Pole lima beans requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Plants are prone to drop their flowers when grown in nitrogen-rich soils
The lima bean is commonly cultivated for its edible seed and seedpods in tropical and warm temperate areas of the world. The plants are very frost tender and are even less tolerant of wet and cold than the runner bean, Phaseolus coccineus. Pole lima beans are more productive but bush forms come into bearing more quickly and are probably more suitable for cooler gardens. Plants mature in 12 - 16 weeks from seed in warm climates but the growing season in Britain is usually too short for the beans to mature fully and crop yields are seldom worthwhile.
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Pre-soak the pole lima bean seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Germination should take place within 10 days. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.