For that first time fava bean grower, you may be struck with fear when you notice the flowers seem to be dying and/or turning black. Did I fail? Did I do something wrong? Oh why oh why, did this happen to me? Before you have a complete udder meltdown I am here to show you that what you are seeing might be perfectly normal. Take a moment. Breath in and out. Your fears may be over. Maybe.
Why Are My Fava Bean Flowers Turning Black or Dying?
While it may look distributing to see once beautiful white flowers (fava bean flowers are among my favorite vegetable flowers!) shrivel and turn black this is part of the natural process. The flowers turn this way and underneath them is a fava bean pod. Head outside for a second and see if you have a little baby bean growing where the flower once stood. Fava beans are just more dramatic in appearance than when other beans or legumes go from flower to veggie. So rest assure there is nothing to worry about unless…
Why Are My Fava Bean Flowers Dropping
If the flowers completely drop off with a bean forming underneath than something is out of whack. I had this problem last year when my places were getting attacked by aphids. It seems to happen when the plants get stressed. Once the aphids were gone I started getting some beans. Fava beans do best in cooler weather, so if it’s too hot for them it may cause flowers to drop. Try planting them during a cooler season. That doesn’t help you now. Make sure they are well watered in the morning.
Another thing you can do is to pinch off the top leaves. This should help the plant focus it’s energy into making beans more than making more leaves. Don’t just toss those leaves, use the young tender ones in salads and the bigger ones like cooked spinach.