Bean Plants: Science & Gardening

One of my favorite science projects is sprouting beans. Most people have done it with younger children, but there’s so much to learn by doing it with middle and even high schoolers. 

You simply begin by soaking dried beans overnight. Then we put them in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel and place in a warm window. 

Have students measure the root growth each day in centimeters, then make a line graph with time across the bottom (x-axis) and growth in centimeters up the side (y-axis). They will learn how to follow a graph over time and measure in centimeters. 

As the beans continue to grow, the shoot will appear. This is the actual plant that will grow up out of the ground. 

Do keep the bag open or mold will begin to grow. As the shoot gets larger, leaves will sprout.  Now we get to the good part. 

Gently remove your beans from the bag and plant them in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, a pot will work too. 

Look at that amazing creation!  This is the largest, most advanced bean plant. The others are growing a little slower. 

We will plant these as well. When planting seeds, they should only be buried the length of the seed. Many people plant seeds too deep. They run out of energy before they reach the surface and die. 

Since these are already sprouted, we will plant roots down, shoots up. 

These plants will continue to grow and in about 2 months, should begin producing beans to eat. 

My science students all know that you can sprout beans, but few actually realize that you can grow more beans of you stick with it. 

It’s a great lesson in horticulture, life science, horticulture, farming, and gardening.

You can get beans from the garden center or simply plant a few that you are cooking for dinner. 

You can grow purple hull peas, green beans, speckled butter beans, soy beans, red beans, black beans, or any dried bean. 

Happy Planting!


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