How To Grow Beans In Containers (7 Easy Steps)

Beans, a beloved garden staple, are among the easiest vegetables to cultivate. Yet, their versatility doesn’t end there. 

Beans flourish as container plants, too, proving that limited space is no obstacle to savoring their bountiful harvest. Whether your preference lies with a particular bean variety or you simply cherish their abundant presence, mastering the art of growing beans in containers unveils a world of possibilities. 

Learn how to use container gardening to unlock the secrets of growing beans in confined spaces.

How To Grow Beans In Containers

The compact nature of bean plants enables them to flourish within the confines of containers, making them an ideal choice for patio or balcony gardens. 

Furthermore, beans possess a delightful visual appeal when showcased in well-chosen pots. 

Their delicate flowers and slender pods gracefully contrast with the abundant foliage. 

The availability of purple and yellow bean varieties introduces a subtle yet captivating splash of color to the container garden. 

Other varieties, such as pole beans, offer a captivating display as they elegantly trail and climb decorative trellises. 

1. Choose The Beans You Wish To Grow

Several varieties of beans thrive when grown in containers, making them an excellent choice for limited garden space. 

When selecting bean varieties for containers, consider their growth habit, size, and recommended container depth. Opt for compact and bushy varieties or provide appropriate support for climbing types.

The following are some types of beans that are well-suited for container gardening.

Bush Beans

These compact bean plants, such as ‘Provider’ or ‘Blue Lake,’ are ideal for containers as they don’t require support and have a bushy growth habit. 

They produce an abundance of delicious beans in a relatively small space.

Pole Beans

While pole beans have a climbing habit, they can be grown in containers with the support of trellises or stakes. 

Varieties like ‘Kentucky Wonder’ or ‘Scarlet Runner’ are popular for vigorous growth and prolific bean production.

Dwarf Or Patio Beans

Specifically bred for container gardening, dwarf or patio bean varieties like ‘Mascotte’ or ‘Maxibel’ are compact and well-suited to smaller pots. 

They offer high yields of tasty beans while taking up minimal space.

Yardlong Beans

Also known as asparagus beans or snake beans, yardlong beans can be successfully grown in containers. 

These long, slender beans are flavorful and add an exotic touch to your container garden.

2. Choose A Container

Choosing the right container is crucial for successful bean cultivation in containers. 

Remember to consider the specific requirements of the bean variety you are growing and ensure the container meets those needs.

The following are some things to consider when selecting a container for growing beans.


Beans have a relatively shallow root system but still require sufficient space to grow and develop. 

Choose a container at least 12 inches deep to allow the roots to spread.


Opt for a container with a diameter of at least 12 inches or more. 

This ensures enough space for the bean plants to grow, allowing for better air circulation and water drainage.


Select a container of durable, lightweight materials such as plastic, fiberglass, or terracotta. 

These materials provide good insulation, retain moisture, and are easy to move if needed.

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Proper drainage is crucial to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues.

Ensure the container has adequate drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging and promote healthy root growth. 

Trellis Support

If you plan to grow pole beans or climbing varieties, choose a container that can accommodate a trellis or support structure. 

This allows the plants to climb and saves space by utilizing vertical growth.

Number Of Plants

Consider the number of bean plants you intend to grow in a single container. 

Space them appropriately according to the specifications of the variety. This is to avoid overcrowding, which can hinder their growth and yield.

If you are growing from seed, please see the directions further below.


Select a container that matches your personal taste and complements your outdoor space. 

Beans can be visually appealing, so choose a container that enhances their beauty and adds charm to your garden.

3. Add A Suitable Planting Mix To The Container

When growing beans in containers, using a well-draining and nutrient-rich planting mix is important. This will support healthy root development and provide the necessary moisture retention. 

It’s important to note that the specific requirements of the bean variety you are growing may vary slightly. Always refer to the seed packet or plant label for any specific recommendations regarding soil composition or amendments.

The following soil mixture is recommended:

  1. Potting Soil (50-60%): Start with high-quality potting soil as the base of your planting mix. 
    • Look for a mix specifically formulated for container gardening, which usually contains a blend of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. 
      • These materials increase aeration in the soil, promoting root health and preventing waterlogging. 
    • Avoid using garden soil, as it may be too heavy and poorly draining for container cultivation.
  2. Compost (20-30%): Incorporate compost into the potting soil to enhance fertility and improve soil structure. 
    • Compost provides essential nutrients and improves moisture retention, promoting healthy plant growth. 
    • You can use homemade compost or purchase compost from a garden center.
  3. Organic Matter (10-20%): Add organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or aged compost, to enrich the planting mix. 
    • Organic matter improves soil fertility, drainage, and moisture-holding capacity, creating an ideal growing environment for beans.
  4. Slow-Release Fertilizer: Beans benefit from a steady supply of nutrients throughout their growing season. 
    • Incorporate a slow-release fertilizer into the planting mix before planting to provide a consistent source of nutrients over time. 
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

Mix the above ingredients thoroughly in the appropriate ratios, ensuring a well-blended planting mix. 

Fill the container with the mixture, leaving enough space for planting the bean seeds or baby plants.

4. Plant & Water The Bean Seeds Or Plants

Remember to check the specific instructions for the bean variety you are planting, as planting depths and spacing requirements may vary slightly.

Planting Bean Seeds In Containers

To plant bean seeds in the soil in a container, follow these steps:

  1. Make small holes in the soil about 4 to 6 inches apart. The hole depths should be about twice the size of the bean seeds.
  2. Place one bean seed in each hole, flat side down. Cover the seeds with soil, gently pressing it down to make good contact with the seeds.
  3. Give the soil a thorough watering, ensuring that it is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to rotting or fungal diseases.
  4. If you are planting pole beans that require support, install a trellis or stake in the container when planting. This allows the seedlings to climb as they grow.
    • You can provide additional support for the vines as they grow by tying them to a trellis or stake if necessary.
  5. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water the container when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
  6. After seedlings develop, thin them out. If multiple seedlings emerge from the same hole, thin them out by removing the weaker or straggly ones, leaving only the strongest seedling to grow.
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Note: The bean seeds will germinate and sprout within 7 to 14 days with proper care and regular watering. 

Planting Bean Plants In Containers

To plant bean plants in soil in a container, follow these steps:

  1. If you purchased bean plants from a nursery or started them indoors, gently remove them from their nursery containers. 
  2. Dig a hole in the container’s soil, deep enough with space to hold the root ball of the bean plant. 
  3. Place the bean plant in the hole. Fill the sides with soil, firming it gently around the base of the plant.
  4. If necessary, if you are growing pole beans or varieties that climb, insert a trellis, stake, or support structure into the container when planting. 
  5. After planting, water the container thoroughly to ensure the soil is evenly moist. This helps settle the soil around the roots and hydrates the plants.

5. Place The Containers In Full Sun

Beans thrive in full sun. Choose a spot where the container will receive 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.

Think about how your container beans can get full sun and add a pleasing aesthetic to your garden, landscaping, or patio.

6. Implement Essential Care For The Bean Plants

  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist. However, avoid overwatering since it can lead to root rot. 
    • Check the moisture level regularly by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. 
    • Add enough water to thoroughly moisten the soil, allowing excess water to drain out through the drainage holes.
  • Fertilizing: Beans are generally light feeders but can benefit from occasional fertilization. Start fertilizing when the plants begin to develop their second set of leaves.
    • Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer or organic compost to provide essential nutrients. 
    • Follow the package instructions for the recommended dosage and frequency. 
  • Training Support: If you’re growing pole beans or vining varieties, ensure they have adequate support. 
    • Regularly guide the vines to the support structure to keep them growing upward and prevent tangling.
  • Pruning: Bean plants generally don’t require extensive pruning. 
    • However, you can remove any dead or damaged leaves or stems to promote better airflow and prevent the spread of diseases.
    • Pruning can help maintain a more compact and manageable plant size in a container.
  • Pest & Disease Management: Monitor your bean plants regularly for signs of pests like aphids, bean beetles, or spider mites. 
    • If detected, treat the infestation promptly using insecticides safe for edible vegetables. 
    • Watch out for common bean diseases such as powdery mildew or bacterial spot. Proper watering, airflow, and healthy plants can help prevent these issues.
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7. Harvest The Container Beans

Beans are ready for harvest when they reach the desired size and are still tender. 

Regularly check the plants for mature pods and pick them promptly. The size and color of the beans will depend on the variety you are growing.

There are 2 common methods for harvesting beans:

  1. Snap the beans off the plant by hand.
  2. Use scissors or garden shears to cut them.

When harvesting, handle the plants and pods gently to avoid damaging the plant or breaking the pods. Hold the stem or vine with one hand while gently detaching the bean pod with the other.

After harvesting, store beans in a cool place or use them immediately. Beans are best when eaten fresh, but you can also blanch and freeze them for longer-term storage.

Harvesting encourages further bean production and prevents the beans from becoming overripe and tough.


After harvesting, consider rotating your bean plants to a different container or area of your garden. Crop rotation helps prevent soil depletion and reduces the risk of disease or pest buildup.

If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, consider protecting your bean plants during winter. Move the containers to a sheltered location, such as a greenhouse or indoors, or cover them with frost blankets to prevent damage from cold temperatures.


Growing beans in containers is a rewarding and practical way to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce, even with limited space. 

You can establish healthy bean plants by choosing the right container, preparing the soil mix, and planting the seeds or seedlings properly. 

Remember to provide adequate water, fertilize as needed, and support vining varieties with trellises or stakes. 

Regularly monitor for pests and diseases, and harvest the pods when they are tender and ready. 

With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own beans right on your patio or balcony.

Lucy Young

Meet Lucy, a seasoned gardener with a green thumb and a wealth of experience cultivated over 10 years in her own backyard oasis. Now, she channels her passion into writing, sharing invaluable gardening knowledge on her website. From nurturing plants to expert pruning techniques, Lucy's articles are a treasure trove for both seasoned enthusiasts and budding gardeners. Join her on this leafy journey as she sprinkles insights, tips, and tricks to help you create your own flourishing paradise. Get ready to dig into her gardening wisdom and unlock the secrets of a thriving garden!

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