How to Grow Green Beans – A Beginner’s Guide

green beans plant growing in garden
Green beans, which are known botanically as Phaseolus vulgaris, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing green beans as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Green Beans

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the green bean seeds after the last danger of frost in spring. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when green beans are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Green Beans the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing green beans in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your green beans grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.5.

roughly 10″ apart in rows. 4″ apart in rows 20-36″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 1-1.5″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your green bean seedlings 3-6″ apart when seedlings are 3-4″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Green Beans

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your green beans. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your green beans should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Green Beans

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your green beans do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your green beans begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Green Beans to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your green beans grow.

It takes approximately 8-14 days to germinate, and a total of 50-60 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Green Beans

The best time to harvest your green beans is when they are firm and crisp.

Green beans can grow up to about 6-8″ long.

What Can Green Beans Be Used For?

Food Use: great for steaming, stir-frying, and salads.

Flavor Profile: fresh, tender, and slightly sweet.

Can Green Beans Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant up to 4 plants per 12″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your green beans around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Green Beans Safe for Bees?

Yes, green beans are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing green beans is bee-friendly.

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