Digestive and nutritious, unique in taste. Learn how to grow cluster beans plant, you can grow this legume easily in both container or outside.
USDA Hardiness Zones— 10-11, *can be grown in Zones 8 and 9 in summer as annual
Other Names— Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (botanical name), guar, gavar, guvar, guar beans, guar fali
About Cluster beans Plant
Cluster beans plant is native to Indian subcontinent, cultivated for its mature seeds to make Guar Gum. Young seed pods are used as vegetable in curry recipes, it can also be used in place of French beans and long yard beans. It tastes unique and exotic and like other legumes, cluster beans can be planted to improve soil health.
Cluster beans plant grows between 1-2m in height, it is an upright plant with oval shaped leaves and fine branching. Plant develops bunch of flowers, in colors of blue, pink, pale and white depending on the variety before forming seedpods. It forms slimy and glossy seedpods of green color in clusters that is why it is called cluster beans.
Cluster bean plant prefers tropical environment. It is a short lived perennial and live up to only 2-3 years. In India and Pakistan it is planted after summer in monsoon, during rain when humidity level increases. At this time temperature ranges between 60F-95F (15C-35C), which is the optimum temperature for its growth.
Growing Cluster Beans in Cold Climate
Cluster bean plant can also be grown in cold climates as an annual, this way you will get a few harvest until the mid fall. It needs at least 60-90 warm days before ready to first harvest. Sow seeds in summer when temperature soar above 65F (20C), this is the optimum seed germination temperature of cluster beans plant.
Growing cluster beans plant is somewhat similar to southern peas. You can buy its seeds online or from stores. Cluster bean has a long taproot that is why transplanting its seedlings is not a good idea; plant it directly at the desired spot.
Choose a sunniest spot of your garden and remove the weeds before planting. Sow seeds ½ to 1 inch deep in loose well drained soil with lot of compost and farm manure mixed in it. Seedlings will germinate in a few days, thin out the healthiest of them 6 inches apart. Water well until the plants establish completely.
*Cluster bean plant can be grown in containers too; process of planting is similar to the way it is planted on the ground.
Cluster bean plant is drought tolerant, however it loves water when it is establishing and flowering, regular watering is essential at that time.
Fertilize your plant with 10-10-10 fertilizer after a month of planting, you can also use single super phosphate fertilizer if your soil test indicates lack of phosphorus in soil.
Pests and Diseases
Leaf-hopper and pod borer are the main pests that infect cluster beans, powdery mildew and leaf spot are the common diseases.
Within 4-6 weeks after planting flowers start to bloom, seedpods will form and ready to harvest in about 8-12 weeks, depending on the growing conditions. If you’re growing it to use as a vegetable, harvest it young when seedpods remain slimy and soft in texture and green in color. If you’re growing it for seeds, allow the pods to dry on plant.