How to Grow Bean Sprouts:
Growing Bean Sprouts Organically

Grow bean sprouts if you are looking for an economical and relatively easy method of adding a highly nutritious vegetable to your meals.

No soil or sunshine is needed to produce these tender edible seedlings, as they may be grown and harvested right in your kitchen. You can purchase packets of seeds suitable for sprouting, or simply use lentils from the grocery along with mung beans, sunflower seeds, flax and alfalfa. When you learn how to grow bean sprouts, you can enjoy them fresh daily!

Grow Bean Sprouts: Plant Snapshot (Phaseolus coccineus)

Grow Bean Sprouts
  • Family: Fabaceae (Phaseolus sensu strict)
  • Annual or Perennial? Annual – Ready to harvest in 2 to 3 days from seed
  • Recommended varieties: Lentil, Lens ensculenta, Mung Bean, Vigna radiate, Sunflower Seed, Helianthus, Flax Seed, Linum usitatissimum, Alfalfa, Medicago sativa
  • Cold tolerance: Since bean sprouts are grown inside in a container without soil, a comfortable room temperature is appropriate for growth.
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Grow Bean Sprouts: Planting the Seed

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In order to sprout, beans must have moisture and warmth. So to grow bean sprouts, you must first soak, drain, and rinse the seeds at intervals until they have germinated.

Some seeds will sprout in the dark, while others need indirect sunlight. Full sunlight is not recommended for bean sprouts.

Place your chosen beans into a glass jar until it is about one fifth full. Pour some lukewarm water onto the seeds, and then stir them gently to make sure they are all moistened. The beans should not be completely covered with water.

Leave the container at room temperature after covering the top with a piece of cloth secured by a rubber band.

The soaking beans must be rinsed several times a day in order to keep them from becoming sour. At the very least, they must be rinsed twice a day. In a warm climate, it will be necessary to rinse your sprouts four times a day for best results.

If you’d rather avoid all of this, you can also purchase commercially made seed starters at any nursery or garden center.

Snapshot: Planting Bean Sprouts

  • Placement in container: A layer of beans for sprouting should almost fill the planting container by half. 3 to 4 inches is the usual depth (7.62 to 10.16 cm)
  • Germination temperature: No soil is used when germinating bean sprouts. The sprouting container should be covered with a cloth (that is secured by a rubber band) and be placed in a room that has a comfortable temperature.
  • Days to germination: 2 to 6 days, depending upon the seeds used
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Grow Bean Sprouts: From Germination to Pre-Harvest

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Bean sprouts germinate quickly, and can be ready to eat within two to three days after they have been soaked. However, care must be taken to keep the seeds properly rinsed.

If you like white bean sprouts, place the container in a dark place. If you want green bean sprouts, place the container in a place that receives some light after the beans have started to germinate.

Unlike regular vegetable gardening, growing bean sprouts is neat, clean, and quite rewarding. Staggering your bean sprout plantings can mean you will have a new container of sprouts to enjoy every few days.

Snapshot: Growing Bean Sprouts

  • Grow bean sprouts in a clean container, and use unfiltered water in the sprouting process whenever possible.
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Grow Bean Sprouts: Harvesting Time

When the time comes for you to harvest your bean sprouts, you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!

Bean sprouts are ready to eat when they are one to two inches long. Simply rinse your sprouts a final time, and they are ready to add to salads, sandwiches, soups, or anything you’d like.

Snapshot: Harvesting Bean Sprouts

  • Time to harvest: About 2 to 6 days
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Storing Bean Sprouts and Freezing Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts must be eaten fresh. They are at their best for about 5 days after harvesting if they are kept under refrigeration.

Bean sprouts may be frozen for about three months and will keep the same texture and fresh snap when frozen as long as they are blanched first. This blanching can be accomplished by adding the bean sprouts to a saucepan of boiling water and letting them stay there for about 4 to 6 minutes.

Take the bean sprouts out of the water with a slotted spoon to drain off excess water, and then drop them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the sprouts and dry them gently with a paper towel.

They may then be placed in a freezer container or bag for their time in the freezer. The seeds that are used for sprouts will last a least five years, probably much longer.

Snapshot: Storing Bean Sprouts & Freezing Bean Sprouts

  • Storage temperature: 35 to 38 degrees F (1.66 degrees C)
  • Humidity: 85 to 90% relative humidity
  • Storage life (unfrozen in above conditions): 4 to 5 days
  • Storage life (frozen): 3 to 4 months
  • Seed longevity: 5+ years
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Grow Bean Sprouts: Pests & Diseases

Pests

Since bean sprouts are grown in an indoor environment, they are not as susceptible to the outdoor pests that can plaque most vegetable gardens. However, the following pests could appear on bean sprouts:

  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • House flies
  • Roaches

Diseases

Because their germination period is so short, bean sprouts do not pick up diseases.

They will mimic signs of disease if:

  • The seeds were not good. In this case, no sprout will appear.
  • The seeds were kept in too much water while germinating, which can cause mold.
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