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PlantFiles: Snap Bean (String, Green or French Bean)
Phaseolus vulgaris 'Lazy Housewife'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Lazy Housewife
Additional cultivar information: (aka Lazy Wife)

» View all varieties of Beans

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Days to Maturity:
51 to 60 days

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RockWhispererOK On Jun 11, 2011, RockWhispererOK from Bartlesville, OK wrote:

I just wanted to say that this is just about my favorite green bean. Good cooked right after picking, frozen, or canned. It makes quite a long vine so I plant it at an arched trellis made from a 25' stockwire panel. Prior to discovering Lazy Housewife I grew Kentucky Wonder.

I have had two failures with this bean in the five years I have been growing it. One was when Oklahoma winter turned into Oklahoma summer with no spring. This bean does not do well in intense heat and dry. The other was when I planted beans sent to me by an individual who said they were Lazy Housewife, but they were not. Do not trade for these beans, order them from a reputable seed company for your first crop. Do not plant them near other bean varieties to avoid crossing. You can then collect your own seed and keep yourself going for years.

True Lazy Housewife beans are tender, stringless, and grow three or four together, about 8 to 10 inches long. They are not a flat bean like an italian bean. They stay tender on the vine fairly long and do not quickly develop seed so can be left to fatten up, if desired. To save seed you must let the pod begin to thin and turn yellow.

Beans form at the bottom of the vine first and progress upwards until the vine stops growing. At that point, it's done, so just pull it out. I tried to get it to make a second crop one year but surviving through July and August made for inferior beans in the fall.

Last year I planted them as fall beans and they were wonderful. I plan to grow them this way from now on. Fall beans are a little tricky at first because they must be planted when the weather is hot, but if you watch that the planting area and/or seedlings do not dry out, you will have success.

Positive gardentotable On Jan 5, 2011, gardentotable from Creswell, OR wrote:

I really enjoyed this bean. The vines were lovely, they must have grown to at least 8'. I don't usually like Italian-style (flat-podded) green beans, but these were the exception. The flavor was wonderful. I shared them with a friend and she agreed. They were also extremely prolific, and they produced well into fall the two years I have grown them. I am in zone 7.

Negative KarenRei On Aug 21, 2009, KarenRei from Iowa City, IA wrote:

I was disappointed by this bean. I planted Scarlet Runner and Lazy Wife this year, thinking the Lazy Wife would be better for eating (green beans, not dry) and the Scarlet Runner more for its beauty. Yet the Scarlet Runners have proven to be a much better plant for food as well as beauty. True, the Lazy Wifes were planted in a shadier spot than the scarlet runners, but the difference in growth rate has been far more than could be explained by that alone. The Runners are huge and the Wifes just stagnated. I've gotten over fifty beans off my two Runners so far and just three off the two Wifes. But I'm not upset by this, because once I tasted the Wifes, I didn't want any more. The Runners have a classic green bean taste. The Wifes looked like green beans, but taste like Lima beans, which I hate. Plus, contrary to their description, the Wifes got stringy *easier* than the Runners. I won't be growing them again.

Positive Farmerdill On Nov 18, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Claimed to be the first completely stringless bean, introduced around 1810. First listed in W. Atlee Burpee’s 1888 catalog, Presumed to have derived its name, which seems discourteous, from its immense productiveness making it easy to gather... One of the oldest documented beans, and most productive. Pole habit, 75-80 days.

Note I grew this bean in the 40's. Yield were good, quality inferior to Kentucky Wonder. Burpee listed it in 1888 as Lazy Wife and it was still sold by that name in the 40's. It is a flat type.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chicago, Illinois
Iowa City, Iowa
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Creswell, Oregon

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