Winged bean | growing conditions

Growing conditions

Four winged bean pods rest in the palm of a man's hand
Winged beans grown in a south-facing, raised compost bed in Alpine, New Jersey, USA

Although winged bean thrives in hot weather and favours humidity, it is adaptable.[2] The plant's ability to grow in heavy rainfall makes it a candidate for the people of the African tropics.[9]

Winged bean production is optimal in humidity, but the species is susceptible to moisture stress and waterlogging.[2] Ideal growing temperature is 25 °C.[2] Lower temperatures suppress germination, and extremely high temperatures inhibit yield.[2]

Even moderate variations in the growing climate can affect yield. Growing winged bean in lower temperatures can increase tuber production.[2] Leaf expansion rate is higher in a warmer climate. For the highest yields, the soil should remain moist throughout the plant's life cycle.[2] Although the plant is tropical, it can flourish in a dry climate if irrigated.[3] If the plant matures during the drier part of the growing season, yields are higher.[2]

Winged bean is an effective cover crop; planting it uniform with the ground suppresses weed growth.[2] As a restorative crop, winged bean can improve nutrient-poor soil with nitrogen when it is turned over into the soil.[2]