Green Beans

Green Beans, Snap Beans
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
derby green beans hanging from vine
Credit: Scott Little
derby green beans hanging from vine
Green Beans, Snap Beans

Greens beans are a type of snap bean that actually come in several colors, despite the name. Yellow or gold beans are often called wax beans and have a mild flavor. Purple beans boast a slightly more intense flavor and are just as productive as their green and yellow cousins. Whether you choose to grow bush varieties or those that ramble up a pole or across a fence, homegrown snap beans are a must-have summer treat.

genus name
  • Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Sun
plant type
  • Vegetable
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 8 to 20 feet
  • 18-30 inches wide

Green Bean Care Must-Knows

Green beans are easy to grow from seed planted directly in the garden. One of the keys to a great bean crop is to wait until the night temperature regularly stays above 55° F before planting. Bean seeds germinate poorly if planted too early. Select a full sun planting site that has fertile, well-drained soil. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart in rows 18–24 inches apart. Sow seeds every three weeks or so until the end of June to provide a long, continued harvest.

Commonly munched by rabbits and deer, protect bean plants with fencing if these garden invaders are a problem in your area. Few other pests and diseases threaten beans. Prevent disease in future years by planting beans in a different spot in the garden each year. This practice is called crop rotation and cuts down on disease proliferation.

Green Bean Harvest Tips

Harvest most green beans when pods are 6-8 inches long, before pods and seeds reach full size, 45-55 days after planting. Specialty bush beans called filet beans should be harvested when pods are only ¼ inch in diameter. Harvest shelling beans once seeds have reached full size, about 80 days after planting. Dried beans take approximately 100-120 days to reach maturity. Because dried pods may split open and drop beans to the ground, place a large pan or bucket under the plants when harvesting dried beans.

More Varieties of Green Beans

jade bean
Credit: Scott Little

'Jade' bean

'Jade' bean offers slender, deep green pods that remain tender and productive in the heat of summer.

derby bean
Credit: Scott Little

'Derby' bean

'Derby' bean produces tender, 7-inch-long pods that are easy to harvest. Plants resist disease well.

'Blue Lake 274' bean
Credit: Scott Little

'Blue Lake 274' bean

This cultivar is a bush type that produces 6-inch-long green pods on bushy plants.

romano pole bean
Credit: Scott Little

'Romano' pole bean

This selection forms a vigorous vine, which features pods that remain stringless even when large.

royal burgundy bean
Credit: Bill Stites

'Royal Burgundy' bean

'Royal Burgundy' bean bears nutritious purple pods that turn green when cooked.

roc dor snap bean
Credit: Scott Little

'Roc d'Or' snap bean

This variety is a yellow-pod type that's also called wax bean. 'Roc d'Or' bears 6-inch-long yellow pods 52 days after planting.

scarlet runner bean
Credit: Jay Graham

'Scarlet Runner' bean

'Scarlet Runner' bean is named for its attractive orangy-red flowers produced on vining plants. It is a different species (Phaseolus coccineus) than snap beans. It's most often grown for its ornamental value, but it also produces tasty shelling beans.

Garden Plans for Green Beans

vegetable garden plan illustration
Credit: Illustration by Gary Palmer

Fall Vegetable Garden Plan

Autumn's mild temperatures create perfect growing conditions for fall vegetables like kale and carrots. Here's how to enjoy these late-season treats by planting some fall garden vegetables.

Click here to download this plan!

summer vegetable garden illustration
Credit: Illustration by Gary Palmer

Summer Vegetable Garden Plan

Enjoy summer's finest flavors with this fun and easy garden plan. This arrangement offers tons of color and texture as well as variety in flavors.

Get this garden plan.

vegetable garden plan illustration
Credit: Illustration by Gary Palmer

Planting Plans Inspired by the White House Kitchen Garden

Grow a 4x12-foot version of the White House Kitchen Garden (designed by Better Homes and Gardens garden editors) on your own south (or east or west) lawn. All you need is a spot that gets six or more hours of sunshine each day.

Download this garden plan!


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