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Mung beans are a versatile legume that is high in protein and popular in Asian cuisines, so you might be wondering, “Can I grow mung beans at home?” The answer is yes, you can! You can grow full-sized plants or delicious ready-to-eat sprouts, and we’ll tell you exactly how to do it in this article.
To grow full-sized plants in soil:
- Plant mung bean seeds in sandy, loamy soil in a pot.
- Keep the mung beans in a sunny spot and water sparingly. If possible, put them outdoors on a balcony or windowsill for maximum light.
To sprout mung beans indoors:
- Soak your mung beans in cool water for 8 to 12 hours.
- Drain the water and transfer the beans to a jar with cheesecloth covering the opening. Keep jar in a dark location.
- Rinse and drain the beans in cool water twice daily.
- When the beans have short roots, harvest Simply put your sprouts in the refrigerator to stop the growing process.
Now that you have a quick overview of how to grow or sprout mung beans, you probably have lots of other questions. We’ll explain each step of the process in more detail and also answer a few of the most frequently asked questions. So, let’s get started!
How To Grow Mung Beans Indoors
Choose The Right Pot
One of the most important parts of growing a mung bean plant indoors is selecting a pot that is big enough to accommodate the plant’s long root system. Your pot should be at least 5” deep. Deeper would be even better since it would give your mung bean plant plenty of room to spread out as it grows without needing to transplant.
For a simple look, try these white plastic pots - they come in a set of five.
The two largest pots in this set of three terra cotta planters are the perfect size for growing mung beans.
If you want to plant a lot of mung beans - or any other type of plant! - try this set of four attractive ceramic planters.
Select The Best Soil And Fertilizer
Mung beans prefer well-drained, sandy, loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level. The seeds should be planted 1” deep and 2” apart from each other. You could also mix your soil with loamy compost - check out our article 11 Best Loam-Based Compost Mixes for some ideas.
Mung beans grow best with some low-nitrogen fertilizer - a great formula is 5-10-10. Use a small amount once every two weeks during the growing season.
Although this soil is intended for cacti and succulents, its sandy, loamy formulation is also perfect for mung beans.
If you prefer growing organic plants, try this all-natural, organic soil.
Little Water, Lots Of Sun
Since mung beans developed in a hot, dry environment, they only need a few deep watering sessions during their growing season. If you plant the seeds in moist soil, you won’t need to water again for another 20 days. Less water means that the plants will be forced to focus on seed production, which is great if you want to encourage a large crop.
The long, narrow nozzle on this watering can makes it easy to pour water directly on the roots of the plant, allowing you to give it a long, direct soak.
Mung beans need lots of full sunlight - at least 8 to 10 hours per day is ideal. Keep your mung bean plants near a window, or, if possible, put them outside on a balcony or windowsill to make sure they’re receiving as much light as possible.
Alternatively, you could supplement the natural light with a grow lamp, especially if you’re growing mung beans during the winter.
The long, bendable necks on these grow lights make it easy to adjust the height of the lamp as the mung beans grow.
To harvest your mung beans, pull the entire plant out of the ground after two-thirds of the pods are mature. Tie them in bunches and hang them upside down to allow the bean pods to dry.
After the pods are dry, shell them and allow the beans to dry completely spread out on a sheet of paper. It’s important to make sure the beans are completely dry since any amount of moisture could cause mold.
Once the beans are completely dry - and it usually takes several days - store them in a glass jar. They’ll keep for years if stored that way. You can also freeze them in plastic bags.
How To Sprout Mung Beans Indoors
Put the dried mung beans in a bowl and cover with cool water - aim for three cups of water per one cup of dried beans. Allow them to soak for 8 to 12 hours until they become pale and swell with water to about double their size.
Transfer To A Sprouting Jar
Drain and rinse your beans, drain them again, and then put them in a sprouting jar. You could also use a regular glass with a piece of cheesecloth secured over the mouth with a rubber band.
This sprouting set even includes a seed blend, if you enjoy your mung bean sprouts and want to try something else, too!
If you already have mason jars, you can also just order sprouting jar lids.
Keep the jar in a dimly lit spot - in a cupboard, in a bag, under a cloth, or just in a dark corner of your kitchen counter. Sunlight will make the sprouts taste bitter.
Rinse, Drain, Harvest
Every 8 to 12 hours - about two times each day - thoroughly rinse and drain your mung beans in cool water. Your sprouts will be ready to harvest on the second or third day when most of the beans have short sprouts. Refrigerate them to stop the growing process.
Are Mung Beans Easy To Grow?
Mung beans are known for being easy to grow, and they sprout both indoors and outside. You can grow regular plants or sprout them so you have a supply of delicious plant sprouts that can be used on salads and sandwiches.
Although it is possible to grow mung bean plants inside, they grow better outside since they need a lot of light. If you’re looking for the easiest indoor option, sprouting is your best choice.
If you’re looking for other vegetables that are easy to grow indoors, check out our article Can You Grow Vegetables Indoors All Year Round?
How Long Do Mung Beans Take To Grow?
Mung beans take 100 to 120 days - or just under four months - to reach full maturity. This means that to have beans that are ready to be harvested in August or September, you should plant them in May or June.
Can Mung Beans Grow Without Soil?
Sort of! While a full mung bean plant needs to be supported by soil, you can grow mung bean sprouts in a glass jar after soaking them in water.