Collection: Pole Bean Seeds

Growing pole beans is a simple way to add some visual interest to your garden with their summer blooms and vertical growth habit. Heirloom pole bean seeds have a more intense flavor than your typical green snap bean and can be eaten fresh or saved for drying. These annuals are high yielders, producing right up to frost. Our delicious Scarlet Emperor Runner Bean Seeds put on an impressive show with bunches of scarlet-orange flowers that are known to attract hummingbirds!

Planting pole bean seeds in your garden

  • 4 heirloom pole bean seed varieties available and 37 bush bean seed varieties
  • Beautiful bloomers that like to climb
  • Can be used for fresh eating and dry storage
  • Annual crop, great for small spaces

Planting pole bean seeds in your garden

  • 4 heirloom pole bean seed varieties available and 37 bush bean seed varieties
  • Beautiful bloomers that like to climb
  • Can be used for fresh eating and dry storage
  • Annual crop, great for small spaces

Origins and Current Trends of Pole Beans

Pole bean seeds are native to the Americas and have been used for thousands of years as a staple crop of indigenous people from those lands. In the last century, pole beans have fallen out of favor commercially because they require structures for climbing which makes them more challenging to harvest. However, pole beans are making a comeback and are a great choice for people looking to add heirloom varieties and visual interest to their gardens. They are ideal for small spaces as they take up little room in-ground, climbing up fences, walls, and trellises instead.

Growing Conditions for Pole Beans

Because of their indeterminate growth habit, pole beans yield two to three times as much as bush beans when given space to climb vertically. Vines can climb between 7 to 10 feet in a season and often have showy flowers that attract pollinators and add visual interest to the garden. They prefer full sunlight, well-drained soil, and consistent moisture, about one inch per week. They will tolerate some shade, although yields will be lower.

How do you start pole beans from seed?

Pole bean seeds do best when direct seeded in the garden, although they can be grown in small containers under lights if desired. Just make sure to plant them out before they become root bound as this can stunt the growth of the plant.

It is recommended to plant directly in loosely worked soil after the risk of frost has passed outdoors. Pole bean seeds do best in soil temperatures of 60°F or higher. Seeds are large and should be buried at twice the depth of their diameter, usually about one inch deep. Planting methods differ based on the type of pole bean trellis you choose. When using a linear/fence trellis, space beans two to three inches apart in a uniform line. If planting using a single stake or teepee structure, plant in clumps of four to six in mounds at the base of each pole. Growing pole beans in containers is also a possibility and can be a great option for decks and balconies with enough sunlight and support.

Fertility and Harvest

Pole beans are considered “light feeders” and do not require much in the way of fertilizer throughout the season. Supplementing soil with a balanced compost or aged manure ahead of planting should be more than sufficient. It’s best to avoid commercial fertilizers with high amounts of nitrogen which can lead to excess foliage growth and lower yields; pole beans fix their own nitrogen from the environment so they do not need much in the form of supplemental fertility. Most pole bean varieties can be harvested early for fresh eating or be left to dry and stored through the winter.

For more information about planting, growing, and caring for pole bean seeds, see the Pole Bean Planting Guide.