How to Identify Stages of Bean Seed Germination


Beans are simple to germinate in your garden, or in a plastic cup or pot. The process takes 7 to 10 days, depending on growing conditions. The seeds are large and can be examined to chart the early stages of a bean's growth. The two things beans need to germinate are moist conditions and warm temperatures, so don't plant beans outside until daytime temperatures are predictably above 65 degrees F.

Step 1

Examine the soil. The protective seed coat splits and the radicle (embryonic root) pushes out of the seed coat and into the soil. You'll notice a tiny bit of plant material protruding out of the soil.

Step 2

Look for an arched stem (hypocotyl) to emerge from the soil with a bulbous end (cotyledons). Below the soil surface, primary roots are developing.

Step 3

Notice within a day or two the hypocotyl arch begins to straighten out, moving towards the sun.

Step 4

Inspect the cotyledons. These rounded parts hold and protect the epicotyl structures, which includes what will become the primary leaves. Soon, they split open and the primary leaves unfold. The stem grows longer.

Step 5

Watch the true leaves emerge. The cotyledons transfer stored food to the plant before they drop off. Germination is complete.


  • The Learning Garden: From Seed to Seed
  • Users RCN: Germination of Seeds

Who Can Help

  • Purdue Department of Horticulture: Growing Beans in the Home Vegetable Garden
Keywords: bean germination, stages of germination, identify bean germination

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.