Wikijunior:The Little Gardener/Butterbeans



Butterbeans, also known as Lima beans are a green vegetable which are nutritious and sweet. It first grew in South America. Butterbeans take at least 12 weeks to grow fully before you can use them to eat. Because it is a soybean, eating them can help your heart!



With your Butterbean seeds and all of your tools ready, it is time to plant and grow some Butterbeans!

A Butterbean seed.

Step 1


First, you have to separate and count the seeds that you want to plant. Butterbean seeds are large, so they are very easy to separate by hand.

Leave a little space from the top of the pot.

Step 2


Then, either use your hands or a small cup to put your soil into the pot. This can be messy! You might want to do this outside, or over your sink because the soil can clump together and spill. Fill the pot with soil until it is close to the top. Gently push on the soil so it is a little firm, but do not too push too hard.

The hole should be 1" deep.

Step 3


Dig a small hole, either with your finger or with one of your tools. If you are going to use a tool, the transplanter works well for digging holes. Measure the hole so that it is 1" from the top of the soil.

Cover the seed with soil.

Step 4


Drop 2 seeds in the hole! Then, take a pinch of soil and fill the hole. Again, gently press down on the soil.

The seed is thirsty, so give it some water!

Step 5


Pour a little water into your pot.

Butterbeans sprouting!

What is next?


Make sure you water the seed everyday! If you are unsure about watering the seed, remember to use the "lollipop stick test" to check your soil. After the sprout comes out of the soil, which takes about 10 days, you have to make sure that it gets good sunlight.

If you are growing it indoors, you have to move it to a larger pot so that the roots can spread out. If you are going to move the seed outside, make sure that each sprout is placed at least 4" apart from eachother so that plants have plenty of room to grow when they get bigger.

How much light, and when can I plant it outside?


Most plants like to planted during the Spring season, or the time of the year when the days begin to get longer and the temperature gets warmer. Spring happens at different times of the year for different parts of the world. In Australia, Spring begins in the beginning of September, and in the United States, Spring begins at the end of March. You do not want to transfer your seeds outside if it is still cold out at night. Frost will stop your seedling from growing.

Quick facts
Spacing:2 seeds per 4"
Sprouts in:10 days
Fully grown:90 days

Want to learn more about Butterbeans?
Check out our: cookbook, encyclopedia, gallery, definition, taxonomy.

Did you know...

that tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland in the 1600s?