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Easy Science Project for Kids: How to Grow a Lima Bean Seed

School science projects can be an exciting time for students who like to explore the wonders of nature. For children, it is a great time to explain the many natural processes that occur around us. A very simple science project, to begin with, is the process of growing a Lima bean seed.

Lima bean seeds are easy to grow and resilient to climate changes. They have a fast-growing rate: most beans will sprout in about 14 days. If you’re planning on performing this science project, please be aware of the time it takes to complete the project and the deadline for the science project.

Related: Bilingual Stories: The Life Cycle of a Flower

Lima bean seeds are also called ‘butter beans’. It is believed that Lima beans or Phaseolus lunatus originated in South America around 2000 BC. By 800 AD, Lima beans were exported to different parts of Europe and America. Lima bean seeds have a characteristic kidney-liked shape. They are about 1-3 cm long and are usually white. As legumes, Lima beans provide good fiber content and other nutritional minerals.

How to grow a Lima Bean Seed

In this project, you’ll learn how to start the growth of a Lima bean seed and monitor its process.

Materials needed for this project are:

  • 1 clear, clean jar (plastic or glass)
  • 3-4 Lima beans
  • paper towels
  • 1 small piece of paper (optional)
  • tape
  • water

Instructions:

  • Clean the jar thoroughly with mild soap and water. Let dry or wipe dry completely. Set aside. Tip: if using a glass jar, place in a safe place in case of breakage.
  • Select 3-4 Lima bean seeds. Set aside. Tip: Avoid selecting more than 4 beans to allow roots to grow. 
  • Use adhesive tape to cover a small section of the jar with dark-colored paper. Tip: if not testing for light and dark growth, then skip this section. 
  • Use a dry paper towel and insert into the jar.
  • Insert the beans one a time. Try to spread the beans throughout the jar. Make sure to add 2 beans to the dark part of the jar and 2 beans to the light side of the jar.
  • Spray the paper towel with water. Avoid soaking the paper towel. Tip: To retain moisture in the jar, slightly cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap.
  • Place on a sunny area but avoid excessive heat or cold.
  • Water every day.

Monitor the growth of the Lima bean:

The most amazing part of growing any plant is to display them. Once the science project is done, you can plant them into potting soil.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

4 Comments

  1. Linzay Crawford on at

    v Very good idea; I will use on for my stuidents students!



    • I’m so glad you like this project. It was fun to do and very educational. Nature can teaches us so much about our surroundings. Also, make sure to check my other projects and free worksheets for your class.



  2. Jackie on at

    Where can you purchase Lima beans? Just at the grocery store? They weren’t available a Home Depot or Lowes.



    • Jackie, you can purchase Lima beans at your local grocery store. They’re usually located in the aisle with the rice and prepared macaroni. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks for your comment.

      If you live outside the Unites States, you can purchase them at your food market or grocery store.



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