How to Plant, Grow and Care For Pinto Bean Plants

The pinto bean plant is likely one of the hottest sorts of beans grown within the US. They’re mostly utilized in refried beans, in Mexican beans, or cooked in a sluggish cooker and served over cornbread or rice. In case you love pinto beans in each method they’re served, you could need to contemplate rising pinto beans!

You’re most likely most accustomed to pinto beans having a clean, mild brown floor once they’re cooked, however they’re stunning on the plant! Dry beans usually have a lightweight brown or tan base with a pink or purple sample on them.

“Pinto bean” actually interprets to “painted bean,” and your backyard will definitely look extra inventive while you’re rising pinto beans.

If you understand how to develop beans, know that pinto beans develop equally to different beans, so that you gained’t have to alter many issues in the event you’re rising a number of sorts of beans without delay. Let’s get into the small print so you may get one step nearer to rising pinto beans to make your individual pot of beans!

Fast Care Information

Widespread Title(s) Pinto bean
Scientific Title Phaseolus vuglaris Pinto Group
Days to Harvest 90-150 days
Mild 6+ hours of full solar
Water 1 inch per week
Soil Properly-draining, pH of 6.0-7.0
Fertilizer Low nitrogen like 5-10-10, however usually pointless
Pests Aphids, leafhoppers, Mexican bean beetles, spider mites
Illnesses Bacterial blight, bean frequent mosaic virus, white mould, fusarium root rot

All About Pinto Bean Vegetation

Pinto beans are part of the frequent bean group and are thought-about wholesome attributable to their protein and fiber content material.

Pinto beans are a part of the frequent bean group scientifically often called Phaseolus vulgaris. Different beans on this class embody inexperienced beans, butter beans, lima beans, and kidney beans. The pinto bean is believed to have come from Peru within the Peruvian highlands and was extensively distributed all through Central America and South America.

There are a number of completely different cultivars of pinto beans that develop just a little otherwise, however all of them produce the identical tasty bean. Othello is the most well-liked due to its excessive yield and adaptability to develop in numerous environments. Burke is derived from Othello and was bred to be proof against ailments, produce much more beans, and have a stronger root system. 

In case you’ve had robust luck with beans earlier than, Burke may enable you out! The Santa Fe pinto bean is good if you wish to protect your beans by way of canning, and Quincy is nice when you may have poor soil in an space that’s susceptible to drought.

The Maverick pinto matures rapidly and produces extra beans than Othello. The Lariat, derived from the Maverick, has larger beans with extra seeds in every pod. There are numerous completely different varieties, so dig round and discover out what is going to work greatest on your backyard. Now let’s talk about how one can develop your individual pinto beans. 

Planting Pinto Beans

Close-up of a woman's hand planting pinto bean seeds in the soil. The pinto bean seed is hard, oval shaped, glossy brown in color with reddish spots.
Instantly plant pinto bean seeds outdoors after the frost hazard passes, or develop them in containers indoors.

Pinto beans don’t wish to be transplanted, so instantly plant seeds outdoors after the hazard of frost has handed. You probably have a brief rising season or need to get a head begin, you may develop pinto beans in containers indoors so you may transfer the whole container as wanted to maintain the roots intact.

At planting time, direct sow your beans in an space that receives no less than 6 hours of daylight, however the extra, the higher! The realm additionally wants to empty effectively and shouldn’t be a website that has had beans rising in it throughout the final 3 years since ailments can keep within the soil and infect the newly planted beans. 

When it’s time to plant, plant with the bean eye dealing with downward not more than 1 ½ inches deep. Beans inside a row ought to be planted 4-6 inches aside and rows ought to be 2 ft aside. Pole beans will want a fence, trellis, or different help methods to climb. 

Preserve the soil moist whereas the beans germinate in 8-14 days. As soon as they’re a couple of inches tall, skinny them so that they’re 6 inches aside. As soon as the beans are established, you may enable the soil to dry out earlier than watering once more.

Bush pinto beans mature in 90 to 150 days. They will often be harvested all of sudden, whereas pole beans solely have a couple of prepared at a time. Staggered planting will mean you can have a gradual provide and to develop pinto beans all season lengthy. Two weeks between plantings is often sufficient time.

Pinto Bean Care

Now that you understand how to place the beans within the floor, let’s take a look at learn how to hold them alive! Beans are fairly straightforward to develop, so even newbie gardeners can get began.

Solar and Temperature

Close-up of ripening pint bean pods surrounded by bright green foliage. Pods are long, slightly curved, yellowish-pink in color, containing 4-6 beans each. The leaves are large, wide, smooth, with pointed tips.
To develop pinto beans, guarantee they get 6-8 hours of direct daylight in a heat local weather.

Pinto beans love sunshine and heat climate, so make certain you may give them loads of each! They want 6-8 hours of direct daylight, so keep away from planting them in shady areas. No less than six hours of full solar publicity is likely one of the most essential elements of rising these beans.

You possibly can develop pinto beans in zones 2-11, however these in colder zones with brief rising seasons might want to present frost safety or contemplate rising in containers. Don’t plant the beans till the soil is no less than 60°F. To plant earlier, lay black plastic within the backyard to assist the soil heat, leaving the planting holes naked and uncovered to the sunshine. In case you’d somewhat not use plastic, mulch on both facet of the planting gap can present further heat too.

In case you reside in a sizzling local weather with heat summers, you could want to offer them shade safety within the hottest hours of the day to forestall the vegetation from reaching over 93°F, because the vegetation gained’t set bean pods in scorching temperatures! Many sorts of shade fabric can be found, and also you shouldn’t want something that gives greater than 40% shade. Ideally aiming for one between 20% and 40% shade protection is ideal.

Water and Humidity

Close-up of watering bean plants in the garden. The plant has large, broad, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. The soil is covered with mulch.
Younger pinto bean vegetation require persistently moist soil.

Younger vegetation want persistently moist soil or damp soil, however as soon as their shallow roots are established, you may cut back their watering schedule to when the soil is dry.

The vegetation will want no less than 1 inch of water per week, however this will differ primarily based on many components like rain, temperatures, and the way a lot daylight your vegetation obtain. In case you’re undecided, really feel the soil. If the 1-2 inches are dry, it’s time to water!

Giving your vegetation one deep drink somewhat than a number of shallow drinks is greatest to encourage the plant to develop a deep root system.

Water on the base of the plant till the highest a number of inches of the soil are moist. Keep away from overhead watering or getting the leaves moist to forestall ailments, and water within the morning so the leaves could have loads of time to dry out.


Close-up of young pinto bean plants growing in two rows in a garden. The plant is a low-growing shrub with large, broad, heart-shaped green leaves with smooth edges.
To develop pinto beans, plant them in barely acidic, well-draining soil.

Develop pinto beans in pretty fertile soil with a barely acidic pH of 6.0-7.0. A well-draining soil like a silty loam is good, so water can drain out and stop the roots from being too moist.

In case you begin your seeds in soil with loads of natural matter or a side-dressing of compost previous to planting, you could not want to make use of fertilizer in any respect.

Fertilizing Pinto Beans

Close-up of a woman's hand fertilizing young pinto bean plants against a blurred green background. Fertilizers are tiny rounded granules of blue color. Three stages of bean seeds germination.
Pinto beans repair nitrogen with their roots, so select a low-nitrogen fertilizer if wanted.

Pinto beans are nitrogen-fixers, which means they take in nitrogen from the air and repair it into nodules that type on their roots. This beautiful advantage of many legumes implies that many profitable growers will chop off the plant on the finish of the season, leaving the roots within the floor to decompose and fertilize the subsequent season’s crops!

Since they supply their very own nitrogen supply, in the event you fertilize your beans, select one thing with low nitrogen ranges, similar to a general-purpose fertilizer with an NPK of 5-10-10 or an natural general-purpose with a ratio of 3-5-5. You may as well select to offer your vegetation a recent layer of compost a couple of times through the rising season somewhat than fertilizing them.

Word that the majority composts are inconsistent when it comes to vitamins (this can be a state of affairs the place what goes in is unquestionably what comes out within the soil), so you could need to monitor your vegetation for any doable nutrient deficiencies, though they might be unlikely. Beans are fairly tolerant vegetation all informed!

Pruning & Coaching

Bed with growing young beans in a sunny garden. Bean plant vines climb tall thick wooden trellis. The bean plant has slender climbing vines with large, broad, heart-shaped, green-colored leaves.
Pole beans want a trellis, and bush beans might profit from a brief trellis for improved airflow.

Pruning pinto beans isn’t vital. Some individuals recommend pinching the tops of pole beans, however this really may stunt your vegetation or trigger them to concentrate on rising leaves somewhat than beans! 

One of the best ways to prune your beans for higher manufacturing, each pole and bush varieties, is to choose beans as quickly as they’re prepared. Like different legumes, pinto bean vegetation will produce much more when you begin choosing beans.

You possibly can prune bush beans if they appear too bushy, however this shouldn’t have an effect on their output except you’re eradicating a lot of flowers.

Bush beans can profit from utilizing a shorter trellis to enhance airflow.

Pole beans will want a trellis. You should use any type of trellis or a fence like a series hyperlink or lattice. Check out completely different strategies to see what works greatest for you.

Bush beans gained’t want this sort of help, however you may nonetheless connect them to a brief trellis to enhance airflow on the floor stage if you’ll want to. For many bush beans, a single stake with plant ties is greater than sufficient to supply help.


Close-up of young bean seedlings in starter trays. The plant has short pale green stems and a pair of heart-shaped green leaves. Trays have deep rounded cells filled with soil mixture.
Beans are greatest propagated by their seeds, which germinate rapidly and require no particular care.

One of the best ways to propagate beans is by the seeds they develop of their pods. Beans germinate rapidly and are straightforward to take care of, so you actually don’t want one other methodology. Permit beans to dry out utterly on the plant earlier than harvesting, as this ensures that the bean seed has totally matured within the pod. Earlier than storing beans to plant subsequent 12 months, shell the beans from their pod and permit your beans to dry even longer till they’re totally hardened. It’s greatest to allow them to dry in a cool, darkish location with ample airflow and low humidity.

Harvesting and Storing

After a protracted 90-150 days, there’s been satisfactory pod growth, and it’s time to reap your pinto beans! Regardless that you’re most likely wanting to eat them the day you choose them, we’ll go forward and canopy storage strategies, too.

How To Harvest Pinto Beans

Close-up of a woman's hand holding a pinto bean pod in a sunny garden. The pinto bean pod is elongated and slightly curved, yellowish-brown-pink in color. Inside the pod are five oval-shaped beans.
Pinto beans may be harvested inexperienced or dry.

Most gardeners don’t begin harvesting pinto beans till they’re dry, however they are often harvested earlier. You possibly can harvest them at any time after they’re no less than 4 inches lengthy—even when they’re inexperienced! The inexperienced bean model ought to be 4-6 inches in size and plump. You possibly can eat them straight away or retailer them for later.

If you wish to harvest dry beans, enable them to dry utterly on the vine (if doable) earlier than harvesting them, which might take as much as 150 days. You possibly can both begin by gently pulling the dried beans off one after the other or take away the whole plant as soon as all of the pods are dry and extract every dry bean afterward. 

If it rains, take away the whole plant and hold it the other way up in a dry space to permit the beans to dry out utterly.

Now it’s time to shell the beans free from their pods. There are numerous methods to do that: you may lay the pods on a tarp and whack them, put them in a pillowcase and shake them, or collect some kiddos or mates and make a day of it. Discard all the pods (they make nice compost!), as all you’ll want to retailer are the beans.

Storing Pinto Beans

Close-up of pinto beans in a jute bag. Beans are firm, oval in shape, beige in color with reddish-brown spots.
Dry beans may be saved in an hermetic container for as much as a 12 months if they’re utterly dried.

In case you harvest your pintos early as a inexperienced snap bean, they’re greatest eaten straight away, however you may retailer them in a freezer bag for a couple of months. You’ll want to take away extra moisture from the inexperienced beans earlier than storing them so that they don’t change into ice blocks!

Shelled dry beans may be saved in an hermetic container like a mason jar for as much as a 12 months so long as moisture doesn’t get inside. The beans must be utterly dried earlier than shelling, and the pod ought to be eliminated earlier than storing them.

Pintos that had been cooked after being dried may be saved in freezer baggage or by strain canning and might final a number of months. It’s greatest to retailer them solely 1-2 cups per container at a time. Whenever you’re cooking dried pintos, keep in mind to soak the beans in a single day in water earlier than boiling them.


You may come throughout issues, particularly fungal ailments, whilst you’re attempting to develop pintos. A few of them may be fastened, whereas others must be prevented. Let’s take a look at what points you might need.

Rising Issues

Close-up of a man's hand showing two pods of green pinto beans in the garden. The vines of the plant climb over high supports. The pods are long, thin, green, containing 5-6 beans.
To assist pinto beans set fruit, verify soil temperature, keep away from excessive temperatures, and supply shade or heat as wanted.

Pinto beans gained’t set fruit if the temperatures are too chilly or sizzling. A soil temperature under 60°F and above 93°F will trigger beans to cease setting fruit.

These temperatures are for each soil and the general climate, so you’ll want to verify the soil circumstances, too. You possibly can appropriate the issues by offering a shade fabric or row covers so as to add further heat or shade as wanted.

In case your pinto beans didn’t sprout, it’s probably as a result of the soil isn’t the appropriate temperature. Planting too early within the spring means the soil is simply too chilly, and too early in late summer time means the soil is simply too sizzling. In case you’d wish to plant early, lay black plastic across the plant and assist the soil heat.

In case your beans have an abundance of leaves however no beans, you will have overfertilized with nitrogen early on. Whereas it will usually steadiness out over time, it’s higher to stay with lower-nitrogen, larger phosphorus and potassium fertilizers in the event you fertilize in any respect.

You could possibly deplete a few of the further nitrogen with companion plantings of leafy greens close by. Many herbs are additionally an ideal candidate across the base of your beans, as they’ll eat a few of the extra. Nitrogen will profit them, you’ll have crops that style nice, and also you’ll get some good meals out of the deal, too!


Close-up of an aphid colony on the stem of a bean plant, against a green background. Aphids are small pests with tiny oval black soft bodies. They suck the juice from plants.
To keep away from pests in pinto beans, verify all beans for indicators of sap-sucking bugs.

The pests that hassle pintos can have an effect on different beans, so verify every thing in the event you discover the pinto beans have an issue!

They are often susceptible to sap-sucking critters like aphids, spider mites, and leafhoppers. These bugs often collect beneath leaves and drink juices from the leaves and typically stems, leading to curled and yellowing leaves or speckling on leaves and stems.

Neem oil can suffocate eggs and larvae, after which you may rinse them off with water. Whereas the world is dry, you should use diatomaceous earth to scale back the grownup inhabitants. If the pure strategies don’t be just right for you, search for pesticides made particularly for the pests you may have.

They’re additionally susceptible to Mexican bean beetles, which eat leaves till they’ve so many holes that they appear like lace. Be forewarned that Mexican bean beetles look loads like ladybugs, so you could simply mistake one for the opposite! Neem oil sprayed on all leaf surfaces will decelerate feeding on the leaves. For extreme infestations of Mexican bean beetle, you could want to think about using pyrethrin, a really robust natural insecticide, no less than to scale back their numbers to a manageable stage.


Close-up of pinto bean leaves infected with masaic virus. The leaves are large, wide, dark green with a yellow mosaic pattern.
Forestall the bean frequent mosaic virus by controlling pests with companion vegetation or guide elimination.

Bacterial blight is brought on by moist leaves and may be prevented by offering airflow between vegetation. Ensure that your vegetation are spaced out correctly and keep away from getting the leaves moist while you water them.

The bean frequent mosaic virus has discolored leaves and is a virus handed to the vegetation by way of pests. Forestall pests with companion vegetation like candy alyssum or hand-picking them off as quickly as you see them.

White mould is a fungus that may have an effect on damp vegetation in cool climate. Control moisture ranges and airflow, and think about using a fungicide to forestall the vegetation from getting contaminated. 

The roots might rot in cool, damp soil, the place fusarium root rot is prone to take residence. This could happen in the event you plant them too early, or in the event you water them an excessive amount of. More often than not you may stop root rot by watering much less, and the illness danger ought to reduce as temperatures heat.

Take away contaminated or seriously-damaged vegetation to forestall the unfold of fungal root rot by way of the soil. Broken roots aren’t fixable, and eradicating the vegetation and beginning new ones is the simplest answer for this example.

Continuously Requested Questions

Q: How lengthy does it take for a pinto bean plant to develop?

A: Pinto beans often take 90-150 days for dry beans however may be harvested sooner for a inexperienced snap bean.

Q: Are pinto beans a bush or vine?

A: Pinto beans can be found in each bush and pole cultivars.

Q: Are pinto bean vegetation straightforward to develop?

A: Pinto bean vegetation are often straightforward to develop once they have sufficient daylight and water.

Q: How tall do pinto bean vegetation develop?

A: Bush beans start producing once they usually develop as much as 2 ft tall, whereas pole varieties have the potential to develop even taller if they’ve the room to climb.

Q: What month do you plant pinto beans?

A: Pinto beans ought to be sown after the final frost. That is often between April and June, relying on the place you reside.

Q: What number of beans will one plant produce?

A: Pinto bean vegetation often produce 1-2 kilos per plant. 

Q: Do pinto beans develop again yearly?

A: Pinto beans don’t develop again yearly as a result of they’re annuals that full their life cycle in a single rising season.

Q: Are you able to eat pinto beans off the plant?

A: Sure, you may eat the beans whereas they’re inexperienced and 4-6 inches lengthy.

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