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Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus)

The scarlet runner bean is a vigorous annual twiner with bright flowers (hence the name). They are are a good choice for building green privacy screens, pergolas, fences, carports and of course for house walls and balconies. Runner beans flower even in the coolest summers!

Scarlet Runner Bean / Runner Bean / Multiflora Bean / Butter Bean, lat.: Phaseolus coccineus / Phaseolus multiflorus

Phaseolus coccineus, scarlet runner bean


The runner bean favors a sunny to semi-shady, warm and sheltered locations with deep, fresh and loose, but not too wet soil. Good water supply is a must, especially on dry and hot days and especially if the bean is planted in a pot or tub. Available as seed blends with different varieties and colours.

Caracteristics and Pruning

This robust and fast-growing twining climber from Mexico, has been known in Europe since the 16th century. The runner bean can be sown in 3 - 5 cm deep holes after the ground is at a temperature of 10 degrees (beginning of May), after soaking them in water overnight. If there are still night frosts the seedlings need to be protected. When planting a line, keep a distance of 25 to 30 between plants. When sowing next to a stake or another standing trellis, put 4 -6 seeds into every plant-hole. In colder regions, you might want to pre-grow the plants inside from April on. Growth height is up to 3 - 4 meter, sometimes even 6 meters, with dense, green foliage. Red, white or bicolored flowers bloom from June to September, with a strong contrast to the decorative foliage. The abundance of flowers cannot be disturbed by cool, rainy summers. Bean fruits are poisonous when raw, young beans are delicious when cooked.

Growing aids on facades

The runner bean can be grown in the garden with vertical wires , cords, poles, on fences or on trellises. To cover a facade with foliage, place the individual vertical axes at a distance ofa approx. 50 - 75 cm from each other. There is a list of suitable designs for wire rope trellises for runner beans at the bottom of the page. Simple and Light designs are a good choice, the Medium allows optimal development.

Cable systems?

Click on the image to see wich designs are adapted as a growing aid for mandevillas.

Scarlet runner bean on a facade with external insulation
Phaseolus on a fence
House entrance with scarlet runner beans
Scarlet runner bean on a facade

Suitable wire rope trellises for a runner bean

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

  = suitable          = sometimes suitable       = not suitable