Cowpeas Growing Guide

Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata


Crop Rotation Group

Legumes (Pea and Bean family) 


Any average, well drained soil.


Full sun in very warm locations only.

Frost tolerant

No. Cowpeas are semi-tropical plants that crave warm growing conditions.


When using cowpeas to improve very poor soil, mixing a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting will give better results.


Often planted with other heat-tolerant summer- blooming annuals.


Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 15cm (5") with 35cm (1' 1") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow when the soil is warm. Cowpeas will not germinate in cold soil.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Cowpeas are a good nitrogen-fixing summer cover crop for warm climates, where the vegetable seasons are sharply divided by a period of hot weather.


Pull up or turn under plants any time after they are about 4 weeks old, but before they develop pods.


Rarely bothered by pests or diseases when grown in warm weather.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Cowpeas