How To Grow Green Beans in a Pot – Helpful tips

Green beans are some of the most popular vegetables for home gardens in the United States.

Apart from being easy to grow, they can thrive almost anywhere in the country. They are also known to yield as early as 45 days after planting. And they are healthy, too!

Below is an all-inclusive guide on how to grow green beans in a pot.

Suitable Types of Green Beans You Can Grow in a Pot

Typically, there are two main types of green beans: pole and bush beans.

The main difference between these beans is how they grow. Pole beans grow upwards in vines while bush beans grow outwards in bushes.

Pole Beans

Burpee Kentucky Blue Pole Bean Seeds 2 ounces of seed

Pole beans grow vertically instead of laterally, making them suitable to grow in a container. But, they are climbers, meaning their vines require support to grow.

Fortunately, you can use almost any structure as their support, especially outdoor structures like pergolas.

Although they require a lot of maintenance because of their growing nature, they are more resistant to diseases than bush beans.

Usually, pole beans begin producing 55-65 days after planting. While they take longer to start producing, they have a larger yield.

What’s more, they produce continuously for about a month or two as long as you keep harvesting.

Some of the suitable pole bean varieties you can grow in a pot include:

  • Golden Gate beans
  • Kentucky Wonder beans
  • Algarve beans
  • Blue Lake beans

Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about growing pole green beans in a container.

Suitable temperatureAbout 70° Fahrenheit
Water needs1-2 inches of water per week
Soil drainageWell-drained soil
Soil typeSandy loam soil
Sun exposure6-8 hours of full sun exposure

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Bush Beans

Burpee Stringless Green Pod Bush Bean Seeds 4 ounces of seed

Also called dwarf beans, these legumes grow in bushes that only reach about 2 feet tall. This makes them suitable to grow in shallow pots.

Bush beans germinate within 6-10 days and take 50-60 days to produce.

Unlike pole beans, bush beans produce all at once. So, we recommend staggering them every two weeks to enjoy a continuous harvest.

Some of the bush bean varieties you can grow in a pot include:

  • Top Crop beans
  • Contender beans
  • Kentucky beans

Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about growing bush green beans in a container.

Water needs2-3 inches of water per week
Soil drainageWell-drained soil
Suitable temperature65-80° Fahrenheit
Soil typeSandy loam soil
Sun exposureFull sun exposure

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Tips for Growing Green Beans in a Container

Although green beans are easy to grow, you still need to plant them the right way to enjoy maximum yields. Here are a couple of tips on how to grow green in a pot.

Pick the Right Pot Size

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Typically, green beans have shallow roots making them suitable to grow in pots.

We recommend going for a large enough container that can hold enough soil and, as a result, retain moisture for a longer period.

A bigger pot will also allow you to space out your green bean seeds when planting. Doing so will enable all parts of the plants to receive sunshine even as they leaf out.

Since bush beans grow in bushes, they require more space – about 6-7 inches between each seed. Pole beans need about 4-5 inches between each seed.

Bush beans need a container that’s 6-7 inches deep. On the other hand, pole beans need a pot that is 8-9 inches deep since they have longer root systems.

We recommend growing pole beans in a heavier and wider container that is less likely to break to accommodate the weight and height of their vines.

Your pot should also have drain holes but not too much to oversaturate the soil. While green beans thrive in well-drained soil, they still need a good amount of moisture.

So, can you grow green beans in a pot made from any material? Absolutely. From wooden boxes to barrels to terracotta pots, you can grow green beans in almost any type of container.

Just ensure that it is big enough and provides a perfect balance of water retention and drainage.

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Pick the Right Location

Green beans need a location that provides them with a perfect blend of shade and sunlight.

For starters, they require a place where they can get up to 8 hours of full sun exposure.

Green beans need sunlight for their flowers to blossom. The energy from the sun also warms the soil to a suitable temperature, creating the perfect environment they need for germination.

If the soil is too cold (below 50°F), your green bean seeds will rot.

Pole beans need a good amount of sunshine to enable the vines that hold the beans to grow stronger.

Since bush beans mature faster, it is advisable to grow them in a cool, shady environment to extend their growing season.

Use the Right Soil

FoxFarm Ocean Forest FX14000 -1.5 Cubic Foot Organic Potting Soil

One good thing about beans, in general, is that they are not picky in terms of the type of soil they grow in.

This is because they release nitrogen into the soil, which allows them to thrive in soil with low nutrients, unlike other plants.

However, it is recommendable to use fresh potting soil mix for your green beans to enjoy a good harvest.

Potting soil mix contains perlite and vermiculite that increase the soil’s aeration, drainage, and nutrient retention.

Usually, green beans thrive in soil with pH levels of 6-7. So, it is important to ensure that your soil’s pH levels are within that range. A pH strip can come in handy when testing soil Ph.

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Tips on How To Care for Growing Green Beans

Like any other vegetable, how you care for your green beans as they grow will significantly determine the quality and quantity of your yield.

Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your green beans.

Balance Your Soil’s pH

As we mentioned earlier, green beans grow well in soil with pH levels of 6-7, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

Keeping your soil within this range improves your green beans’ nutrient and mineral uptake.

But, what if your soil’s pH is not within that range? Fortunately, there are several ways you can bring it to balance.

One popular way to do so is to add agricultural lime to your soil. This type of lime contains magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate, which raises your soil’s pH.

Balancing your soil’s pH also entails lowering it if it’s high.

An excellent way to do so is to add elemental sulfur. When added to soil, elemental sulfur produces hydrogen ions that naturally lower its pH.

However, before adding anything to your soil, be sure to check its pH levels first.

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Water Your Green Beans Properly

Normally, pole beans need at least one inch of water every week. Doing so will keep the soil moist while not making it too soggy. Remember, green beans don’t thrive in waterlogged soil.

On the other hand, bush green beans require at least 2 inches of water per week. We recommend applying water directly into the soil.

Doing so will keep your plants nourished for a longer time.

Before watering your green beans, it’s important to check if the soil still has moisture to avoid overwatering it.

One way to do so is to insert your finger about 1-2 inches into your soil mix. If the soil feels damp, you might want to apply water sparingly.

If it feels dry, apply enough water, but not too much to make it soggy.

Add Mulch to Your Soil

Green beans thrive in soil with temperatures of at least 50°F.

One way to keep your soil at this temperature is to add mulch. Besides moderating soil’s temperature, mulching also helps retain moisture in your soil.

Organic mulch also decomposes, adding more nutrients to the soil.

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Pinch Out the Top of Your Pole Beans

Pinching out the top of your beans once they reach the top of their support prevents them from tangling together.

It also naturally channels its efforts to produce more beans and flowers. What’s more, this practice also increases the ripening rate of existing bean pods.

Weed Your Green Bean Plants

There are many benefits of weeding your green beans as they grow.

For starters, most weeds serve as hosts for various plant diseases and pests. Getting rid of them minimizes the risk of them destroying your green beans.

Weeds also utilize the same nutrients in the soil as your green beans. Removing them will allow your plants to enjoy those minerals and nutrients without competing for them.

It is recommendable to pluck out the weeds when the soil is moist as their roots will come out easily. Also, pull out the weeds before they begin to seed to prevent them from spreading.

It is also advisable to remove as many of their root systems as possible to prevent them from growing again.

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Tips on Harvesting Green Beans

As we explained earlier, pole green beans take 55-65 days to produce while bush green beans take 50-60 days.

So, how many green beans can I get per plant? Pole beans produce about 6-7 lbs. per plant, while bush beans produce 3 to 4 lbs. per plant.

Bush beans tend to produce faster but for a shorter period. On the other hand, pole beans take longer to mature but produce for a longer period.

Here are some tips on harvesting green beans.

Pick Them When They’re Still Young

Pick your green beans when they are young, just about 3-7 inches long or before the seeds are fully developed. Doing so will enable you to get fresh, crunchy, and tasty beans.

Pick Your Green Beans Regularly

Regularly harvesting your green beans will encourage your plants to produce even more.

How often you harvest green beans depends on your preferred texture. If you like them tender, pick them every 2-3 days. You even can harvest them every day if you want.

If you like your green beans meatier, you can pick them every 4-5 days.

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What Are Some of the Common Pests and Diseases That Affect Green Beans?

While green beans are easy to grow and maintain, they are also prone to diseases and pests.

Let’s look at a couple of them.


They may look like slow, harmless animals, but these creatures can destroy plants, especially green beans.

Snails chew on leaves, fruits, and even roots, slowly destroying plants. They mainly target young plants, so it is best to keep an eye out for them when your green beans are developing.

One effective way to get rid of them is using salt. But, you need to be careful as it may also destroy your plants.

White Mold

Also called powdery mildew, this is a fungal disease that leaves a white residue on the leaves and stems of plants, especially green beans.

While it may seem harmless, white mold affects the photosynthesis process of plants by preventing them from absorbing sunlight.

This may slowly weaken your green bean plants, affecting the quality of their yields.

Normally, white mold thrives in damp soil. Its spores require moisture to develop into mold. An excellent way to prevent this disease from your green beans is to space them out while planting.

It is also recommendable to expose them to full sunlight for at least 6 hours.

Other pests and diseases that are likely to affect your green beans include:

  • Stem anthracnose
  • Aphids
  • Bean rust
  •  Armyworms
  •  Bean leaf beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Corn earworms
  • Gray mold
  • Bacterial bean blight
  • Stink bugs

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How To Grow Green Beans in a Pot
How To Grow Green Beans in a Pot

FAQs on Growing Green Beans

How many green bean plants can be grown in a 5-gallon bucket?

A lot! You could probably get 5-8 plants in a 5-gallon bucket.
If you want to plant more than that, you can either use a bigger container or plant them in intervals. For example, if you want to plant 24 green beans, you could plant 3 plants in each of 8 5-gallon buckets, or 6 plants in each of 4 10-gallon buckets.

What size pot do I need to grow green beans?

A 5-gallon pot should be sufficient to grow green beans. And also, A six-inch pot should suffice.
Green beans do best when grown in soil that is rich in organic matter. Soil that has been amended with compost or manure is ideal. If you don’t have access to such soil, you can purchase a soil amendment like garden compost or vermiculite to add to your potting mix.
Be sure to plant green beans in full sun and water them regularly. They will need about an inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. Fertilize the plants every two weeks with a soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.

Can you grow green beans in a bucket?

Yes, you can most definitely grow green beans in a bucket. In fact, growing vegetables in containers is a great way to get started with gardening if you don’t have a lot of space. All you need is a bucket (with drainage holes), some potting soil, and your chosen bean seeds.
Here are a few tips for growing green beans in a bucket:
Make sure your bucket has drainage holes drilled into the bottom so that excess water can drain out. Otherwise, your beans will drown.
Fill the bucket about halfway with potting soil. Plant 2-3 seeds per hole, and lightly cover with more soil. Water well.
Place the bucket in a sunny place

How many beans can you plant in a pot?

The number of beans that can be planted in a pot will depend on the size of the pot. For example, a small pot may only be able to accommodate one or two bean plants, whereas a large pot could potentially fit several dozen. When deciding how many beans to plant, it is also important to consider the desired space between each plant, as well as the harvest potential from the given area. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for more information specific to your region.

How deep should a container be for green beans?

A container for green beans should be about six inches deep.
Green beans need plenty of room to grow, and will do best in a container that is at least six inches deep. When planting green beans, be sure to bury the bean completely in soil with just the top part visible. This will help ensure good root growth.

How many green beans does a plant produce?

A green bean plant produces an average of 10-12 pods. However, some plants can produce as many as 20 pods, while others may yield only six or seven pods. A green bean plant typically produces about 10-15 beans.

What month do you plant green beans?

If you want to plant green beans, the best time to do so is in late May or early June. This gives the plants enough time to mature before the hot summer weather arrives. You can also plant green beans in July or August, but the plants may not produce as many beans because they’ll be competing with the hot temperatures. Whichever month you choose to plant, make sure that you give the green beans plenty of water and fertilize them regularly. With a little care, you should have harvesting!

How long does it take green beans to grow?

It takes green beans about 60 days to grow. You can start harvesting them when they’re about 6-7 inches long.

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Final Thoughts

Home gardening comes with a ton of benefits. Besides being a great hobby to engage in, it enables you to be in more control of what you eat since you grow your food.

Green beans are some of the easiest vegetables to grow and can thrive in almost any condition. However, we recommend picking a green bean variety that naturally grows well in your location. This will save you from the frustration of planting green beans that won’t produce much yield.