What Are Bunch Peanuts: Learn About Bunch Peanut Plants

bunch peanuts
bunch peanuts
(Image credit: thanasus)

Peanuts are a huge agricultural crop in the southeastern United States. All that peanut butter has to come from somewhere. Beyond that, however, they’re also a fun and fascinating plant to grow in the garden, as long as your growing season is long enough. There are a few major distinctions among peanut varieties. Keep reading to learn more about bunch type peanuts.

What are Bunch Peanuts?

Peanuts can be split into two main growth pattern types: bunch and runner. Runner peanuts have long branches with nuts growing or ‘running’ all along their length. Bunch peanut plants, on the other hand, produce all their nuts at the end of these branches, in a bunch. It’s an easy distinction to remember. Bunch type peanuts do not yield as highly as runners, and because of this they are not grown as frequently, especially agriculturally. They’re still worth growing, however, especially in the garden where you’re not looking for maximum yield for peanut butter production.

How to Grow Bunch Peanut Plants

Bunch peanuts are grown the same way as other peanut varieties. They need warm weather and sun, and they prefer sandy, loose soil. The soil needs to be at least 65 F. (18 C.) for germination to take place, and the plants take at least 120 days to reach maturity. After the flowers are pollinated, the plants’ branches will lengthen and droop, sinking into the soil and forming the peanuts underground in bunches. Once the branches have submerged, it takes 9 to 10 weeks for the fruits to be ready for harvest. Peanuts, like other legumes, are nitrogen fixing and need very little in the way of fertilizer. Extra calcium is a good idea for maximum fruit production, however. Now that you know a little more about bunch peanut varieties, why not give them a try in your garden this year?

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.