How To Grow Blauhilde Purple Beans!

Purple Beans you ask? Yep, purple frickin beans ! How bloody wonderful is that! These little beauties come under the Category ‘Weird veg to grow!’ …Every year I google them exact words and google spits out something amazing! This year Blauhilde was top of the list! Here’s how I grew them…

Blauhilde Purple Beans

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The obsessive researcher!

Hey, thats me! I have this deep need to learn as much as I can about everything I grow. Not just so I can share it with you guys, but because I want to know it!

I have such a strange affinity with plants!…Before I meet them for the first time, I feel I ought to know a little bit about them! Its just good manners! ;o) The more I know, the better informed and more able ill be to nurture them…does that make sense, or am I just being the weird plant lady again! Whatever the reason…it makes me happy!

So what did i find out?

Lets start with the name…

Blauhilde Beans are believed to be of German Origin and date back to around the 1800’s. The plants botanical name is Phaseolus vulgaris, the Latin word phaseolus, a diminutive of phasēlus, in Greek means ‘cowpea’, while Vulgaris in Latin simply means ‘Common’

Most commonly called Blauhilde – Blau is the German word for the colour blue, while Hilde is a girl’s name of Germanic origin. The name Hilde was chosen as it means ‘ready for battle or battle woman, an apt choice due to the plants robust nature and its production of beans even into late Autumn.

Blauhilde purple beans

Blauhilde Characteristics

Blauhilde is a climbing bean which will grow to around 2.5m easily, so its important to provide it with a structure of some kind to grow up (see my vertical gardening post for tips!)

The Vibrant pink/purple flowers arrive first, with the pods developing shortly after. The pods can grow quite long, around 25cm and are stringless, even when allowed to over ripen. What are stringless Beans? A ‘string bean’ refers to older cultivars that develop a tough string along the joined edge as they get older. Some varieties have been bread to reduce this trait and are called stringless beans, like the Blauhilde Variety.

Blauhilde purple beans flowers
Blauhilde flowers

When Are Blauhilde Beans Ready to be picked?

When should you harvest blauhilde Beans?

  • Blauhilde beans reach maturity as soon as 70 days from planting.
    Pick daily and often, in the morning for the best flavour.
  • Pods can be picked when the beans have developed inside the pods or before. *The best flavour is before the pods begin to bulge with beans…pick young!
  • You should begin to see pods developing from early July, cropping should continue right up to the first frosts

How To Eat Blauhilde Beans?

Blauhilde Beans are best cooked. Boil, grill or bake them and serve on your sunday dinners or in stews and casseroles. They are perfect for freezing too! Simply pop them in a Zip lock bag and bang them in the freezer for your winter recipes.

Will Blauhilde Beans Stay Purple Once Cooked?

Sadly not! Mine turned green with only a slight tinge of purple remaining

What Do Blauhilde Beans taste Like?

Much like French Beans, except there is an ever so slight sweetness to them…delicious!

how to grow Blauhilde Purple Beans!

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Lets get cracking! We’ll first need some seeds….

Buy Blauhilde Purple bean seeds

Sow Indoors

  • On a Sunny Windowsill, sow 1 seed, 2cm deep in small pots or modules of good quality compost in April .
  • Cover with a propagator lid or polythene bag, remove once germination occurs. Germination should occur within 7-14 days.
  • Grow on indoors and plant out in a sunny spot 20cm apart in rows 50cm apart once all risk of frost has passed. Provide them with a structure to climb. *Be sure to harden off indoor raised seedlings first

Blauhilde seedling

Blauhilde bean seedling
Blauhilde seedling ready to be planted out

What Does Hardening Off Mean?
Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse environment, need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors permanently . This is a ‘toughening up’ practice to prepare the plants for their new environment.

How to Harden Off
Place your plants out for a couple of hours in a shady part of the garden. The next day, leave them out again for two hours, but this time allow the plants an hour of direct sunshine in the morning. Gradually continue to increase the length of time the plants are in direct sunshine over the course of roughly two weeks.

Sow Direct Outdoors

  • Alternatively direct sow Blauhilde beans outdoors when the soil is warmed and all risk of frost has passed, from Late May-July
  • Sow 2 bean seeds per spot at a depth of around 5cm and 20 cm apart. Plant in rows that are 50cm apart. provide them with a structure to climb

blauhilde purple  beans
New Pods

Blauhilde Purple Beans
diy bean frame, see my vertical gardening post

Blauhilde Beans Sun Requirements

Blauhilde beans like a sunny sheltered spot, protected somewhat from strong winds, especially until they are established

Water Requirements

Blauhilde Beans can be quite thirsty, especially once they begin to develop their pods, so water them regularly, more so during periods of drought




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