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Beginner Gardening Questions: Painted Lady Runner Beans

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PerfecTommy07
Chicago, IL

June 10, 2014
6:34 AM

Post #9864255

This is a beautiful plant. It's the first time I've grown runner beans. It took off from seed about 4 weeks ago and is about 4 feet tall already, with tons of salmon/white blooms. The plant seems pretty hardy as it shrugged off a couple of unexpected temperature dips here in Chicago a few weeks ago and is still doing very well. I pinched off the main vine at the tip about a week ago and since have gotten tons of side shoots and even more blooms.

Just yesterday I noticed a couple of leaves seemed a bit weathered. So far itís only a handful of leaves, and I think it may be normal wear and tear, but Iím posting a few pics anyway just in case any of you recognize this as a sign trouble on the horizon. I want this plant to do very well.

Anyone else growing this variety and have any tips, tricks or advice on how to keep the vine happy and healthy??

Thanks
PT7

Thumbnail by PerfecTommy07   Thumbnail by PerfecTommy07   Thumbnail by PerfecTommy07
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Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 10, 2014
8:53 PM

Post #9864948

The first one looks like an older leaf. If it is near the bottom of the vine then the plant may just be recycling some of the nutrients, and getting ready to shed that one.

The second picture, the puckered leaf might be from some kind of pest, but if it is just an odd leaf or two I would not worry about it.

The third picture has some brown spots on the leaf. This is often mechanical damage. Something may be eating one surface of the leaf (very small bug) or the leaf got pinched or folded while it was in the bud or just starting to expand. Similar to the prior problem, if it is just a few leaves, don't worry about it.

The best time to look for pests is at night. Many pests hide during the day, some on the plant, some in the soil. They come out to feed when it is safer. Try going out at dusk, then watching as it gets darker. A flashlight may help.
PerfecTommy07
Chicago, IL

June 11, 2014
5:26 AM

Post #9865082

[quote="Diana_K"]The first one looks like an older leaf. If it is near the bottom of the vine then the plant may just be recycling some of the nutrients, and getting ready to shed that one.

The second picture, the puckered leaf might be from some kind of pest, but if it is just an odd leaf or two I would not worry about it.

The third picture has some brown spots on the leaf. This is often mechanical damage. Something may be eating one surface of the leaf (very small bug) or the leaf got pinched or folded while it was in the bud or just starting to expand. Similar to the prior problem, if it is just a few leaves, don't worry about it.

The best time to look for pests is at night. Many pests hide during the day, some on the plant, some in the soil. They come out to feed when it is safer. Try going out at dusk, then watching as it gets darker. A flashlight may help. [/quote]

Thanks for taking the time to reply Diana! You are spot on. The first leaf is at the very bottom of the plant. It may well have been one of the first true leaves to emerge. Would it do the plant any good to go ahead and remove that; or should nature just take its course?

I will look for pests at dusk. I checked the plant over again yesterday and there appear to be a few more leaves with damage similar to the 2nd and 3rd pics. So itís not limited to just a few leaves. Whatever it is it appears to be gradually affecting the entire plant. Otherwise the blooms just keep coming. Itís also been VERY windy here the last couple of days. So much so that itís blown some of my zucchini around enough to give them a good shock. Maybe some of this damage is due to wind?

Regards,
PT7
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 11, 2014
6:05 PM

Post #9865747

Yes, especially the 3rd pic.

When plant leaves are growing, but still in the bud, and when they are just starting to open up any small damage 'grows' with the expanding leaf, so a pin-prick sized injury might grow to 1/4" or larger spot or hole. Wind can certainly blow the plant around so the buds can get damaged this way. Wind can also tear the older leaves. Some plants are more delicate, and the wind can dry them out, too.

The second picture (puckered leaf) is something I more often associate with insect damage, similar to the above comment: If the bug bites the growing leaf, or sucks some of the sap out of a leaf bud or expanding leaf it may then unfold in this way.

It does not matter if you let the old leaf die on the plant or remove it. It is not sick, it will not be spreading a disease. Allow the plant to reuse whatever nutrients it can. When the leaf is ready to fall, it will. Or you can pinch it off when you want.
gabagoo
Yonkers, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2014
9:05 AM

Post #9866184

I've grown these for years in pots with string trellises. After planting them the first time, you'll NEVER have to purchase seeds again! Let the seed pods dry on the vine, pick them & harvest the beans inside for next year. There can be as many as 6 beans in a pod.
It's a great plant & very hardy. They keep going until the frost finally kills them.

Nancy
PerfecTommy07
Chicago, IL

June 12, 2014
9:59 AM

Post #9866217

[quote="gabagoo"]I've grown these for years in pots with string trellises. After planting them the first time, you'll NEVER have to purchase seeds again! Let the seed pods dry on the vine, pick them & harvest the beans inside for next year. There can be as many as 6 beans in a pod.
It's a great plant & very hardy. They keep going until the frost finally kills them.

Nancy
[/quote]

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the reply. I do have a question for you. What kind of germination rate do you normally experience growing these wonderful vines?

I ask because I received some donated seed packets because I run a community garden here in Chicago, and one of the packets was "Painted Lady". I only had the one pack which contained about 10 ďbeansĒ. I planted them all but got less than 50% germination rate. I found that the seedlings either emerged vigorously straight away or not at all. I wondered if that (poor germination rate) is normal in your experience.

Otherwise I am guessing that they were older seeds, and thus less viable
gabagoo
Yonkers, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2014
10:26 AM

Post #9866234

I'd like to say I'm organized... but I'm NOT. LOL
I tend to just toss the seeds into a plastic cup for the following year. There are probably seeds in the cup from 1 or 2 (possibly more) years ago.
My friend's son plants them for me since they are nice & big & easy to handle.
Of the 15 seeds planted, 13 germinated in a week.
They were planted on May 29 and germinated between June 5-7. They are now about 6" tall & have reached the bottom of the trellis.

Like I said, I don't know what season they were from. :)

Nancy (the disorganized one)
PerfecTommy07
Chicago, IL

June 12, 2014
11:21 AM

Post #9866281

[quote="gabagoo"]I'd like to say I'm organized... but I'm NOT. LOL
I tend to just toss the seeds into a plastic cup for the following year. There are probably seeds in the cup from 1 or 2 (possibly more) years ago.
My friend's son plants them for me since they are nice & big & easy to handle.
Of the 15 seeds planted, 13 germinated in a week.
They were planted on May 29 and germinated between June 5-7. They are now about 6" tall & have reached the bottom of the trellis.

Like I said, I don't know what season they were from. :)

Nancy (the disorganized one)[/quote]

Thank again Nancy,

I think I just had an old batch of seeds which is why they were donated to make room for newer stock. No worries since I'll have a fresh batch of seeds this year!

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