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How to Grow Lima Beans in a Plastic Bag

By Katie Jensen ; Updated September 21, 2017

Container planting doesn't have to be in a traditional pot. Vegetables, including lima beans, need soil, water and light to grow, but they're not particular about what holds the soil. Plastic bags can be ziplock, garbage bags or the plastic bag potted soil comes in. Lima beans prefer warm weather and sunny days. Plant when all danger of frost is gone. The beans are sweeter when picked young.

Planted in Plastic Bags of Soil

Fill a ziplock bag with an inch of water. Put lima beans in the bag and seal. Place the bag in a warm location. Remove the beans after 24 hours. The soaking hydrates the hard shell of the lima bean so it will germinate in the soil faster.

Find a bag that holds at least one gallon of soil for each lima bean plant. Fill the bag with new potting soil. Reusing old soil leads to dampening off, a fungus that kills new seedlings. Poke holes in the plastic bag for drainage.

Place the bags in their final location. Choose a spot that gets 8 hours of sunshine per day and that is accessible to water. Push the bags down so the bottom is flattened and they won't topple over. Fill the bags with water so the soil is completely soaked and the water runs out the drainage holes.

Plant two hydrated bean seeds in each bag under 1 inch of soil. The seeds should be 3 inches apart. Thin to the strongest seedling when they are 4 inches tall.

Water when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer as the label directs. Bush lima beans grow to 3 feet high and don't need staking. Pole lima beans grow to 6 feet high and will need a support to cling to.

Harvest when the lima bean pods are firm but still green. That should be in about 75 days. The pods are not edible and should be removed before cooking.


Things You Will Need

  • Lima bean seeds
  • Plastic bag
  • Potting Soil
  • Paper towels


  • Dry potting soil is sometimes difficult to thoroughly wet. Squeeze the water and soil together with your hands.

About the Author


Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.