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Beans in a Jar

Beans in a Jar

January 23, 2020

Spring is in the air and it’s time to get prepared for blooms and blossoms! A fun project for the Spring season is growing a bean plant in a jar. Guess how fast the plant will grow and what conditions will improve its growth. It’s an easy project for the start of the planting season!

Items Needed:

  • Jar
  • Dry Bean (Lima beans work well)
  • Cotton balls or Napkins
  • Water
  • Sunny Window


  1. Wet the cotton balls or napkins and place them in the jar. Cotton balls should be wet but not soggy.
  2. Push the cotton balls up against the side of the jar and wedge the bean into the cotton balls so you can watch the bean develop.
  3. Put the bean in the jar in a sunny window. Guess what will happen in the next few days. When will it start to grow? How long will it take?
  4. Observe the bean over the next few days. Add water to the cotton balls if they start to dry out.
  5. Soon, you’ll have a bean plant of your own!

It’s so much fun to grow plants! Let’s Make it an Experiment!

To expand this project and make it more like an experiment, plant multiple beans in separate jars. Put one in a sunny window, one under a lamp, and one in a dark corner. Write down your ideas about what will happen. Measure the plant growth every day for one week to see the differences. Why do you think there are differences?

You can also use three different types of beans – black bean, lima bean, kidney bean – and place them in separate jars, in a sunny window. Measure the plants every day for one week. Which one grows taller? Which one grows fastest? What other differences or similarities do you notice?

When your bean plant outgrows its jar, you can plant it in your garden or in a pot, and take care of it for the season. If keeping it outdoors, make sure the temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit before putting it outside. Add sunshine and water, and it will be a happy plant!

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