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Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus)

The scarlet runner bean is a robust and vigorous long-blooming annual twiner with bright flowers (hence the name). It is ideal for creating green privacy screens, for greening , for greening gazebosfences, 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
Phaseolus coccineus-- scarlet runner bean


The runner bean favours a sunny to semi-shady, warm and sheltered location with deep, fresh, loose soil that is not too wet. 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.

Characteristics and Pruning

This robust and fast-growing twining climber from Mexico has been known in Europe since the 16th century. After soaking them in water overnight, the runner bean seeds can be sown in 3 - 5 cm deep holes after the ground is at a temperature of 10 degrees (beginning of May). If there are still night frosts, the seedlings need to be protected (with sheets/mulch/straw...). When planting a line, keep a distance of 25 to 30 between seeds. 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 metres, sometimes even 6 m, with dense, green foliage. Red, white, or bicoloured 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.

Climbing Aids on Facades

The runner bean can be grown in the garden, on fences, or on trellises-- with vertical wire ropes, cords, poles/rods. To cover a facade with foliage, place the individual vertical axes at a distance of about 50 - 75 cm from each other. See the bottom of the page for a list of suitable wire rope trellis designs for runner beans. An easy, light, or medium design allows optimal development.

Suitable Cable Systems?

Click on the image to see which designs are compatible as a climbing aid for scarlet runner beans.

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

Suitable Wire Rope Trellises for a Scarlet Runner Bean

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

  = suitable          = sometimes suitable       = not suitable