Explore Bean Plant Varieties For the Garden

Bean Plant Varieties For the Garden
16 min reading time

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on bean plant varieties for the garden. If you’re a green thumb enthusiast looking to cultivate a bountiful bean crop in your garden, you’ve come to the right place.

Beans are not only easy to grow but also provide numerous health benefits, making them a popular choice for home gardeners. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newbie, we will introduce you to a variety of bean plants suitable for different garden settings.

Key Highlights:

  • Discover the world of bean plant varieties suitable for your garden
  • Understand the different types of bean plants that thrive in garden settings
  • Learn about the best bean plants specifically tailored for garden cultivation
  • Explore bush bean and pole bean varieties to maximize your garden space
  • Gain practical tips on choosing the right bean plant variety for your garden and how to plant and care for them

Best Bean Plant Varieties For the Garden

When it comes to growing beans in your garden, choosing the right plants can make all the difference. Not only do you want varieties that yield a bountiful harvest, but also ones that are easy to grow and add beauty to your garden. Here are some of the best bean plants specifically tailored for garden cultivation.

Bush Beans

Bush beans are a great option for those with limited garden space or who prefer to grow beans in containers. These compact plants grow to around 2 feet tall and do not require any support. Here are some popular bush bean varieties:

ProviderA high-yielding variety that produces straight, stringless pods.
ContenderA disease-resistant variety that performs well in hot weather.
Blue Lake BushA classic favorite with tender, flavorful pods.

Pole Beans

Pole beans are a good choice for those with more garden space who want to add vertical interest to their garden. These plants can grow up to 10 feet tall, so they require support such as trellises or poles. Here are some popular pole bean varieties:

Kentucky WonderA popular heirloom variety with a rich, sweet flavor.
Scarlet RunnerAn ornamental variety with bright red flowers and tasty pods.
RattlesnakeA unique variety with purple streaks on the pods and a nutty flavor.

Whichever bean plant variety you choose, remember to provide them with plenty of sun, water, and fertilizer to ensure a healthy crop. Happy gardening!

Bush Bean Varieties

Bush bean plants are a popular choice for gardeners with limited space, as their compact size makes them ideal for small gardens or container planting. Unlike pole beans, they do not require staking or support, making them easy to grow and maintain. Bush beans are categorized based on how they mature:

Determinate Bush Beans

Determinate bush beans grow to a specific height and mature quickly, providing an abundant harvest over a short period. These beans are ideal for gardeners looking for a single, large harvest. Determinate bush bean varieties include:

Bean VarietyDescription
Roma IIA popular and flavorful variety with long, straight pods.
ContenderA classic variety with high yields and disease resistance.
ProviderAn early-maturing variety with a high yield and excellent flavor.

Indeterminate Bush Beans

Indeterminate bush beans have a longer growing period and produce a continuous yield throughout the growing season. These beans are ideal for gardeners looking for a steady supply of fresh beans. Indeterminate bush bean varieties include:

  • Bush Blue Lake
  • Derby
  • Dragon Tongue

When selecting bush bean varieties, it’s important to consider your growing conditions, as certain varieties may perform better in specific climates. Additionally, consider your personal preferences for flavor, texture, and appearance.

Next, we will explore pole bean varieties and their unique features.

Pole Bean Varieties – Adding Vertical Interest to Your Garden

Bean Plant Varieties For the Garden

If you have a bit more space or want to add vertical interest to your garden, pole bean varieties are a great choice. These bean plants grow tall and require support, so they’re perfect for creating a living trellis or fence. Pole beans have an extended growing season and yield beans over a more extended period than bush beans.

Types of Pole Beans

There are several types of pole bean plants to choose from, including:

  • Blue Lake Pole Bean: A favorite for generations, this versatile pole bean has a delicious flavor and is perfect for canning, freezing or fresh eating.
  • Rattlesnake Pole Bean: An heirloom variety with a unique purple streak on the pod. It’s known for its sweet, nutty flavor and tender texture.
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean: Another heirloom variety that is easy to grow and has a delicious, sweet, and savory flavor. It’s a perfect choice for fresh eating and canning.
  • Scarlet Runner Pole Bean: A visually stunning pole bean with vibrant red flowers that attract hummingbirds. It has a distinct flavor, similar to a lima bean, and is perfect for casseroles, soups, and stews.

Benefits of Growing Pole Beans

Pole beans provide several benefits to your garden, including:

  • Vertical growth saves garden space
  • Higher yields per plant than bush beans
  • Extended harvest season
  • Beautiful flowers that attract pollinators
  • Creates an attractive living trellis or fence

Supporting Your Pole Beans

Pole beans require a support structure to grow correctly. The support structure can be a trellis, fence, teepee or any other suitable vertical structure. The support should be at least six feet tall, and the pole beans should be planted roughly six inches apart, with at least a foot between planting rows. Pole beans grow fast, so it’s essential to ensure they have something to climb before they start to vine.

Heirloom Bean Plant Varieties: Exploring the Rich History and Unique Flavors

Heirloom bean plant varieties are more than just a crop; they have a rich cultural significance and unique flavors that set them apart from other bean varieties. These plants have been cultivated for generations and passed down by seed-saving enthusiasts to preserve their treasured characteristics.

Unlike hybrid bean plants, which are specifically bred for desired traits, heirloom bean plants offer a diverse range of colors, shapes, and flavors. These beans can be traced back to historic times and offer a glimpse into the culinary traditions of different cultures.

The Fascinating World of Heirloom Bean Plant Varieties

Heirloom bean plants are generally classified into three groups – pole beans, bush beans, and lima beans, each with distinct characteristics and growing habits. Within these groups, there are countless varieties characterized by their unique flavors, colors, and origins. Some popular examples include:

Heirloom VarietyOrigin/Cultural SignificanceFlavor Profile
Cherokee Trail of TearsNative American / Cherokee tribeEarthy, nutty flavor, and tender texture.
Dragon TongueEuropeMild, sweet flavor with a unique purple speckled appearance.
Good Mother StallardMexicoComplex, nutty flavor with a creamy texture.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of flavors and cultural connections found within heirloom bean plant varieties. Exploring the world of heirloom beans can be an exciting culinary adventure.

Choosing the Right Bean Plant Variety for Your Garden

Growing beans in a garden can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, selecting the right bean plant variety is crucial to ensure optimal growth and yield. Here are some practical tips to help you choose the right bean plant variety for your garden:

Consider Your Garden Size

If you have a small garden or plan to grow beans in containers, consider bush bean varieties. These compact plants take up less space and require minimal support. On the other hand, if you have a larger garden or want to add vertical interest, pole bean varieties may be your best bet. These climbing plants can reach several feet tall and require trellises or other support structures.

Take Your Climate into Account

Different bean plant varieties thrive in different climates. For example, some bean plants prefer cooler temperatures, while others do better in warmer climates. Research the optimal growing conditions for the bean plant variety you are interested in and ensure that they are suitable for your garden’s climate.

Consider Your Personal Preferences

Do you prefer snap beans or shelling beans? Are you looking for a specific flavor or color? Take your personal preferences into account when selecting a bean plant variety. Some bean varieties even offer unique shapes and textures, such as Dragon Tongue beans or Purple Queen beans.

Ultimately, the right bean plant variety for your garden will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the size of your garden, your climate, and your personal tastes when making your selection.

Planting and Growing Bean Plants in the Garden

Now that you have chosen your desired bean plant varieties, it’s time to learn how to plant and care for them in your garden. Follow these practical gardening tips to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest of delicious beans:

  • Choose a sunny location: Bean plants love the sun, so select a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Prepare the soil: Bean plants prefer well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Mix compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to improve fertility and drainage.
  • Sow seeds: Sow seeds directly into the soil after the last frost date. Plant bush beans two inches apart and pole beans four to six inches apart. Cover the seeds with one inch of soil and water gently.
  • Provide support: If you are growing pole beans, provide a trellis, bamboo poles, or a fence for the plants to climb. This will help maximize your garden space and prevent the beans from touching the ground where they can become diseased or infested with pests.
  • Water regularly: Bean plants need consistent moisture to thrive, so water them deeply once a week or more often during dry spells.
  • Fertilize: Apply a balanced fertilizer once the plants start to produce flowers and again two weeks later.
  • Watch for pests and diseases: Common bean pests include aphids, spider mites, and Mexican bean beetles. Diseases such as anthracnose and powdery mildew can also affect bean plants. Consult a gardening guide or your local nursery for information on controlling these problems.
  • Harvest beans: Bush beans are ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days; pole beans take 60 to 90 days. Pick the beans regularly when they are young and tender for the best flavor and texture.

By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy a healthy and abundant bean crop all season long. With a little care, your bean plants will reward you with juicy and flavorful beans that are perfect for adding to soups, salads, and other dishes.

Common Challenges and Solutions for Growing Beans in the Garden

Growing beans in a garden can be a delightful and rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Here are some common issues that gardeners may encounter when growing bean plants and practical solutions to overcome them.

Pests and Diseases

Bean plants are susceptible to various pests and diseases, including aphids, spider mites, and bacterial blight. The best defense against pests and diseases is to maintain healthy plants.

Solution: Practice proper plant hygiene to prevent the spread of diseases. Remove and destroy any infected plants or debris, and rotate your crops to avoid planting beans in the same spot in consecutive years. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to keep pests at bay.

Weather-Related Challenges

Weather can significantly impact the growth and yield of your bean plants. High temperatures, strong winds, and heavy rains can all cause damage to the crops.

Solution: Choose bean plant varieties that are suited to your climate and the conditions in your garden. Provide proper support for pole beans to prevent wind damage. Use row covers to protect your plants from extreme weather conditions.

Soil Conditions

Bean plants require well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Soil that is too acidic or too alkaline can hinder plant growth and yield.

Solution: Test your soil to determine its pH level and adjust it accordingly. Add organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil drainage and fertility. Avoid planting beans in areas where water tends to accumulate, as this can lead to root rot.

Improper Harvesting

Harvesting beans too late or too early can affect the yield and quality of your crop. Improper harvesting can also damage the plants and reduce future yield.

Solution: Harvest your bean plants regularly when the pods are plump and before they become too mature. Pick beans early in the morning when they are still cool and use sharp scissors or pruners to avoid damaging the plants.

By being mindful of these common challenges and implementing practical solutions, you can grow healthy and productive bean plants in your garden. Now that you are aware of these tips, your garden can thrive, resulting in a bountiful harvest of delicious beans. Happy gardening!

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Bean Crop

Bean Plant Varieties For the Garden

After all the hard work, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Harvesting your beans at the right time is crucial for optimum flavor and tenderness. Most bean varieties mature within 50-60 days after planting. Look out for these signs that your beans are ready:

  • The beans are firm, full-sized, and brightly colored.
  • The pods snap easily when bent.
  • The seeds inside are fully formed and plump.

Harvest your beans in the morning when the plants are dry. Gently pull the beans off the plant or use scissors to cut them off at the stem. Try not to damage the plant while harvesting. If you’re harvesting pole beans, be sure to give them proper support while picking to avoid pulling down the entire trellis or support structure.

For bush beans, harvest the beans regularly to encourage more growth and prevent the plant from going to seed quickly. Pole beans will keep producing as long as you keep them picked. A mature single pole bean plant can yield up to 20 pounds of beans per season.

Once harvested, rinse the beans in cold water and drain them. They’re ready to be cooked or stored. Beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for long-term storage. Blanche the beans for 3-4 minutes before freezing.

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy your fresh harvest:

  1. Grilled green beans tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Sautéed green beans with garlic, lemon, and parmesan cheese.
  3. Baked beans with bacon, onions, and brown sugar.
  4. Spicy black bean chili with ground beef, tomatoes, and chili powder.

Experiment with different recipes and find what works best for you. And don’t forget to save some beans for seed saving and future planting.

Bean Plant Varieties for Specific Garden Conditions

While many bean plant varieties can thrive in a traditional garden setting, some may fare better in unique environments, such as container gardens or raised beds. Identifying the right bean variety for your garden’s specific conditions can ensure the health and productivity of your plants.

Container Gardens

For those with limited outdoor space or looking to add greenery to a balcony or patio, container gardening can be an excellent choice. When selecting bean plants for container gardens, consider choosing compact bush varieties that won’t overtake their surroundings. Some popular options include:

Bean VarietyContainer RequirementsSpecial Considerations
Bush Blue Lake 274Containers at least 12 inches deep and wideProduce tender, long beans with excellent flavor
ContenderContainers at least 10 inches deep and wideHeavy yield of straight, tender beans
ProviderContainers at least 12 inches deep and wideDisease-resistant and produces abundant, flavorful beans

Raised Beds

Raised beds offer gardeners the opportunity to create a specific soil mix and optimal growing conditions for their plants. When selecting bean plants for raised beds, consider choosing varieties that are disease-resistant and can grow tall with adequate support. Some popular options include:

  • Blue Lake Pole
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole
  • Rattlesnake

These pole bean varieties can grow up to 10 feet tall and require a trellis or support structure to climb. In raised beds, provide at least 6 inches of space between plants to ensure adequate airflow and minimize the risk of disease.

Low Sunlight Conditions

While beans typically require full sunlight for optimal growth, some varieties can tolerate partial shade and lower light conditions. When selecting bean plants for shadier areas of your garden, consider choosing bush bean varieties that can grow in more compact spaces and require less direct sunlight. Some popular options include:

“Provider, Blue Lake, and Kentucky Wonder are all bush beans that can grow well in environments with less sunlight exposure. They are also disease-resistant and can produce a high yield of delicious beans,” shares gardening expert, Niki Jabbour.

With the right bean plant variety selection, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of tender, flavorful beans no matter your garden’s unique conditions.


We hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of different bean plant varieties suitable for your garden. With our green thumb guide, you can now confidently explore the diverse options available and select the best bean plants based on your garden’s size, climate, and personal preferences.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, growing beans can be a rewarding experience. From luscious heirloom varieties to compact bush beans and climbing pole beans, there’s a bean plant for every garden type and condition.


What are the different types of bean plant varieties for the garden?

There are various types of bean plant varieties suitable for garden cultivation, including bush beans, pole beans, and heirloom beans.

What are the best bean plants for the garden?

Some popular bean plant varieties for the garden include Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake, and Scarlet Runner beans.

What are bush bean varieties?

Bush bean varieties are compact plants that are ideal for small gardens or containers.

What are pole bean varieties?

Pole bean varieties are climbing plants that can add vertical interest to your garden and maximize space.

What are heirloom bean plant varieties?

Heirloom bean plant varieties have a rich history and offer unique flavors. They are treasured for their cultural significance.

How do I choose the right bean plant variety for my garden?

When choosing a bean plant variety, consider factors such as your garden size, climate, and personal preferences.

How do I plant and grow bean plants in the garden?

To plant and grow bean plants in your garden, follow essential steps such as preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, and providing support for pole beans.

What are some common challenges when growing beans in the garden?

Common challenges when growing beans in the garden include pests, diseases, and weather-related issues.

How do I harvest and enjoy my bean crop?

Harvest beans at the ideal time, learn proper harvesting techniques, and explore delicious recipes to enjoy your bean crop.

How do I save bean seeds for future planting?

To save bean seeds, select the right seeds, harvest and store them properly, and become self-sufficient in growing your preferred varieties.

What bean plant varieties are suitable for specific garden conditions?

There are bean plant varieties that thrive in unique garden conditions such as container gardens, raised beds, or areas with limited sunlight.

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