Bean in a jar

This investigation is very simple but fascinating. Did you know you can grow a bean in a jar with just a little water?

What you need

  • A broad bean seed
  • Jar
  • Kitchen roll or a napkin
  • Water


  • Swirl a small amount of water around the jar.
  • Fold your napkin or kitchen roll and place in the jar. ( we made the kitchen roll very slightly damp also )
  • Place the bean seed in the jar resting on the napkin.
  • Spray some water on the bean every few days.

The bean should start to grow roots after a few days, this is called germination.

bean in a jar

We kept one bean in the dark and one in the light, both germinated and grew into small bean plants. This shows that light is not necessary for germination.

You can see here that the plant grown in the dark is a slightly less green than the one grown in the light. We have seen this before with the cress.

bean in a jar


What amazes me the most is that all this can grow from one tiny seed with no additional nutrients other than those contained in the bean itself.

After a few days in the light the bean plant kept in the dark was as luscious a green colour as its counterpart.

Bean in a jar


Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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    • So glad you like them!

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  1. I love this idea. It is so much better than the ziploc bag on the window. (Maybe it is just me, but those always get so nasty.
    Plus it would be great to have where the students could see actually grow and record the height.
    Love it.

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    • oooh yes, what a good idea!

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  2. It is fascinating and beautiful! We have to try this!

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    • It was great! and so simple x

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  3. We love this activity. Ours is growing strong and we’re going to try transferring into the soil and growing further now

    Thank you for linking to Tuesday Tots this week

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  4. How fun!! I love the lessons where they get to see the roots that would be underground. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you are having a great week!

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  5. Ooh great way to use my jars! Now to get some beans x

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  6. We grew a bean in a glass Mason jar for each kid a couple months ago. Can you believe they ate still thriving? One even grew a bean pod with beans in it. I should transfer them to a pot with soil.

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  7. I would like to know just why this works. Why is the one kept in the dark white? I know it has something to do with light. And why did it grow faster that the one in the light? Thank you!

    Post a Reply


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