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Velvet Bean Information: Learn About Growing Velvet Bean Plants

Velvet beans are very long climbing vines that produce white or purple flowers and deep purple bean pods. They’re popular as medicine, cover crops, and occasionally as food. Keep reading to learn more about planting and growing velvet beans in the garden.

Velvet Bean Information

What is a velvet bean? Velvet bean plants (Mucuna pruriens) are tropical legumes that are native to southern China and eastern India. The plants have spread throughout much of Asia and are often cultivated around the world, especially in Australia and the southern United States.

Velvet bean plants are not frost hardy, but they have a short lifespan and even in hot climates they are almost always grown as annuals. (Occasionally they can be treated as biennials). The vines are long, sometimes reaching 60 feet (15 m.) in length.

Growing Velvet Beans

Velvet bean planting should take place in spring and summer, after all chance of frost has passed and soil temperature is at least 65 F. (18 C).

Plant the seeds to a depth of 0.5 to 2 inches (1-5 cm.). Velvet bean plants naturally fix nitrogen in the soil so they don’t need any additional nitrogen fertilizer. They do respond well to phosphorus, however.

Velvet Bean Uses

In Asian medicine, velvet beans are used to treat a range of symptoms including high blood pressure, infertility, and nervous disorders. The pods and seeds are purported to kill intestinal worms and parasites.

In the West, the plants tend to be grown more for their nitrogen fixing properties, working as a cover crop to restore nitrogen to the soil.

They are also sometimes grown as animal feed, both for farm and wild animals. The plants are edible, and the beans have been known to be boiled and eaten and ground as a coffee substitute.

Velvet beans are very long climbing vines that produce white or purple flowers and deep purple bean pods. They?re popular as medicine, cover crops, and occasionally as food. Learn more about planting and growing velvet beans in this article.

Velvet bean seeds

Tags: Heirloom Open Pollinated

Growing Practices: No Pesticides No Herbicides No Fungicides No Synthetic Fertilizers

Latin Name: Mucuna pruriens var. utilis

Days to Maturity: 150-270

Description:

Vining type bean with numerous medicinal uses. It is rich in crude protein, essential fatty acids, starch content, and certain essential amino acids. All parts of the Mucuna plant possess medicinal properties. The main phenolic compound is L-dopa (used in the treatment of Parkinsons disease), and M. pruriens seeds contain some components that are able to inhibit snake venom. In addition, methanolic extracts of M. pruriens leaves have demonstrated anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activities in the presence of bioactive compounds such as phenols, polyphenols and tannins, and preliminary studies on keratinocytes support its possible topical usage to treat redox-driven skin diseases. Used widely in ayurvedic medicine.
This is the “itchless” variety, without the irritating hairs that make growing other varieties a literal pain!

Growing Tips:

Soak seed in water for 24-48 hours before planting to speed germination.
Provide upright support for the vines to grow on.

Questions 7 Total

Ask a Question About Velvet bean

How many days to maturity? Where can I find Velvet Beans with a short growing season. I live in Central OR, and we only have about 120 days.

Posted by Ben Bodey on 11/16/2020

Answers 1

See this experience from another of my customers:
I Planted March 17 In Green House. Transplanted April 5 In A Single Row 3 Feet Apart. Let Run Up A Bamboo Pole. Started Having Flowers May 29. June 9 Has Small VB Pods.

Posted by Jim Ford on 11/17/2020

The VB I Ordered From You. I Planted March 17 In Green House. Transplanted April 5 In A Single Row 3 Feet Apart. Let Run Up A Bamboo Pole. Started Having Flowers May 29. June 9 Has Small VB Pods. When Will These Be Mature To Save For Seed Next Year. Can I Expect This Next Year From The Seed. Morven Ga. James Smith

Posted by James B Smith jr on 06/11/2020

Answers 1

The pods will be mature in mid-late summer. You will get a larger flowering in late summer. Those pods will be mature in late fall and early winter. If weather permits, earlier planting next year will give you a larger crop of early pods.

Posted by Jim Ford on 06/11/2020

Is Velvet Bean daylength sensitive? I’ve seen you reference if plants are started in January they will produce by June. Will this work in Michigan? TIA

Posted by Mama Bean on 01/05/2020

Answers 1

There does seem to be some response to daylength. Even though plants started early will produce a few beans, it’s a very minor crop compared to what they produce in the fall when the vines are much larger. If you have a greenhouse you might be able to get some early beans by planting in January.

Posted by Jim Ford on 01/05/2020

Will Some Of These Velvet Bean Reach Maturity In 180 Days In South Ga . Close To Valdosta Ga/ I Would Plant The Seed In A Green House In April

Posted by James B Smith jr on 09/17/2019

Answers 1

Plants started in April will produce a dry bean harvest around November. If you want to shell out the immature green beans, they will be ready sooner.

Posted by Jim Ford on 09/17/2019

How toxic are the beans?

Posted by Thomas Reitter on 07/12/2019

Answers 1

Study published in the INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL OF PHARMACY, 2(11), 2011 concluded:
“Mucuna pruriens could be regarded as safe in experimental mice for systemic action. Whereas same extract did not produce any sign of topical toxicity, except slight edema, when administered intracutaneously.”

Posted by Jim Ford on 07/13/2019

Do you cook this bean like other fresh or dried beans, and what is the flavor quality? How many days to maturity? I live in SW Louisiana.

Posted by Donna Phillips on 06/04/2019

Answers 1

Yes, you cook it like any other dried bean, and the flavor is similar.
150 to 270 days to maturity depending on time of planting. Plants started in January or February can produce beans by June. Plants started in April won’t produce beans until about November/December.

Velvet bean Seeds and other Beans seeds for sale directly from the farmer