Growing broad beans are great hardy plants that are easy to grow. They also have some great health benefits in supporting weight loss and boosting your immune system.
So, if you start to find that your broad bean’s leaves are curling, you will want to discover the cause as quickly as possible.
Below we will detail the Symptoms of Broad Bean Leaf Curl, What to Do with Curling Leaves and how to solve the problem.
What are the Symptoms of Broad Bean Leaf Curl?
Have you noticed that your Broad Beans becoming discoloured, drooping downwards, and turning in on themselves, your plants are most likely experiencing leaf curling.
To get this issue under control you need to take action quickly. The earlier you spot the problem and get to work, the less effect it will have on the other plants around it.
Why are my Broad Bean Plants Leaves Curled?
When diagnosing the cause of your Broad Bean Leaf curling, you should consider the below causes:
If your broad bean leaves are curling and yellowing, there may be a lack of nitrogen in the soil which can be rectified by adding some nitrogen-rich compost.
Too much heat can be responsible for your plant leaves beginning to curl in on themselves. The water contained in the foliage may be evaporating in extreme temperatures.
Contamination by Weedkillers or Other Pesticides
Is it possible that when applying comport to the plants you may have inadvertently exposed the plants to harmful contaminants?
For example, if your compost included grass cuttings, could those grass cuttings have come into contact with weed killer?
BCMV (Bean Common Mosaic Virus)
If the plant’s leaves are yellowing, long and curling, whilst others remain healthy. This virus may be the cause. Another symptom is if fewer beans are being produced than normal.
Broad Bean Rust
If you are seeing discolouration on the leaves and damage and holes in the leaves. Your plants may be suffering from Broad Bean rust which is caused by a fungus infection.
Chocolate Spot Broad Bean Disease
This disease is caused by the fungus Botrytis. It is characterised by dark brown/black spots and a mould-like covering on the leaves which will be weathered and misshapen.
If aphids and whitefly have made a new home amongst your broad beans, they may be sucking up the nutrients the plant needs. This could be why the leaves have begun to curl.
Aphids and other small insects may also be responsible for transferring infectious fungi like Rust, Chocolate Spot, and BCMV to your plants. If you spot aphids on your plants, you may be one step closer to diagnosing the cause.
How to Fix Broad Bean Leaf Curl?
If you think that you have properly identified the cause of the broad bean curl, you can get started on fixing it. Here are our suggestions for fixing leaf curl on broad Bean Plants.
Add Amino Acids to The Soil
If lack of nutrients is to blame, then you should add some more to the soil of your plants. Get some Amino Acid supplements (amazon link – opens in a new tab) and add them to the soil.
Increase Watering Schedule or Create Partial Shade
Are your broad bean plants subject to a heat wave? Should you be upping the amount of watering you do? Is there any way to move them or protect them from the sun?
Get Rid of or Neutralise Pesticides
Try gently rinsing and rubbing the plants if you need to remove any pesticides on the plant. You can also try to neutralise the soil by adding non-contaminated soil and compost.
Remove Aphids and Whiteflies by Spraying Leaves
Spray the affected leaves with soapy water to dislodge the pests from your broad bean plants. You may need to do this more than once, as they may regather.
If the problem persists you might need to consider a store-bought spray to fully deal with them although this is more for the very extreme infestations.
Spray the Leaves with an Anti-Fungal Spray
Battle the effects of Broad Bean Rust and Chocolate Spot by spraying the leaves with an anti-fungal spray. You can make your own at home by mixing 1 part milk with 10 parts water.
Remove the Infected Plant
BCMV infected plants should be removed and destroyed immediately. If your broad beans are very infected with fungal diseases, then you should also consider removing them altogether.
This will protect the surrounding plants from becoming infected. As the fungal spores can easily transfer to attack your other fruit and veg.
Can Broad Bean Plants Recover from leaf curl?
The answer to this question depends upon two factors – the cause of the curling and how long the problem has had to develop. If you simply need to increase your watering level, increase nutrients, or provide more shade, then the plants may recover.
Fungal infections are more serious and if caught extremely early may be manageable with fungal spray. But if the infection has developed substantially, you may be better off just removing the plants so they don’t infect the surrounding plants.
Should I Remove Leaves with Leaf Curl?
Removing plants that are browning, curling, and drooping will allow more air to circulate to other parts of the plant.
It will also increase healthy sun exposure to leaves that aren’t affected and remove the fungal spores which may be causing the problem.
To deal with broad bean curl, your first step will be diagnosing exactly what the cause is. Hopefully, you will find that it is an easily adjustable problem. Small changes such as increasing the water during a heat wave or adding more nutrients to the soil can have an effect.
Unfortunately, there are also some fungal diseases and BCMV to worry about. These causes are more difficult to deal with and, (especially in the case of BCMV) may mean having to remove the plants altogether.
Garden Doctor Tips
“In particularly hot weather, create a little afternoon shade to protect your plants from sunburn!”
“Don’t panic, check through our list, and look for telltale signs of what the issue is and hopefully, you will be able to save your crop!”
“If you suspect that the plant has BCMV, remove and destroy the plant immediately before the rest of your crop becomes infected!”
“Any seriously damaged leaves, especially any that have blackened should be removed – this is to conserve energy and allow air circulation around the rest of the plant!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my broad beans wilting?
There are various potential causes of this but in most cases, if the leaves are wilting and turning yellow, the plant needs more water, or it has become sunburned. In hot weather, water often and if required create partial shade for your plants.
Can I use weedkiller near my broad beans?
No, you must keep weedkillers and pesticides away from broad beans. Broad beans are very sensitive to weedkillers and other chemicals. It is also not a good idea to use these chemicals near any produce you plan to eat.
How do I get aphids off my broad beans?
Spray your broad beans with soapy water to remove any visible aphids. This process may need to be repeated until the aphids are no longer present.