The Journey of Green Beans: 6 Green Bean Plant Stages

Green Bean Plant Stages
Green Bean Plant Stages

Are you looking to learn more about green bean plant stages? This article will explore the different stages of growth that green beans go through and how to best care for them during each stage.

Green Bean Plant Stages

Green beans are a part of the legume family. Depending on the variety, these beans can either be bush or pole beans. They grow best in warmer climates, with full sun and plenty of water. Most green bean varieties mature from seed in 50-65 days, with a few pole bean varieties needing as long as 70-80 days.

From planting the seeds to harvesting beans, there are a few key lifecycle stages that beans go through. So, let’s dive in and explore the different stages of green bean growth!

Stage 1: Seeds

Green Bean Plant Stages - Seeds
Green Bean Plant Stages – Seeds

The first green bean growth stage is the seed stage. There are many different varieties of green beans available, including bush and pole beans.

Bush beans grow more compactly and don’t require support, while pole beans need a trellis or other support to climb. So choose your seeds!

During this stage, seeds are planted in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Seeds should be planted about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep and spaced 6 inches (15.2 cm) apart.

Green bean seeds can be planted any time after the last frost date when the soil is warmer than 55°F (12°C). It’s important not to plant too early, as moist, cold soil will delay germination and could cause seeds to rot.

These edibles need plenty of sunlight to grow and produce a lot of pods. So, choose a spot with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Pro Tip: Green beans are easy to grow. You can start them indoors for a head start or wait for a suitable soil temperature and start them directly outdoors.

Stage 2: Germination

Green Bean Plant Stages - Germination
Green Bean Plant Stages – Germination

During germination, green bean seeds absorb water and swell. This triggers the growth of the embryonic plant inside the seed. The first part of the plant to emerge is usually the primary root, which will grow downwards in search of water and nutrients.

As roots grow, the stem will elongate and push upwards toward the surface. The stem eventually breaks through the soil surface, carrying the seed leaves (cotyledons). These leaves will open up and begin to photosynthesize, providing energy for further growth.

Germination can take anywhere from 5 to 10 days, depending on factors such as soil temperature and moisture levels. Keeping the soil moist during this stage is vital to ensure successful germination.

Stage 3: Foliage Growth

Green Bean Plant Stages - Foliage Growth
Green Bean Plant Stages – Foliage Growth

As the seedlings begin to sprout, foliage growth becomes a priority for the green bean plant. During this stage, the plant focuses its energy on growing leaves and stems. The plant continues to grow taller and produce more leaves, which are responsible for photosynthesis and provide energy for further growth.

When it comes to green bean foliage growth, there are two distinct types: bush and pole. Bush beans grow in a compact bush shape and typically reach a height of up to 24 inches (61 cm). Pole beans, on the other hand, grow in a vining pattern and can reach a length of up to 120 inches (305 cm).

Bush beans generally require less maintenance, as they grow relatively short and don’t need extra support. This makes them a perfect option for those looking for an easy-to-grow plant. Pole beans, however, need a trellis or other type of support to grow successfully.

Pro Tip: During the foliage growth stage, you might notice your green bean leaves turning yellow. Read our “8 Reasons Green Bean Plants Turning Yellow And Tips How To Fix Them” article for more information.

Stage 4: Flowering

Green Bean Plant Stages - Flowering
Green Bean Plant Stages – Flowering

Now that the green beans have developed their foliage, it’s time to move on to the next stage: flowering. During this stage, the plant begins to produce small, delicate flowers. These flowers are typically white or pale yellow and grow in clusters along the stem.

The flowers are an important part of the green bean plant’s reproductive process. They contain both male and female reproductive organs and are self-pollinating.

Bumblebees or other flying insects will help pollinate the flowers. If there are lack of pollinators, you may need to gently shake the flowers or use a small paintbrush to pollinate them.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, leafhoppers, thrips, Mexican bean beetles, and spider mites during this stage. These pests can damage foliage or flowers and reduce the plant’s yield.

Stage 5: Pod Setting

Green Bean Plant Stages - Pod Setting
Green Bean Plant Stages – Pod Setting

After the flowers have been pollinated, the next stage of the green bean plant is pod setting. During this time, flowers on the green bean plants will start to fade, and small pods will form. These pods will continue to grow and fill as the beans inside mature.

It usually takes around 10 days for pods to reach full maturity. While some pods are maturing and reaching their full size, new flowers will appear to form new pods. This cycle allows for continuous production of green beans throughout the growing season.”

As the pods grow, it’s important to keep the soil moist. A layer of mulch around the base of the plants can help retain moisture.

Stage 6: Harvest

Green Bean Plant Stages - Harvest
Green Bean Plant Stages – Harvest

The final stage of green bean growth is harvest. This is the time when the pods are ready to be picked. Green beans can be harvested for the pods or the beans inside the pods.

When harvesting for the pods, it is best to pick them when they are young, firm, and crisp before the beans inside become too large and tough.

When harvesting for beans inside the pods, it is best to wait until they have become plump and the beans inside have reached their full size.

The timing of harvest will depend on the desired use of the green beans. Pick them early in the morning while they are still cool and crisp from the night before. This will give you the best flavor and texture.

To harvest green beans, simply grasp the pod near the top and gently pull it away from the plant. Harvesting green beans regularly is essential to encourage the plant to continue producing more pods. If left on the plant for too long, the pods will become tough and stringy, and the plant will stop producing new pods.

Pro Tip: When harvesting, use both hands, one to hold the plant’s stem and the other to gently pull the beans off the vine.


Green Bean Plant Stages - Storage
Green Bean Plant Stages – Storage

There are a few different ways to store green beans, depending on how long you want to keep them and how you plan to use them.

Pro Tip: When storing green beans, always check for signs of spoilage, such as mold, sliminess, or foul odor. Discard any beans that look or smell bad.

Storing In Refrigerator

The easiest way to store green beans is in the refrigerator. Simply leave them unwashed and place them in a plastic bag or an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week.

Freezing Green Beans

Another way to store green beans is in the freezer. This will allow you to keep them for up to a year. To freeze green beans, follow these steps:

  1. Wash all the beans and trim the ends.
  2. Cut them into desired lengths.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
  4. Add beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain them and immediately place them into a bowl of ice water for 3 minutes. This will stop the cooking process.
  6. Once again, drain the beans. Then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  7. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm.
  8. Transfer the frozen beans to a freezer bag or an airtight container and label with the date.

Pickling Green Beans

You can also store green beans by pickling them. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash and trim green beans. Leave them whole or cut them into desired lengths.
  2. Sterilize your pickling jars and lids by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or running them through a dishwasher cycle.
  3. Prepare your pickling brine by combining vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and spices or herbs in a saucepan. Some common spices for pickling green beans are mustard seeds, peppercorns, garlic cloves, dill sprigs, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring the brine to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Pack the green beans tightly into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of headspace at the top. You can add some extra spices or herbs to each jar for more flavor.
  5. Pour the hot brine covering the green beans completely and leave 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and seal them with the lids.
  6. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes to create a vacuum seal. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool on a towel.
  7. Check the seals by turning jars upside down. If no bubbles are rising from the lids, they are sealed correctly.
  8. Store the pickled green beans in a cool and dark place for at least 2 weeks before opening to allow the flavors to develop. They can be stored this way for up to 2 years as long as the jars are unopened and sealed correctly.


Drying is another method of preserving green beans that allows you to store them for a long time without taking up much space. This is done by dehydrating the green beans.

Dried green beans can be rehydrated and used in soups, stews, casseroles, or salads.

How to Prepare Green Beans?

How to Prepare Green Beans
How to Prepare Green Beans

Green beans are easy to prepare and can be cooked in various ways. Most recipes can use fresh, frozen, or canned green beans. Some of the green bean dishes are:

What’s the Difference Between Bush Beans and Pole Beans?

Bush beans and pole beans are two types of green beans that differ in their growth habits and space requirements. Bush beans grow as compact plants that do not need support, while pole beans grow as vines that need to climb on poles, trellises, or other structures. Here are some of the main differences between bush beans and pole beans:

  • Height: Bush beans grow to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall, while pole beans can reach 10 feet (3 meters) tall.
  • Support: Bush beans do not require any support, while pole beans need to be trained onto their support as they grow.
  • Yield: Bush beans produce fewer beans, while pole beans produce more beans over a longer period with regular harvesting.
  • Maintenance: Bush beans require less ongoing care than pole beans, which need more attention and pruning.

Both bush beans and pole beans can be grown in gardens, raised beds, or containers. The choice depends on your preference, space availability, and desired varieties.

What to do Next

Growing green beans is a rewarding experience! Watching them progress through each stage, from little seeds to big plants ready for harvest, is amazing.

It doesn’t have to be complicated! Once you understand the stages of green bean growth, you can enjoy watching your plants grow. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your green bean garden today!

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our similar ones in the Gardening How To section.

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