Mottled yellow leaves on pole beans (pics)

alisande(Zone 4b)August 4, 2010

My pole beans (Kentucky Wonder and Fortex) look mostly good and are beginning to flower. My concern is these yellow leaves, mostly on the lower portion of the plants. What's going on? Do my plants need something?


Here's how the plants look overall:

Oh, and while I'm at it, these pole beans are growing in a container. They look fairly healthy, but I'm getting quite a bit of "crisping" on some of the leaves. Any ideas? Thanks!

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

It's my experience that a few lower leaves of pole beans sometimes yellow and drop off, including my KY Wonders this year. My GUESS is it's because they are shaded by the heavy vines above. I have never been able to see that it does any harm to the plant or the crop yields. I'd take a wait and see attitude.

The crisping on the leaves in the pot probably indicates not enough water. Are they planted in a really BIG pot? If not, that may be the trouble. The other possibility is fertilizer burn. Only you can answer that. Just FYI, I have tried pole beans in pots many times and had very poor results. The plants did fine, but yields were very low. This failure was a big reason I returned to in ground veggie gardening.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 1:46PM
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bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

I don't know the answer (guess it's virus but can't be sure) but just want to comment on the support.

I love the trellis/arbor for the beans!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:45PM
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Mine have been doing this too. I'm a real newbie when it comes to vegetable gardening, but I'd just assumed like donnabaskets says that it's just lack of light on the lower leaves being shaded by the rest of the plant. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be spreading for me (as I'd originally feared), and I'm picking off only a leaf or two every week from plants that otherwise look very healthy and producing fine.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:37PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Thanks, Donna. It's very possible the container-grown beans haven't been getting enough water. I've never grown them in containers before, and these were definitely an afterthought--and an impulse. I was thinning the ones I planted in the ground, and when I saw the complex root systems on the little plants I hated to throw them out. So I filled the only available container with potting mix and gave them a second chance. I would say they're doing susprisingly well, considering. I'll be more attentive to their water needs.

I hope the yellow leaves are what you think they might be. Malica, I'm picking off more than you, but it's still not what I'd call bad.

Bluebirdie, thanks! I'm very pleased with my bean arch. I found examples of these on these forums, first in a thread called something like "Show us your trellis" on the Peas & Beans forum, and then from there to another long thread in the Vertical Gardening forum.

I was determined to make one for myself, so I bought the cattle panel and the posts.....and then persuaded my son to put it up for me. :-) It was easy, though, and not expensive--less than $35 total. The arch is 8 ft. high, so we can easily walk through it.

I'm curious why the beans closer to the house have grown at a much faster rate than those on the other side of the arch. Must have something to do with the movement of the sun.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 7:41PM
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