A Guide on How to Grow and Care for Mung Bean Plants

7 Min Read

Mung beans are cultivated for human and animal consumption and are prized for their high protein and iron content.

Plant hardiness zones 10 through 12 of the United States Department of Agriculture are ideal for growing mung beans, though they may be grown wherever the growing season stays above 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Mung beans are a great choice for novice gardeners because they are comparatively simple to grow.

Mung Beans Plant Overview

Common NameMung bean, green gram, golden gram
Scientific NameVigna radiata
Days to Harvest100 days
LightFull sun
Water2-3 inches per week
SoilWell-drained sandy loam
FertilizerOptional, low nitrogen (5-10-10)
PestsAphids, bean beetles, bean weevils, mealybugs
DiseasesAnthracnose, bean blight, bean mosaic

What are Mung Beans?

Mung bean seeds are sprouted before being used as fresh or canned food. These beans, which have a protein content of 21–28%, are also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and other vitamins. For those who live in places where there is a shortage of animal protein, mung beans are a vital source of protein.

Mung beans are members of the Legume family and are related to cowpea and adzuki beans. During the warm season, these annuals may be upright or resemble vines. Pale yellow blooms are produced in clusters of 12–15 at the top.

Fuzzy pods that are 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and contain 10 to 15 seeds have a colour range of yellowish-brown to black when completely grown. Seeds can also vary in colour; they might be speckled black, brown, yellow, or green. The mung bean is self-pollinating.

Planting Mung Beans

When to Plant

Planting mung beans towards the end of spring is good, as they take approximately three months to mature from seed. When the temperature hits 65°F (18.3°C) and stays above it, May is usually a good time to plant.

The bigger seeds of this warm-season crop will not germinate in extremely cold temperatures. Plant seeds every two weeks if you want to continue harvesting them once they’ve reached maturity.

Where to Plant

Mung bean seeds may be sown practically anywhere, which makes growing them quite simple. If they can get at least six hours of sunlight, they can be planted in raised beds, the ground, or containers.

Planting mung bean seeds in rocky or weedy environments is not recommended. For roots to easily get through, the soil should be smooth. A pH of 6.2 to 7.2 is required for the soil. Refrain from planting mung beans in places where it will be difficult to adjust the soil as needed.

How to Plant

The first step in planting mung beans is to amend the soil with 1-2 inches of compost. Mung beans don’t need a lot of nitrogen fertilizer because they are nitrogen-fixing plants. Mung bean seeds should be planted two inches apart and one inch deep in the ground to begin sprouting.

Thirty to thirty-six inches separate the rows. Apply bean inoculants straight to the seed or put it into the hole. Although they are optional, inoculants aid in the beans’ more effective production of nitrogen.

Transplanting is not the preferred method for growing mung beans; nonetheless, it is still feasible. Make sure the holes are large enough to accommodate the root ball, and carefully place the transplants into them. A minimum of six inches should separate the grafts.

Mung Beans Plant Care

Let’s examine how to tend to your mung beans so that in three months you might reap a large harvest.

Sun and Temperature

Mung beans need full sun, or at least six hours of direct light per day, just as the majority of other beans do. Since mung beans are a warm-season crop, as was previously indicated, they will thrive in the appropriate climate.

Mung beans grow best in USDA hardiness zones 10–12. However, you can grow them in colder climates as long as they stay in the 69–96°F (21–36°C) optimal temperature range during the growth season. Mung beans can withstand temperatures as low as 46 °F (8 °C) and as high as 104 °F (40 °C). Because they are not resistant to cold, anything below that will harm or even kill them.

Water and Humidity

Mung beans require water to grow, but thankfully, they can withstand periods of moderate drought with ease. More water is required for young mung beans than for mature plants.

Water the base of the plant when you water established and developing mung beans to avoid getting moisture on the leaves. Fungal diseases can be drawn to damp leaves. Here, soaker hoses are a great option.

Vigna radiata should be watered a couple of times a week, or 2-3 inches of water each week on average. In colder climates or during the rainy season, you don’t need to water as frequently. At all costs, keep the soil moist, but steer clear of damp dirt.


Mung beans grow best on sandy loam and loamy soils that are rich in organic matter, such as manure or composted plant waste. There shouldn’t be any big rocks or weeds there. Water shouldn’t pool in the soil since it should drain properly. Mung beans should have a pH between 6.2 and 7.2.


Mung beans grow well when fertilized specifically. During the flowering and pod formation stages, a high-phosphorus fertilizer is very important as it promotes root development and increases pod output. Strong growth is ensured by starting with a lower dose at seeding and applying a moderate amount every two weeks after that.

It is not advisable to take more mung beans than the specified dosage on the packaging, as this can cause harm. Because of the slower development caused by seasonal fluctuations, less fertilizer is needed in the winter.

Mung beans require precise application to ensure their health, avoiding direct contact with leaves and stems. Vigorous, highly productive mung bean plants are the result of proper fertilization.


Mung bean pruning is not necessary. Other than that, you can prune the plants to get rid of damaged or dying leaves, but they don’t need it.


The mung bean, a plant of the Araceae family, is well known for growing quickly and being very adaptive. High-quality seeds that are free from damage and illness should be chosen for sowing to propagate mung beans. Because it weakens the seed coat, pre-soaking the seeds might hasten germination.

For best results, use organic matter-rich, well-drained soil. Plant the seeds shallowly, being careful not to overwater and to maintain a constant moisture level. When given the right care, mung beans grow swiftly in warm, sunny environments.

Harvesting and Storing

Given their extended shelf life and ability to provide a superb hot supper on a cold day, legumes are possibly one of the most valued crop types.

You can keep your mung beans for up to a few years if you don’t want to use them all up by the end of summer. Take your time!


Your mung beans are ready to be harvested when the pods reach a length of approximately 5 inches (12 centimeters). The pods will be fuzzy and should be either black or yellowish-brown in colour. The pods are not yet ready if they are still green.

While not all mung beans will ripen at the same time, you can pick when roughly 60% of them do. Pull up the entire vine and hang it upside down in a dry, cool location to harvest. The ideal location will be a shed or garage.

Cover the vine with cloth or newspapers to collect the mung beans as they fall off. This process should take a few weeks to finish because some of the pods are still growing.


Fresh mung beans can be kept for two to three days in an airtight container without drying out. To absorb moisture, keep a fresh paper towel inside the container. The beans will quickly go bad if there is too much moisture.

Once all of the pods have dried after being hung upside down, take the beans out of the pods and spread them out on paper towels or newspapers to finish drying out before storing them as dry beans.

When fully dry, place them in an airtight container, such as a glass canister that fits tightly or in a plastic bag. You can keep them for the winter or as a backup food source for a few years. To extend their shelf life, dry beans can be kept in the freezer. This will stop an invasion of insects.


Even though mung beans are simple to plant, they might nevertheless have difficulties. The best defence against the few pests and illnesses to be aware of is prevention.

Growing Problems

One possible problem with mung beans could be an excess of nitrogen. If a bean is overfed with nitrogen when it is young, it may never set flowers. Another clue is if a vine has more leaves on its stems than it needs. The leaves get too heavy, and the stems break.

If your beans seem to be getting too much nitrogen, add a few inches of compost to help balance out the nutrients they are receiving.


Pests that feed on plant sap and may settle on your mung beans include mealybugs and aphids. The leaves will contort and maybe shrivel up as they eat.

For most plants, row coverings are an excellent preventive precaution when it comes to vines. Aphids can either be eaten by ladybirds or eliminated by using pyrethrin, neem oil, or insecticidal soap.

The pests Bean beetles and bean weevils, which consume leaves, are two more. Pyrethrin can be used to eradicate bug infestation, but you will need to spray the developing mung beans frequently to capture every stage of their life cycle.

You can avoid overwatering, remove dead matter and other waste at the end of the season, and rotate your crops as preventative measures.


Bean rust is caused by a fungus that can infect any type of bean. Bean pods become deformed, leaves wilt, and areas turn reddish-brown with yellow haloes. Conditions such as humidity and other moisture might cause this to spread.

Another common fungal disease in cold, rainy spring weather is anthracnose. Remove any affected areas of the plant and treat with either copper fungicide or neem oil.

Aphids are the carriers of the bean mosaic viruses. Different signs, such as yellowing leaves, black spots, or reduced development, will be present in each. You will need to extract and discard your beans because there is no treatment for these viruses.

To stop the virus from spreading further, don’t compost these. Wet leaves, beetles, and whiteflies can all spread bean blight. The spread can be stopped with a fungicide based on copper.


Is the mung bean plant edible?

Beans, leaves, and tubers are all edible; however, as the leaves and tubers can be bitter, they should be cooked beforehand.

Where can one cultivate mung beans?

Growing mung beans need a bright spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight. They can be planted directly on the ground, in raised beds, or containers.

What is the duration required for mung beans to grow?

The maturation of a mung bean takes around three months or 100 days.

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