String Beans Leaves Yellowing

Asked June 19, 2013, 8:42 PM EDT

Hi... Our Heritage string beans are taking off & have nice healthy climbing shoots. The top half of the bean plants look green, but the bottom half of the leaves are yellow. What should we do? (Pluck off the bottom leaves? Fertilize? Ignore?)

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Hi:

This sounds like classic nitrogen deficiency symptoms. Nitrogen is the element required in the greatest quantity by plants and it is "mobile" within the plant. If there is a deficiency of nitrogen for overall growth of the whole plant, the plant will take nitrogen from older leaves and send it to the newest growth. This newer growth is at the top of the growing shoots so that's why you have that type of pattern. It would be best to fertilize right away with some sort of liquid fertilizer, which will be readily available to the plant and will correct the deficiency quickly. If not addressed, this deficiency will reduce vine growth and yield. You can learn more from the OSU Extension Publication EC 1503 "Fertilizing your garden" available online at OSU Extension Publications: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/