How to Take Care of a Bean Plant


Both green and shelling bean varieties are warm season vegetables. They produce prolifically all through summer and into fall when the weather is warm. Most types are simple to grow without any special concerns. Green beans, also called snap or pole beans, are prized for their edible pods. Shell beans include all the dried bean varieties such as kidney and pinto. Caring for your bean plants properly throughout the growing season ensures healthy plants and an abundant harvest.

Step 1

Plant pole beans along a trellis or fence as they must have a structure to climb. Alternately, install a 6-foot-tall stake and plant pole beans around each stake. Bush beans rarely need staking though some taller plants benefit from support.

Step 2

Pull weeds around young bean plants by hand. Break up the top ½ inch of soil with a hand cultivator to prevent weed germination. Avoid digging deeper than ½ inch, as beans have shallow roots that are easily damaged.

Step 3

Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as straw or bark, over the bed and around the plants once the beans are 4 inches tall. Mulching preserves soil moisture and prevents weed growth.

Step 4

Water beans once weekly in a single deep watering. Provide approximately 1 inch of water, which moistens the top 1 foot of soil.

Step 5

Harvest beans as soon as they are mature. Harvest snap beans when the pods are long and at optimum color but before the beans inside begin forming and swelling. Harvest shell beans when the pods begin to dry and the beans rattle inside. Frequent harvesting encourages further production on the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant disease-resistant bean varieties and water in the mornings to prevent disease infections on plants. Wet leaves are more prone to infection. Harvest beans in the early afternoon when plants are dry. Touching wet plants can lead to the spread of disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant supports
  • Hand cultivator
  • Mulch


  • University of Conneticut: Growing Snap Beans
  • Cornell University: Growing Beans In The Home Garden
Keywords: bean plant care, growing pole and bush beans, shelling beans

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.