bean plants, showing different colors of leaves

In the picture you can see five Romano bush bean plants in my raised bed. These are all exactly the same variety; in fact, they came out of the same six-pack of seedlings from the nursery. Yet, four of them have bright green leaves, one has dark green leaves, and one has some of both.

What's going on here?

All of the plants appear healthy. All of them are currently starting to fruit. They get the same sun, give or take a little during the "dappling" part of the morning. None of the leaves are turning yellow.

Possibilities I can think of:

  • Chlorosis, and I need to add iron to the soil
  • Needs fertilizer, particularly nitrogen
  • Overwatering (they're on the same soaker hose, but it could be delivering more/less water to specific spots)
  • Underwatering (same)
  • Pests attacking the roots
  • something else
  • It's not a problem, ignore it, bean plants are like that.

So, thoughts?

  • Great job! My wife has noticed the same pale green leaves on our bush beans and I just looked up causes. Your query eas the second one that I opened and the first for addressing our specific issue. Many thanks! All of our bush beans are in either pots or rollaway beds (HOA) rules about growing vegetables/fruit outside our pool cage. Any recommendations on what specific products you used and amounts? Again, many thanks for posting! Jun 2, 2022 at 23:08
  • You're talking 3 years ago, so I can only tell you in general: I added hi-acid soil amendment (the kind they sell you for orchids and the like) plus sulfur, and chelated liquid iron.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 3, 2022 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


Since I never got a response to this, I had to figure it out on my own.

The answer turned out to be Chlorosis. The bean plants weren't getting enough iron, because the pH of the soil was too high (alkaline). After several rounds of soil testing, adding a bunch of chelated iron to the soil, and several acidifiers, I brought them back to health.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.