mississippi. When daytime highs are above 90, production of pole beans begins to drop off. When they are over 93, production stops almost altogether. This summer our temps have stayed at or just below 90 for most of the summer and it has the best bean crop I have ever had. Two teepees of Rattlesnakes have yielded 1-2 gallons of beans a week since mid June.
Bunnies got into them last week and cut the beans off at the ground. Oh, well. I have fall plantings of Emerite and Fortex starting to run up the poles.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:33PM
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hementia8(8 MS)

We had a pretty productive year despite the heat and all the rain
Most productive were:
The white seeded did not fare as well except DALE and MONTE CRISTO
Did not get the first pod from any bush bean as they all rotted vine and all.
The pole buttereans and cowpeas are loaded

This post was edited by hementia8 on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 8:14

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:39PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Where is Mr. Zeedman. He is my trusted authority on beans.

I have learned (from my source !) that different growing conditions can produce different results.

My beans (mostly bush and semi-bush) are doing ok. I have kinda staggered planted . the first and the second batches are producing and the third is not yet. My few scarlet runners(Planted just for flowers) are fruiting more than before.
and the last item on my bean report; Hyacinth Pole beans are finally blooming. They should be continuing till frost.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:12PM
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My Dallas area pole green beans are sleeping on the vine this year. I have picked maybe a dozen beans from a 30' row along my back fence. I have to start them a bit late since they are on the north side of a wood fence and don't get good sunlight until April 15 or so as the sun moves (the earth moves) into the northern hemisphere. Add the DTM and it falls just about when we get hot. Today is 63 days (estimating) but the temps are expected to be 92 or 93. See the above post and you have my dilemma. Perhaps this is better for the fall garden.

The alternative is Southern peas. They handle the temps better. But what gardener does not like green beans?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:27AM
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