Golden Wax Beans are a longstanding favorite on American dinner tables, as well as on farms and in home gardens. Winning over tastebuds with their rich, buttery flavor and crisp texture, this bean bush variety is especially popular for canning and preserving.
Read on to learn everything you’ll need to know about this bean type, from its appearance to its uses in cooking, and even how to grow Golden Wax Beans at home.
Characteristics of Golden Wax Beans
Golden Wax Beans are one of the oldest-known wax beans around, but they remain ever-popular in recipes and are also enjoyed raw. An heirloom plant, the bean was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1870s from Central and South America.
What’s A Wax Bean?
Wax beans are a category of green beans that aren’t green, but have a pale yellow color. They are also referred to as “yellow beans” and “butter beans.”
The only characteristic that distinguishes Golden Wax Beans from green beans is their color. Green beans contain chlorophyll, which gives the veggie its green hue, while wax beans do not.
Appearance, Taste, and Texture.
Golden Wax Beans are described as having a rich, buttery flavor. The plant’s golden-yellow pods grow between five and seven inches long and are practically stringless compared to other varieties. Crispy in texture, this bean is also slightly meatier than traditional green beans.
How To Use In Cooking.
Golden Wax Beans are highly versatile in the kitchen, which is why this plant is so popular for growing and cooking at home.
You can steam, roast, microwave, bake, stir-fry, sauté, or braise the beans, or enjoy them raw. Add to soups, casseroles, stews, sandwiches, tacos or vegetable bowls. Experiment with recipes that are salty, spicy, creamy or buttery; this resourceful veggie pairs well with many flavors. To prepare, you should follow the same instructions you would for traditional green beans.
Because of its soft color, you can also use this bean to brighten dinner plates, especially when hosting.
This bean type is finger food by nature, so it’s certainly kid-friendly! Easier for toddlers and children to pick up and eat on their own, and experiment with different versions until you find a few your family loves.
Because Golden Wax Beans are often enjoyed raw, you can add flavor by pairing them with a dip, like this insanely delicious jalapeño dip.
Golden Wax Beans are one of the most-popular bean varieties for preservation. Whole or snapped beans can last for years when stored in pressure-sealed jars. Mix in herbs for added flavor or consider pickling.
Follow these five easy steps to preserve these beans quickly:
- Boil a pot of water. While it’s heating up, wash beans in cold water.
- Cut beans into two- to four-inch pieces.
- Blanch beans for three minutes and then drain.
- Package beans in airtight, sealable glass jars, leaving a half-inch of space at the top.
- Freeze and enjoy now—or later!
Health Benefits of Golden Wax Beans
Golden Wax Beans are a good source of vitamin C, iron, protein, folate, and dietary fiber. A low-calorie food, a half-cup of cooked beans is just 22 calories.
Incorporating this bean type into your diet has robust benefits, which include improving heart health, regulating blood sugar, lowering iron deficiency, and reduced risk of diabetes, colorectal cancer, and heart disease.
Growing Golden Wax Beans At Home
Not only is this bean type easy to prepare, it’s also easy to grow on your own. A bush bean variety, Golden Wax Beans grow between 15- to 20-inches tall and grow on vigorous vines. The plant produces golden-yellow pods, which average between five and seven inches long and are nearly stringless.
Planting and Care.
Golden Wax Beans require 45 to 60 days to mature. The plant is high-producing and grows across planting zones two through 11, which cover most of the United States.
Plant beans in the spring after the final frost. Seeds will germinate between eight and 16 days.
Plants stop producing pods when the summer heat reaches its peak. When the weather cools, you can plant Golden Wax Beans again in late summer or the early fall—but make sure it’s before the first frost.
Read our post, How to Plant Beans, for more on what’s required to plant beans at home.
Soil and Watering.
To germinate, the soil temperature surrounding Golden Wax Beans seeds must be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideal germination occurs when the soil temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant seeds one inch underneath the soil. Direct sowing is recommended.
Be sure to keep the soil well-drained. Plant your beans in a location that receives at least six hours of full, unobstructed sunlight each day.
Watering should increase as the plant approaches maturity. Water modestly at planting, generously after blooming, and heavily throughout harvest time.
You’ll know when Golden Wax Beans are ready for harvest because pods turn their signature pale shade of yellow. (This is also a plus of growing this bean type because they’re easier to find and pick than traditional green beans!)
Another way to check if it’s ready is to bend one of the pods. Beans that are done growing break crisply in half when bent. The pod itself should also feel smooth to the touch.
Pests and Diseases
Home cooks and gardeners aren’t the only ones who love Golden Wax Beans. This plant, like many others, attracts a heap of backyard pests. As you tame your bean plants, look out for the following:
- Cucumber beetles
- Dried fruit beetles
- Leaf miners
Aside from encountering these pests around bean plants, you should also be aware of bindweed; a type of weed that resembles morning glory flowers. There are also diseases that commonly attack wax bean plants, including anthracnose, bean mosaic, and fusarium wilt.
Where To Buy Golden Wax Beans
The seeds are the starting point of any great garden project. You can purchase great quality Golden Wax Bean seeds online from Hoss.
Don’t Miss Out On Golden Wax Beans!
Golden Wax Beans are a delicious, healthy, and nutritious way to enrich any meal or afternoon snack, but there are many other bean types you can try! Check out our bean plants page, a comprehensive guide to all the different beans you can cook and/or grow and find your next favorite!