The Q&A Archives: Yellowing Leaves on Beans

Question: Something is killing my stringbean plant. The leaves are turning yellow and soft, with brownish deterioration at the edges, and spontaneously formed holes in the middle of the leaves. I see no bugs, worms, or other obvious causes. There are still some blossoms, and some small beans have formed without apparent damage. A local garden shop suggested I had overwatered the plant, and that I stop for a week. I did so, with no improvement. What do you suggest?

Answer: Most beans grow best at air temperatures of 70F - 80F and soil temperatures of at least 60F. If the soil is soggy, or cold, the plants will not thrive. They also require full sunshine all day. It sounds as though your plants are responding to the shorter days of fall, and the cooler nighttime temperatures. I'd harvest whatever is being produced and then pull the plants up. You can plant beans again in the spring, in a different garden site. Be sure to prepare the soil well by adding lots of organic matter to help retain moisture and release nutrients to the roots of your crops.

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