Runner Bean ‘Enorma’


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Runner Bean ‘Enorma’

Phaseolus coccineus

Dramatic garden decoration! This plant creates an impressive backdrop, very handy for a quick Instagram Photo!

Runner Bean ‘Enorma’ lives up to its name producing a bounty of exhibition quality, delicious Runner Beans from July onwards.

Both ornamental and productive, provide strong supports at least 6ft tall, this Scarlet flowering variety will produce long smooth shapely pods that can grow up to 50cm long.

Runner beans are so easy to grow, give them full sun and during hot spells water well and mist the flowers with tepid water to help pods form (do this in the evening using a simple spray bottle).

How to grow

Start seeds undercover in late April-May in 9cm pots and/or sow direct into the garden after the last frosts. Seeds benefit from a bit of warmth to germinate (15-25°C is ideal).

Plants are frost tender and grow very quickly – don’t start too early. Children will love them they look like prehistoric plants emerging from the compost!

Big plants, space them 25cm apart close to your supports and tie in stems loosely. For more detailed growing instructions join our ‘Grow Along’ on Instagram 

Variety: Phaseolus coccineus
Type: Half Hardy Annual
Position: Full sun
Plants prefer alkaline, chalky soils. If your soil is neutral or acidic it pays to use lime.
Sow: Spring – Summer
Pinching: When plants reach the top of their supports to stop the upward growth
Germination: Up to 15 days
Height: 7ft (2.1m)
Seeds per packet: 20


Begin picking the pods when they are 15-20cm long and definitely before the beans inside begin to swell.

It is vital that you pick regularly to prevent any pods reaching maturity; once this happens plants will stop flowering and no more pods will be set. If you pick regularly, plants will crop for eight weeks or more.

The beans inside are also delicious so if I do miss any of the young pods, I shell both the outer pod and the inner shell and cook like peas in boiling water.

Note:  Do not eat the pods raw, as beans contain harmful toxins (lectins). Cooking in boiling water inactivates lectins.