How to Save Bean Seeds


The bean plant is a popular backyard vegetable, prized for its high pod production in a limited amount of space. Instead of buying bean seeds for planting every year, save yourself money by harvesting and saving bean seeds from your existing bean bush or vine. Such seeds can be stored for months without losing their viability if they're collected and prepared properly.

Step 1

Wait for the bean pod to mature and dry on the bean plant. The pods are ready for harvesting when they have a brown appearance, feel dry to the touch and rattle when you shake them, according to the University of Minnesota.

Step 2

Pick the bean pods and lay them on a newspaper indoors. Let them dry for two weeks to ensure complete dehydration.

Step 3

Break open the pods and empty the beans into a container. Place the container in your freezer and let them freeze for 30 hours. This helps control insect pests common in beans, such as weevils, according to Oregon State University.

Step 4

Empty the bean seeds into a paper bag and store it in a cool, dark and dry location until you're ready to plant the seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't store your collected bean seeds in a sealed plastic container. This traps moisture and may encourage mold to grow on the beans.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Container
  • Freezer
  • Paper bag


  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener;" Karan Cutler, et al.; 1997
  • Oregon State University: Collecting and Storing Seeds from Your Garden
  • University of Minnesota: Saving Vegetables Seeds
Keywords: save bean seeds, collect bean seeds, harvest bean seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.