Growing Red Kidney Beans Information

Growing Red Kidney Beans Guide:

Introduction to Red Kidney Beans (Rajma):- Red kidney beans are one of the many varieties of common beans and is also being called French beans. Kidney beans are herbaceous annual plants and grown throughout the world for their edible seeds/beans. Because of kidney shape and red color, they are popularly known as “red kidney beans”. Kidney beans are originated in Peru, and throughout South and Central America. Generally, bush type kidney bean varieties form an erect bush of 25 to 60 cm tall and pole or running varieties (cultivars) can form vines of 2 to 3 meter long. All cultivars of red kidney beans have green or purple leaves, which are divided into 3 oval, smooth-edged leaflets, each of 6 to 14 cm long and 3 to 10 cm wide. The white, pink, or purple flowers are about 1 cm long, and the pods would be 8 to 20 cm long and 1 to 1.5 cm wide. These may be green, yellow, black, or purple in color depending on cultivar and each contains 4 to 5 beans. The kidney beans are smooth, plump, kidney-shaped and up to 1.5 cm long. They are often mottled in 2 or more colors. In India, these beans are popularly known as “Rajma” beans. They are very nutritious and have excellent health benefits. Under-cooked or raw red kidney beans contain a toxic protein called “phytohaemagglutinin” and this plant leaves are also used (occasionally) as a vegetable and the straw as livestock fodder. Red kidney beans have excellent demand in domestic and export markets. With planned cultivation, commercial growers of red kidney beans can obtain decent returns. One can even grow red kidney beans in pots/containers and back yards at home. These can be grown in 12″ pots. Bush arrays are suited for container bins. Red kidney beans can be grown successfully in greenhouse and polyhouse as well.

Other Names of Kidney Beans:- French bean, garden bean, green bean, string bean, field bean, flageolet bean, haricot bean, snap bean and pop bean.

Scientific Name/ Botanical Name of Red Kidney Beans:- Phaseolus vulgaris L.

Family Name of Red Kidney Beans:- Fabaceae.

Genus of Red Kidney Beans:- Phaseolus.

Other Names of Kidney Beans:- French bean, garden bean, green bean, string bean, field bean, flageolet bean, haricot bean, snap bean and pop bean.

Red Kidney Beans in Indian Languages:- Kidney Beans (English), Rajma (Hindi), Chikkuduginjalu / Nallachikkudu (Telugu), Rajma (Malayalam), Capparadavare (Kannada),  Barbati Beej / Raajma (Bengali), Rajma (Gujarati), Rajma (Konkani), Rajma (Marathi), Baragudi Chhuin / Rajma (Oriya) and Pavala Moochai /Sigappu Beans / Rajma (Tamil).

World Top Production Countries of Dried Common Beans:-

  • Myanmar
  • India
  • Brazil
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Indonesia
  • Mexico
  • Tanzania
  • United States
  • Kenya
  • Uganda

Health Benefits of Red Kidney Beans:-The following are some of the health benefits of Red Kidney Beans.

Health Benefits of Kidney Beans (Rajma).
Health Benefits of Kidney Beans (Rajma).
  • Helps in lowering high cholesterol
  • Kidney beans are an excellent source of proteins
  • Kidney beans are natural detoxifiers
  • Kidney beans may prevent a certain type of cancers
  • Kidney beans help in weight loss
  • Kidney beans are a good source of fiber and help relieve constipation
  • Kidney beans improve heart health
  • Kidney beans have Anti-aging properties
  • Kidney beans are helpful asthma patients
  • Regular consumption of kidney beans boosts immune power
  • Consuming kidney beans may help in reducing hypertension
  • Kidney beans are good at improving memory
  • Kidney beans have a low GI, hence good for diabetics
  • Kidney beans boost energy
  • Kidney beans have Anti-oxidative properties

Varieties/Types (Cultivars)of Red Kidney Beans:- There are many varities of kidney beans being grown across the globe. However, they can be broadly divided into bush bean varieties and pole bean varieties. In Asia, especially in India, Pusa parbati, Arka Komal, Jampa, Bountiful, Prider, Pencil wonder, and contender are grown under bush type category whereas VPF-191, Keatuki wonder and Premier varieties grown under pole type category.

Climate Requirement for Red Kidney Beans:- Kidney beans thrive best in tropical and temperate regions with a temperature of around 24°C to 35°C. This crop requires evenly distributed annual rainfall of 75 to 175 cm. Soil temperatures of 32 to 34°C are required for maximum vegetative growth. Avoid extreme low temperatures and extremely high temperatures as this crop is very sensitive to frost conditions.

Soil Requirement for Red Kidney Beans:- Red kidney beans can grow in a wide range of soils. However, well-drained sandy loam soils rich in organic matter is the best for quality produce and higher yields. If you are planning this vegetable in your back yard and if you find heavy soil, supplement the soil with some garden mature compost. It is recommended to add a couple of inches of compost even in sandy soils. Commercial growers should go for a soil test to find out the suitability and fertility. You must incorporate any nutrient/micro-nutrient deficiencies based on soil test results during land preparation. The ideal soil pH in growing red kidney beans is 5.2 to 6.0.

Land Preparation for Red Kidney Beans:- Red kidney bean crop requires fine seedbed and sufficient soil moisture for good seed germination or sprouting. A soil fine tilth can be achieved by giving a couple of deep plowing followed by 3 to 4 harrowing and planking. Don’t supplement the soil with high amounts of organic matter as it results in vegetative growth.

Propagation of Red Kidney Beans:- Propagation of kidney beans crop is done by seed.

Germinated Red Kidney Beans.
Germinated Red Kidney Beans.

Season, Seed Rate, Sowing and Spacing of Red Kidney Beans:- Rainfed crop can be sown before the onset of monsoon and other sowing time would be from October to mid-November. However, an irrigated crop can be sown any time during the year.

Seed rate depends on the cultivar (variety), seed size, cropping pattern. Apart from this, it may vary in intercropping with row proportions. Usually, in case of small-seeded cultivars, seed rate would be from 90 to 100 kg/ha whereas, in the case of bold seeded varieties, it requires 130 to 140 kg to cover 1-hectare land.

The seed can be sown by drilling, dibbling or broadcasting method with a depth of 2 to 3 cm. Row-to-Row distance is 30 cm and plant-to-plant distance is 10 cm.

Irrigation for Red Kidney Beans:- The soil must have sufficient moisture as kidney beans plants have a shallow root system. Critical stages of irrigation are just prior to blooming and during flowering and during pod development stages. If the crop is rain-fed, you must ensure proper irrigation throughout the crop cycle. Generally, it requires 4 irrigations at 25, 50, 75 and 90 days after sowing the seeds. Avoid overhead watering in order to keep the plants dry and to prevent any fungal diseases. Basin irrigation or drip irrigation can be adopted in growing red kidney beans.

Manures and Fertilizers for Red Kidney Beans:- Kidney beans lack biological nitrogen ‘N’ fixation because of poor nodulation. Usually, this crop requires  ‘N’ of 110 to 120 kg/ha. For better yields, this crop requires 60 kg of P2O5/ha and it has very limited response to potassium and other micro-nutrients.

Intercultural Operations of Red Kidney Beans Crop:-

  • Weed Control: Be careful when you are weeding as these plants have a shallow root system. Shallow cultivation should be given to keep the crop free from weeds. You can apply any herbicides such as dinitomaterial 2 to 3 kg/acre and the sodium salt of pentachlorophenol @ 6 kg/acre as a pre-emergence application for effective control of weeds. One hand weeding at 30 days after sowing is found beneficial in growing red kidney beans.
  • Crop Rotation: Avoid mono-cropping system and practice crop rotation with other legume crops. This crop can be rotated with potato or mustard. Kidney beans can be inter-cropped between maize and soybean crops.
    • Inter-cropping should be Potato + kidney beans (3:2).

Kidney beans+ linseed (2:1).

Pests and Diseases of Red Kidney Beans:- Plant care is a major task any crop cultivation. One should give more priority to the possible pests and diseases to avoid any crop loss. Caterpillar, blister beetle, bean bug and aphids are common and main insect pests found in growing red kidney beans crop. Collar Rot, Stem Rot, Pod Rot, and bean golden mosaic virus are main causes of reduction of bean yield. For symptoms and control measures of these pests and diseases, contact your local department of agriculture/horticulture.

Note: Your local horticulture department is a good source of finding information about pests and diseases in growing red kidney beans production. Don’t experiment on your own without knowing the symptoms and causes.

Harvesting of Red Kidney Beans:- How to identify the maturity of the crop? well, leaves and pods of the crop would turn into yellowish brown and most of the leaves drop. Picking up at the right time is important to avoid any shattering. Post-harvesting tasks include sun drying of pods for a week and threshing the harvested crop.

The yield of Red Kidney Beans:- Yield of kidney beans depend on variety and planting method, soil type, climatic conditions, and other crop management practices. Under ideal agriculture/horticulture cultivation practices, on an average, one can obtain a yield of  2 to 2.5 tonnes/ha of grains and 3 to 3.5 tonnes/ha of straw.

For Drip Irrigation: Read here.

Read: How to Grow Brussels Sprouts at Home.


  1. Asiafarming has been a blessing to me by giving me all the necessary informations i needed to know about red kidney beans. God bless you.


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