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. The plant's ability to grow in heavy rainfall makes it a candidate for the people of the African tropics.
Winged bean production is optimal in humidity, but the species is susceptible to moisture stress and waterlogging. Ideal growing temperature is 25 °C. Lower temperatures suppress germination, and extremely high temperatures inhibit yield.
Even moderate variations in the growing climate can affect yield. Growing winged bean in lower temperatures can increase tuber production. Leaf expansion rate is higher in a warmer climate. For the highest yields, the soil should remain moist throughout the plant's life cycle. Although the plant is tropical, it can flourish in a dry climate if irrigated. If the plant matures during the drier part of the growing season, yields are higher.
Winged bean is an effective cover crop; planting it uniform with the ground suppresses weed growth. As a restorative crop, winged bean can improve nutrient-poor soil with nitrogen when it is turned over into the soil.