A high-yield Italian bush bean with an early-bearing season, Roma II beans are a dream for any backyard garden beginner.
Roma II beans are flat beans with a robust flavor that you can integrate into any dish.
If you want to grow these beans, buy them, cook them, or eat them, this comprehensive guide to the Roma II contains all you need to know. Let’s dive in!
About Roma II Bean Plants
The Roma II bean (Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Roma II’), often confused for Romano bean, is a variety of Italian-type flat beans.
They’re an early-bearing variety with mature pods ready 60 days after sowing. They produce a bountiful harvest of bright green pods throughout summer and into fall.
These bush beans are a warm-season crop that thrive in warm and hot conditions. They are best planted in the USDA 3-11 plant hardiness zones.
Are you interested in growing Roma II beans in your backyard garden? Let’s see what the beans from these crops are like!
Characteristics of Roma II Beans
Flat Stringless Pods
Roma II beans are famous among Italian bean varieties for their stringless pods, which makes them easy to snap.
Their stringless pods are flat and grow into five-inch pods.
These bush beans are crisp and hold their meaty texture when eaten raw and even after cooking.
Roma II beans have an intense flavor that’s sure to satisfy your Italian green beans cravings.
The harvest period for these high-yield bush beans is long and abundant, so you can start early and pick often.
Harvest season starts in summer and runs well into autumn. Make sure to harvest only ripened beans to encourage pod formation.
Easy to Harvest
Pods from the Roma II plants are incredibly easy to harvest and require no tools. Since the pods are stringless, they’re easy to break off with bare hands while you prep the beans for canning or cooking.
Understanding the Roma II Bean
If you’re into growing your own veggies, you’ll love growing and cooking Roma II beans.
Cooking and Eating Roma II Beans
These beans retain their distinctive flavor after processing. This makes the bush Roma II a wonderful choice of green beans for cooking, freezing, and canning.
Here are some ideas of ways to enjoy Roma II beans:
- Eat the beans raw
- Steam with butter and olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper
- Use in a batch of freshly made minestrone
- Use in any green bean recipe (here’s the classic holiday recipe)
- Grill or sauté
- Add the beans to soups or stews
- Marinate for an antipasto
- Add to cold bean salads
- Caramelize onions with sautéed green beans
- Use in creamy fresh succotash
- Can them raw or cooked in a jar with boiling water
If you want to freeze these beans for long-term use, blanch them first and place them in airtight containers.
Health Benefits of the Roma II Bean
Roma II beans contain proteins and Vitamins A and C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, and Manganese.
They contain moderate amounts of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and beta carotene.
Some of their nutrition facts and health benefits include:
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Reduces risk of stomach cancer
- Improves blood pressure
Can You Grow These Beans at Home and How?
If you want to grow beans from seeds, plant them around spring, April, or in the heat of summer.
The ideal weather for planting seeds is when daytime temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the nighttime soil temperatures remain above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plot must receive full sun for at least six hours every day.
Use rich, well-drained soil with a balanced pH between 6 and 6.8.
Plant the seeds one inch deep with four to six inches of seed spacing. Keep the rows at least one and a half to two feet apart.
If you have limited space, you can plant the seeds in containers.
You can also try bean plantings, but it’s a tricky process—the roots are quite sensitive. Luckily, with bush beans, direct sowing is easy for beginners.
Roma II beans have moderate water requirements and thrive well with one inch of water once a week.
If Rhizobia populations are low, use inoculants to fix the issue. Rhizobia are microorganisms that form colonies on root surfaces of legumes to fix nitrogen and promote plant growth. Soil inoculants supply these microbes to the soil.
Roma II seeds germinate within five to 10 days. Luckily, the plant doesn’t need any support or too much fertilization.
Although you may find some climbing varieties, they’re more work and need knowledge of and tools for trellising.
If you want to enjoy a long harvest season, make multiple sowings several weeks apart until June.
Diseases and Pests
Roma II is a disease-resistant strain, but you still need to keep an eye out for pests and diseases that target this plant, such as:
- Common Bean Mosaic Virus
- Pod Mottle
- Curly Top Virus
- White Mold
- Root Rot
- Seedcorn Maggot
- Bean Beetle
You should also watch out for birds that may attack young bean seedlings. You can keep them away by installing nets or row covers.
These bush beans are best when open-pollinated by bees, birds, and other insects.
Bean plants grow from 1.5 to two feet tall and produce mature five to six-inch pods. They are ready for harvest within 55 to 60 days of planting.
You can pick them early if you enjoy fresh beans with a juicy flavor. Or you can wait until the pods are mature and the beans are swollen to enjoy them as green shelling beans.
Their life cycle is annual, and once you harvest the last of the pods, you need to replant them the following spring.
Where Can You Buy Roma II Beans?
Purchasing Roma II bean seeds online is simple—order them today to start growing your own bean plants.
You can also try local grocery stores or farmer’s markets for purchasing fresh beans to use in your kitchen.
Wrapping up Roma II Beans
Roma II beans, with their high yields and easy growing process, are a delight to plant, grow, and eat. Integrate these delicious and healthy beans into your garden and regular diet to boost your nutrition.
Want to learn more about beans? Visit our bean plants page to discover more about beans!