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King of the Garden Lima Beans

King of the garden lima beans are one of the best-tasting legumes you can plant in your backyard. You’ll also be glad to learn that they’re super easy to grow and yield an impressive harvest.

Closeup of lima bean pods on a plant.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the bean variety, including plant characteristics, nutritional info, and more.

You’ll also learn how to grow your own king of the garden lima beans, so you can add this tasty lima to your diet.

Plant Characteristics

Before you learn about harvesting your own king of the garden lima beans, let’s talk about the plant itself.

What Does the Plant Look Like?

Ever wonder how this plant got its name? After you see how high this pole bean runner grows, you’ll understand why it’s called the king of the garden.

These plants grow 8-10 foot vines with green, heart-shaped leaves that easily cling to poles and trellises.

A pole lima bean plant growing on a support.

During the summer, these king of the garden lima beans produce an abundance of white flowers. Once these blooms die, green pods take their place.

Each pod measures 3-4 inches in length and holds 3-5 large legumes inside. These beans are an inch long with matte-white skin.

What Do King of the Garden Lima Beans Taste Like?

After you taste the king of the garden variety, you’ll have a hard time going back to regular lima beans.

That’s because this unique variety has a rich, honey-like flavor that tastes unlike any other bean you’ve tried.

You’ll also find that this variety has a tender, creamy texture that melts in your mouth.

Matte-white lima beans similar to king of the garden lima beans.

How To Use Them in Cooking?

You can prepare king of the garden lima beans in a variety of ways.

Since this variety has a high yield, you might find yourself with a lot of beans during harvest time. You can put this excess to good use by drying, freezing, or canning your legumes.

You can eat these beans fresh as soon as you pick them, which makes them great for a mid-gardening snack. You can also store the fresh pods in the fridge for up to 2-4 days.

Recipe Ideas

Due to this bean’s impressive size, it makes a hearty addition to any meal.

Create a lima bean soup that’s bursting with fragrant aromas and savory flavors. Or create a healthy lima bean salad for a frugal, yet filling meal.

Any time you see a recipe that calls for lima beans, try swapping in this unique variety for more flavor and sweetness.

Bean salad made with limas and other beans.
A bean salad including lima beans.

Are They Healthy?

Not only do these king of the garden lima beans taste amazing, but they’re healthy for you too.

Each serving of cooked beans has high amounts of protein and fiber. They also contain an impressive percentage of minerals including magnesium, copper, and iron.

While these beans are around 200 calories per cup, they’re very low in fat with only 0.5g per serving.

How to Grow King of the Garden Lima Beans

Now that you’ve learned about physical attributes and nutrition, discover how to grow your own king of the garden lima beans.

Closeup of an immature lima bean pod.

When to Plant?

Plant your king of the garden lima beans in the spring, well after the last frost of the season.

These beans germinate best in temperatures around the 77°F range, but anything above 65°F will be suitable.


Like most lima varieties, king of the garden beans do best in nutrient-rich, sandy soil amended with compost or organic matter.

Make sure the soil is well-draining to reduce the risk of root rot.

Where to Plant?

The king of the garden lima thrives in hot, humid environments with 8-12 hours of sunlight. Make sure you plant this variety in a sunny area shielded from gusts of wind.

Sow your seeds 1 inch deep, spaced 3-4 inches apart. If you’re planting double rows, make sure they’re at least 3 feet apart to avoid root disruption.

The beans take 8-16 days to germinate, depending on the temperature of the soil.

Once they emerge from the ground, place a pole or trellis to encourage vertical growth.

How Often Do I Water?

Water your plant enough so that the soil remains moist at all times. A good rule of thumb is to put a handprint in the ground. If the imprint stays, then the soil is watered enough.

You can also cover the base with mulch to help retain moisture and ward off weeds.

Try to water your plant at the base since overhead watering can damage the delicate flowers and bean pods.

A white flower on a lima bean plant.

Harvesting Lima Beans

You can expect fully-grown green pods to emerge 85-90 days from germination.

If you’re wondering when they’re ready to be picked, gently squeeze the pod. If it feels firm and filled out, it’s ready to be picked.

Keep an eye on your pods during harvest time. If you pick them at the right time, you can increase your plant’s yield and ensure sweeter-tasting beans.

If you leave your pods on the vine for too long, you might find that they taste dry and gritty.

Where Can I Buy Seeds?

A lima bean seedling in the garden.

Have we persuaded you to add this delicious, easy-to-grow bean variety to your garden? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck.

You can find king of the garden lima bean seeds at a variety of retailers, but we recommend checking out Hoss Tools for the highest quality seeds.

Plant Your Own King of the Garden Lima Beans!

Whether you’re looking for a delicious addition to your canning collection or want to cover a trellis in beautifully twisty vines, king of the garden lima beans make a great addition to your backyard.

A pile of harvested lima bean pods.

Did this blog post inspire you to learn more about legumes? Check out the bean plants page on our website for more great reading material.