United States Edition

Pinto bean       

Phaseolus vulgaris

Pinto bean is part of the Phaseolus genus. Its scientific name is Phaseolus vulgaris. The botanical name epithet for Pinto bean (vulgaris) means 'common'.

Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean, is an herbaceous annual plant domesticated independently in ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes, and now grown worldwide for its edible bean, popular both dry and as a green bean. The leaf is occasionally used as a leaf vegetable, and the straw is used for fodder. Beans, squash and maize constituted the “Three Sisters” that provided the foundation of Native American agriculture.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Cream and   Light goldenrod yellow. When mature, blooms are roughly 1.5 cm (that's 0.58 inches in imperial) in diameter.When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Cream and   Fawn. Leaves appear approximately as a   Forest green (web) and   Kelly green colour. It is a flowering edible vegetable that typically grows as an annual, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of a single year. Pinto bean is known for growing to a height of approximately 6.50 feet (that's 2.00 metres in metric) with a climbing habit. This plant tends to bloom in mid summer, followed by first harvests in early autumn. This plant is a great attractor for bees, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Pinto bean is a great choice. Consider Papa de Rola, heirloom pole, Dry, Sierra and Burke to grow as they are very popular with home gardeners.

United States is believed to be where Pinto bean originates from.

Pinto bean is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Pinto bean have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Pinto bean

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

All legumes, such as beans and peas, are self-fertilizing. In fact, they leave more nitrogen in the soil than they use up. So they really don’t need to be fertilized, but what you can do is give them a boost with some “innoculant” (available at any garden center) which helps the plants fix nitrogen in their roots.1

When the plant has grown to the top of the support, nip out the top shoot to encourage flowering

Special Tip:
To avoid any potential problems with weevils, freeze the well-dried beans for several hours before storing.1

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Use Zone 3 - Zone 14 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Pinto bean needs a loamy and clay soil with a ph of 6.0 to 7.0 (weakly acidic soil - neutral soil). Keep in mind when planting that Pinto bean is thought of as tender, so it is imperative to wait until temperatures are mild before planting out of doors.

See our list of companion Plants for Pinto bean to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Pinto bean from seed

Soak beans in de-chlorinated water for about 2 hours before placing in soil. Do not soak for too long.
Sow direct or plant two seeds in a 7cm pot and germinate under cover,when plant has at least two true leave start to get the plants used to garden conditions ready to plant out

Ensure a distance of 3.96 inches (10.16 cm) between seeds when sowing - look to sow at a depth of approximately 1.49 inches (3.81 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 16°C / 61°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Pinto bean about 1 days after your last frost date .

Transplanting Pinto bean

Plant out when all danger of frost has past. The beans require support of a frame and string or a bamboo pole to climb. Choose a sheltered and sunny position

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 16°C / 61°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Pinto bean is a tender plant.

Harvesting Pinto bean

Harvest when the bean pods are completely dry and beans can barely be dented when bitten. Shell pods individually or thresh them by putting them in an old pillowcase and walking on it until the pods are completely crushed. Remove the chaff by pouring the beans back and forth between two bowls in a windy, or breezy, area, or in front of a fan. Store in air-tight jars or bags in a dry, cool place.1

Seed Saving Pinto bean

When the dry beans have been harvested freeze them for an hour or so, as this will kill any grubs that would spoil the beans on storage

Common Pinto bean problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Pinto bean plants:

Common Problem:
Damp weather that comes along late in the season, when pods are maturing, can encourage beans to sprout in the pod. Pull plants when most of the foliage has died and hang by the roots in well-ventilated place to finish completely drying.1

Pest and Disease Prevention:
Provide good air circulation to help prevent blights, mosaic disease, and anthracnose. To avoid spreading rust, do not disturb plants when foliage is wet. Till under all plant debris in the fall to destroy any disease organisms, and do not plant beans or any other legumes in the same place more than once every 3 years.1

Pinto bean Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin vulgaris meaning “common”

Other names for Pinto bean

Mottled bean, Frijol pinto, Frijol, Kievitsbonen, Spikkelbonen

Latest Pinto bean Reviews

  • 15 Nov 2013

    Amarylis Amarylis's Pinto bean was Reviewed day 138

    This bean is consumed a lot in Spain & I became accustomed to them.Since returning to the UK we’ve continued with them.Now I grow them on our allotments.They give a big crop for very little work.

    4 stars

See all Pinto bean reviews and experiences »

Pinto bean care instructions

How long does Pinto bean take to grow?

These estimates for how long Pinto bean takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

When should I plant Pinto bean?

Our when to plant Pinto bean estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!


Pinto bean Forums

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    This group is intended to act as a platform for individuals to talk about various legumes including beans, peas, fava...

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