Green beans have been one of the most popular garden vegetables for generations, so you may be wondering, “How can I grow green beans indoors?” Even though it might sound impossible, it’s actually not difficult! We’ve done lots of research and organized it all for you right here in this post, so all you have to do is start growing!
Growing green beans indoors requires some planning and extra space. Here’s a quick step-by-step look at how to do it:
- Plant the seeds in a long, narrow container with plenty of drainage.
- Use compost-enriched, well-drained, sandy soil with an acidic pH level.
- Make sure your green bean plants get at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
- Water so that the soil is evenly moist without becoming soggy.
- Harvest your green beans when they’re about 3” long.
Now you know the basics of growing green beans indoors, but we’re sure you have lots of other questions. That’s why we’ll discuss each step in greater detail in the rest of this post, and we'll also answer some of the most commonly asked questions. So, let’s get started!
Choose The Right Container
Since green beans spread out with horizontal roots, they grow best in long, narrow containers. If you’re growing pole beans, be sure that there’s plenty of room for your climbing apparatus to fit in the container in addition to the plants.
The container should also have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom to prevent water from standing and producing root rot.
This planter is 18” long and has pre-drilled drainage holes on the bottom.
For a lighter look, try this 36” long planter. It has drainage holes with removable plugs.
Select Healthy Soil
Green beans grow best in well-drained, loose, sandy soil with an acidic pH level. It can also benefit from the addition of compost - an ideal ratio is 2/3 soil and 1/3 compost.
Be sure to read our post How to Improve Drainage in Potted Plants if you’d like some more information.
Although this potting soil is technically for cacti and succulents, its sandy, loamy formula and acidic pH level also make it a perfect choice for green beans.
This succulent potting soil is another great, organic option for growing green beans.
Containing nutrient-rich ingredients like chicken manure, straw, and hay, this compost will add richness to your potting soil.
Plant With Care
Plant your green bean seeds 4” apart from each other and about 1” into the soil. Pat the soil down lightly and water. If you’re growing runner beans, you can add a stake near each seed to support the plant as it grows, or trellises for pole beans.
These bamboo stakes come in 2, 4, 6, and 8 feet.
Not only will this 72” tall trellis provide support for your pole beans, but it’s also a beautiful piece of art for your home!
Sufficient Sun And Water
Put your plants near a window or in a sunroom, enclosed porch, or balcony for the best results.
How Much Sun Do Green Beans Need?
Green beans need at least 6 hours of full sunlight each day. You can also use a grow light if there isn’t enough natural light in your home, or if you’re growing the green beans in winter.
You can hang this grow light above your green bean plants to encourage better growth.
How Much Water Do Green Beans Need?
Water frequently enough to ensure that the soil is evenly moist, but never soggy. When the seedlings are more than a few inches tall, you can add mulch to keep as much moisture as possible near the plant without soaking the soil.
It’s especially vital to avoid overwatering while the seeds are germinating since it prevents the seeds from growing as efficiently.
The long and narrow nozzle on this watering will help you target the roots of your green beans and avoid getting the leaves wet.
Made from crushed coconut husks, this mulch will help your green beans retain moisture.
Your green beans should be ready to harvest when they’re about 3” long. This is typically 50 to 60 days after planting, although this can vary depending on the variety. You can either pick the beans as they ripen or wait for most of them to reach maturity and then pull out the entire plant.
It’s easier to remove the beans when the plant is lying on a table, and since it’s an annual plant that dies off at the end of each growing season, it would need to be removed eventually anyway.
If you’re curious about growing other vegetables so you have a variety of fresh food to harvest in all seasons, check out our article Can You Grow Vegetables All Year Round?
How Much Room Does A Green Bean Plant Need?
The largest variety of green beans - pole beans - usually grow 5 to 10 tall. They typically need some type of support system such as a trellis or other climbing structure.
For this reason, it’s usually more convenient to grow bush beans indoors since they only grow to about 2” tall. They also typically just need support from stakes instead of trellises. However, most varieties of both pole and bush beans can thrive in long, narrow planters that are 12” to 24” wide.
If you don’t have enough space for pole or bush beans, you could try dwarf varieties. Some, like dwarf French beans, only reach 18” and don’t require any staking or trellises.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Green Bean Plant?
Bush beans typically reach maturity at 50 to 55 days after planting, while pole beans take a little bit longer - usually about 60 days. However, depending on the exact variety and growing conditions, it can take anywhere from 45 to 75 days.
How Can You Tell When a Green Bean is Ready to Harvest?
There are a few ways to tell if a green bean is ready to be picked. The pod should be around 3” long and about as thick as a pencil. Additionally, they should easily snap in half instead of bending. If you let them grow too big, they’ll become tough and flavorless.