How To Grow Cowpeas From Seeds

How To Grow Cowpeas From Seeds

Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) from the Latin family called Fabaceae, is an annual leguminous crop that originates from Africa. It is commonly known as southern pea, blackeye pea, lubia, niebe, etc and you can find it in various places like Southeast Asia, Southern United States, Latin America, etc.

It’s a source of food for humans due to its young pods and soft leaves. Cowpeas bloom in a variety of shapes and sizes, including bush, vine, tall, and short. Do you know that it’s believed by some folks that cowpeas bring good luck on New year’s Day when eaten often?

The crop is favored by drought areas and can be planted outdoors so ensure to weed them properly. It should be watered adequately during drought seasons, however, take note that cowpeas dislike waterlogging.

There are various dos and don’ts in growing cowpeas from seeds which will be enunciated as you keep reading. In this article, you’ll not only know the growing process but other relevant conditions that will aid healthy cowpeas cultivation

Requirements For Growing Cowpeas From Seeds

Planting the cowpeas

Once the last frost is over, it’s best to plant the seeds outdoors. You can use your garden for such a purpose. Its recommended depth and rows set are 2 inches and 3 inches apart and 3 feet apart.

The seeds’ eyes must face down and crop rotation should be adopted with cereal crops, strawberries, etc excluding onions or fennel. Early May and early August are preferable for planting your cowpeas.

Growing the cowpea Seeds

After planting, you want the cowpeas to grow. Then you must ensure that the area has full sun but endeavor to water the crop constantly with caution. Avoid watering the crop’s leaves. It takes 2 – 3 months for harvest. You can support your cowpeas with a pole or fence when growing on a vine. A temperature of 65 degrees or higher is suitable for its germination.

Read also: How To Grow Cowpeas In South Africa


Cowpeas seeds have a lifespan of 4 – 7 years and they’re self-pollinated. It’s best to allow the seeds to fully dry on the vine and by a minimum of 50′ for home use, and separate the southern peas and asparagus, while pure seeds should be separated by a minimum of 150′.

Fertilizer application

Cowpeas detest nitrogen because it only results in poor production. Rhizobium is a bacteria that provide nitrogen in the air to the plant. You will find fixation in the plant’s root nodules and the plants give sugar to the bacteria in return. The relationship between bacteria and cowpeas is symbiotic.


Every variety of cowpeas has its special growing habit. Some are climbers and others are compact naturally, however, they are all drought tolerant. Their varieties include Colossus, Big Red Ripper, Big Boy, Carolina Crowder, and Queen Anne.

Read also: How To Grow Cowpeas In Zambia

Harvest and storage

A replica of cowpeas pods is green beans with a length of 6 – 10 inches. When the pods are young and dried, they can be harvested. Endeavor to store the seeds taken from the dried pods in an airtight container, cool and dry place. The storage temperature should be 55-70°F for 1- 360 days. Learn how to harvest cowpeas here.


Cowpeas encounter various problems like deers, weevils, Aphids, European Corn Borer, Nematodes, Stink Bug, Spider Mites, Birds, Fusarium Wilt, Damping Off, etc so endeavor to use various methods to tackle these problems.

Read also: How To Grow Cowpeas In Florida


I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions about growing cowpeas from seeds. Also, learn how to grow cowpeas in containers here.

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