Other common names: Winged Bean, Kachang Botor, Winged Pea, Goa Bean, Manila Bean, Asparagus Pea, Prince's Pea, Princess Pea, Dambala, Four Angled Bean, 四角豆
Winged Beans are a hardy crop commonly found in Southeast Asian gardens. Young leaves, stems, and immature fruit can be eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed or boiled. The flowers can also be boiled to extract colouring for a variety of food products.
This plant is very heat and drought tolerant, making it suitable for most edible gardens, rooftop gardens, permaculture gardens and low-maintenance beds.
This plant is part of the Fabaceae or Bean family, which includes other popular edible fruits like Long Bean, Peanut, and Sword Bean. All members of the bean family can be used for companion planting as they can fix nitrogen into the soil.
Sun and soil needs:
This vine does best in full sun gardens with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight. It can also grow in gardens with more than 4 hours of direct sunlight or at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight, but it may grow slower and produce less fruit.
Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 30cm deep, or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your soil drains well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe. Keep your plants cool with mulch and plenty of water to encourage growth.
Seeds can be sown directly into pots or the ground around 15-30cm apart. Lightly water the soil until damp, once a day. Seeds should sprout within 10 days.
Bean plants generally do not require much fertilising because they are able to fix their own nitrogen. However, they do benefit from being fed high potassium and phosphorus fertilisers once a month after their first flower to encourage flowering and thus fruiting.
Because the vines will grow on top of each other, it is a good practice to prune regularly and remove dead leaves and vines to improve ventilation and allow light to reach more of the plant.
As a fast-growing vine, this plant can be grown on the ground or trained up a sturdy trellis.
Plants can be harvested for fruits around 2 months after sowing. The best time to harvest the fruit is in the early morning, before 9am.
Only green, immature beans can be eaten. Dry, brown pods are mature, and can be used for seeds.
|Sowing to germination
|Germination to transplanting
|Transplanting to first harvest
|Total sowing to first harvest
|Less than 2 weeks
|1 to 2 weeks
|3 to 6 months
|4 to 8 months
Check out our sowing and harvest planner to schedule your growing!
This vine can be grown via seeds. Seeds can be taken from mature fruit for immediate planting.
Common problems & solutions:
Young plants have soft stems and can be completely eaten by slugs and snails. Grow seedlings till they are at least 10cm tall before planting them in true ground, or use DIY cloches or netting to protect young plants.
If your plant has few to no flowers, you can fertilise the plant with fertilisers high in phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients encourage root and flower growth, which are important for the plant to produce more fruit.
Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Whiteflies, and Spider Mites often infest the plant if it has underlying problems like repeated wilting from heat stress. Mechanical pest control methods like pruning the infested parts are the best methods for managing these pests in the short term, but resolving the underlying problem will prevent them in the long term.
Wilting leaves during hot weather is a sign of heat stress. Increase the number of times the plant is watered daily, and apply mulch at the base to prevent water loss.