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Scarlet Emperor has been a favourite for decades, which is no surprise. It yields long, straight pods of excellent flavour. Sliced and blanched, it freezes well to provide tasty out-of-season treats.

  • Gardener’s favourite
  • Freezes well
  • Product Details
  • How to Sow
  • Tips & Advice

Sowing Time

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Harvest Time

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Plant Spacing

60cm (24in)


20cm (8in)

Sowing Indoors

  • Sow individual seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep in 8cm (3in) pots of seed and potting compost.
  • Keep the pots in a frost free greenhouse
  • Ensure the compost remains moist at all times, but not saturated
  • Gradually accustom the young plants to outside conditions 2-3 weeks before planting them out at their cropping positions from late May onwards, when the danger of frost has passed
  • Ensure supports are in place before planting out
  • Allow 20cm (8in) between plants in the row


Sowing Outdoors

  • Sow two seeds close together 5cm(2in) deep, at intervals of 20cm (8in)
  • Runner beans require support and it is best to have this in place before you sow



  • As runner beans climb, they will need support
  • A frame of canes and strong netting is ideal, or the beans can be grown up wigworms of sticks or canes, where they become a decorative feature in the garden
  • Ensure any structure is at least 180cm (6ft) high
  • Plants will climb and twine naturally as they grow



  • Runner beans require plenty of water to produce a good crop
  • Water generously in dry spells
  • When plants are in full flower, an occasional midday spraying with a fine rose encourages the flower set and bean production
  • Runner beans are generally disease and trouble free
  • They thrive in a sunny position which is not exposed to cold winds



  • Pick the beans when they are young and tender
  • This encourages plants to remain productive longer



  • Runner beans freeze well
  • Simply slice, blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two, drain, allow to cool, then bag them for the freezer

Growing Tips

  • Runner Bean seed is sensitive to cold, wet soils and will not germinate in unfavourable conditions
  • We  recommend that you do not sow seed outdoors before mid May


For any questions or advice, please contact our technical advice line on 01480 443789 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) or email customerservice@westlandhorticulture.com

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