Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Types of Green Beans

Pole beans

Pole beans

There are two basic types of green beans: bush beans and pole beans. As you might expect, bush beans are low growing and pole beans need support and grow tall. Here are some characteristics of each:

Bush beans:

  • Grow 1 to 2 feet
  • Prefer warm to hot weather
  • Produce all at once (which is why they’re preferred for commercial, mechanical harvesting)
  • Can be grown in gardens, raised beds, or containers

Pole beans:

  • Grow vertically as runners or vines, typically 6 to 8 feet
  • Need support to climb; teepees, tunnels, and other support systems add interest to the garden and are fun for kids
  • Produce over a period of weeks, making them easy to harvest by hand
  • Can be grown in gardens, raised beds, or containers
  • Good choice if you have limited gardening space.

Within these two main types, you’ll also find varieties with certain characteristics.

Most common bean variety types include:

  • Classic snap: Your basic, reliable green bean.
  • Romano or Italian-style beans: Have flat, broad pods. Includes the beautiful yellow and purple-streaked Dragon’s tongue variety.
  • Stringless snap beans: Cultivated without the string along the seam of the bean (no need to spend time pulling off the string before cooking).
  • Filet cultivars: Slim beans (known in French as haricot verts), usually prepared whole.
  • Long-podded cultivars: Large, long bean varieties.
  • Yellow-podded cultivars: Commonly called “wax beans,” they keep their color when cooked.
  • Purple-podded cultivars: The dark purple color looks beautiful in the garden and makes them easy to see for picking—alas, they turn green when cooked.
  • Runner beans: Similar to pole beans, these green beans are species Phaseolus coccineus. and grow 8 to 10 feet.

Which type of green beans have you grown? Do you have a preference? Please share your opinion.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Enter Your Log In Credentials

This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Need Assistance?

Call Food Gardening Network Customer Service at
(800) 777-2658