Dwarf French Bean ‘Mistik’

Family: Fabaceae

Dwarf French bean ‘Mistik’ (known by their botanical name, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Mistik’) is a French bean that produces short, low-growing plants with attractive purple-lilac coloured flowers and handsome deep-purple coloured French beans.  Due to their dark colour, purple ‘Mistik’ French beans really stand out against the plants’ green foliage when you view the plants, which makes finding the beans so much easier at harvest time, compared to French beans with green pods.  Dwarf French bean ‘Mistik’ is also known as Bush bean ‘Mistik’.

Not all plants that are marketed as being dwarf plants actually turn out to be as short as we expect, when we grow them ourselves.  However, I’ve grown a large number of French bean ‘Mistik’ plants, and I can attest that these are genuinely dwarf, low-growing plants that can be raised in containers of peat-free compost or grown in garden beds and borders, raised beds or allotments, without the need for any wigwams, poles, or support frames.  I added teepees of bamboo canes to my containers of ‘Mistik’ French beans, as I wanted to add supports before my plants needed something to climb on.  However, none of the ‘Mistik’ French bean plants climbed or twirled themselves around any of the poles in the fifty planters I grew of ‘Mistik’ French beans.  If I were to grow these dwarf French beans again I would not bother adding any canes or supports.  This saves you a task and avoids the need to collect or purchase materials to make a support frame or wigwam.  I would say that the average height of my ‘Mistik’ French beans was around 30cm (10″) tall.

‘Mistik’ French beans need to be grown in a bright and sunny area; these plants won’t tolerate shade.  Don’t feel that you have to purchase compost to grow French beans; these vegetables can flourish in moist but well-drained soil.  Steer clear of planting ‘Mistik’ French beans in wet or waterlogged soils, as the plants will not be happy in permanently wet soil.  Instead, grow dwarf French beans in containers of peat-free compost or raised beds.  If you’re growing ‘Mistik’ in containers, remember that French beans are deep-rooted plants that will need a large and fairly tall container to accommodate their long roots.

In the UK, we can sow dwarf French bean ‘Mistik’ seeds outside from the middle of May until the end of July.  French beans are tender plants that are killed by frost and cold temperatures, so don’t be tempted to sow these seeds any earlier.  If you’re gardening in a Northern region or in a cold or exposed area, wait until the start of June until you sow any ‘Mistik’ seeds outdoors.

If you are eager to get started with seed sowing early, you could sow dwarf French ‘Mistik’ seeds in containers of peat-free compost in a greenhouse, polytunnel, or inside a conservatory from April until the middle of May (or later if you’re gardening in a Northern region), and then move the plants outdoors when all risk of frost has passed.  If you do start your ‘Mistik’ seeds off inside a protected environment, please don’t forget to harden your plants off properly before you move them permanently outside.  Hardening plants off is very straightforward, it’s nothing to be daunted by; simply move your plants outside in the morning and bring them back inside your greenhouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, in the late afternoon or evening.  I always advise hardening plants off for at least two weeks (ideally longer) before you move the plants outside permanently.

These are easy to grow plants that won’t need any special attention other than watering during periods of drought, so it’s easy to forget your plants; do remember to harvest your dwarf French beans in summer time!  Depending on your sowing time and the plants’ growing conditions, ‘Mistik’ French beans will be ready to harvest from mid to late summertime through until autumn.  To ensure a regular harvest, sow a handful of ‘Mistik’ seeds every couple of weeks from the middle of May until the end of July.

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