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Why Are My Green Beans Yellow?


My green beans are yellowish. What are they lacking?

Hardiness Zone: 9b

Leslie from Las Vegas, NV



If it's just the pods turning yellow, your beans are probably not lacking in anything. Some varieties fade to yellow as the pods age.


If entire plants are turning yellow, that's another story. It could be a sign of root problems, or a signal a nutrient deficiency. Here are signs of deficiencies for each of the three main nutrients needed by plants:

Normally, plants lacking sufficient nitrogen will be short, thin, and yellowish green, especially in the lower leaves. The leaves will turn yellow first, and then turn brown and crispy.

Plants with potassium deficiencies have mottled, spotted, or streaked leaves, and the leaves curl at the ends. The leaf margins die and flake out, leaving ragged edges. Poor root development may also result in the plant falling over as the stem develops.

Plants lacking sufficient phosphorus develop leaves, petioles, and stems with a purple cast. They grow slowly, and if they mature at all, it's very late in the season. Older leaves turn brown and shed early.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Are you sure they are green beans? Maybe they are yellow beans -- the plant looks exactly the same. I have never had green beans look anything but green, unless they were the kind of green bean that is purple when raw and green when you cook it.

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May 22, 20080 found this helpful

My first thought was they might be wax beans, too. If you're sure they're green beans, they might just need some nitrogen. Good compost or manure tea will provide that.

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July 14, 20110 found this helpful

My green bean plants are turning yellow with rusty looking tiny spots on the leaves and then they are falling off. Any help would be appreciated. In this picture they don't look that bad but they are worse and dieing now.

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