Why are the flowers falling off my runner beans without setting?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 28 October 2014 11:07 am

Plants sometimes produce plenty of flower buds which then fail to develop and drop off the plants. Other than an unsuitable position, this may arise due to poor weather conditions or, early in the season, when there are fewer insects about. A check to their growth causes flower drop, brought about by cold, wet conditions (the situation correcting itself as things improve) or during spells of hot, dry weather. Recent research suggest that watering the roots in the evening aids pod set and increases yields. If a late frost occurs, the plants may not succumb but the flower buds can be adversely affected at a critical stage of their development, leading to the flowers dropping or poor pod setting in July.

When choosing a site for bean crops, avoid exposed, windy positions as the flowers are pollinated by insects. They are much more likely to forage for pollen if the plants are growing in a warm, sheltered situation. Pink and white flowered varieties often set better under adverse conditions. Recent research suggests that evening watering of the roots increases pod set and subsequent cropping.

Alternatively grow the self fertile runner/french bean cross varieties Firestorm, Moonlight and Tenderstar. 

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