Green Beans

Green Beans, Snap Beans
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
derby green beans hanging from vine
Credit: Scott Little
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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
light
  • Sun
plant type
  • Vegetable
height
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 8 to 20 feet
width
  • 18-30 inches wide
propagation

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

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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
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'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

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