Brown Spots on Green Beans: Top Tips on Why

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Last Updated on March 2, 2023

Brown spots on green beans may be something you might have experienced as a gardener. But do you know for sure what the reasons are for your beans to start changing color? This is what we are about to find out in this post.

Green bean is a type of common bean that comes from different cultivars. Green beans have different common names they go by and some of these names include snap beans, string beans, and French beans.

You can add green beans to any type of healthy diet, or almost any eating plan and this is thanks to their low-calorie and fat contents.

Green beans are also fairly easy to grow and they grow in either a bushy manner or a climbing manner. But some situations may arise that causes your green beans to turn brown and this can have you wondering what the cause is.

Let’s look into some of the reasons why your green beans may be turning brown and see if they are safe to eat.

Brown Spots on Green Beans: Why? 

Looking at some of the major reasons why green beans turn brown, may be because the beans are not in their best state any longer.

When you begin to notice some brown spots on green beans, it usually means they are already getting old and stale. These green beans usually become mushy and they do not snap easily when broken into half. Therefore, this type of bean won’t be so fresh when you consume them.

Green Beans Turning Brown: What Are The Reasons?

However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t safe to eat. You can still eat them but you just won’t get that fresh taste. You can simply compare them to products or foods that are not spoiled but are simply past their peak of freshness.

If by any chance you come across this type of brown beans, you can simply make use of them in dishes that have bold flavors.

Note that both cooked green beans and raw green beans have the same shelf life and they can last up to a week in the fridge.

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Ways to Tell if Your Green Beans Have Gone Bad

Here are a few ways you can tell your green beans have gone bad:

  • Color: As we have pointed out above, the color of the beans should be able to give the state of the green beans. Once you notice the green beans have begun fading in color and they turn very dark green or they turn brown, then it’s a sign they have started turning bad.
  • Smell: Once you perceive an unpleasant odor from your green beans, the beans may already have some bacterial growth. Hence, it is best to discard them.

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Green Beans Turning Brown
  • Texture: Another way to tell if your green beans have started to go bad is to feel the texture. The texture of the green beans needs to be firm. Then when you snap or break the green bean, it should snap easily. Once you’ve started noticing that mushy, bendy, or limp look, the beans are probably getting old. It may not necessarily mean they are spoiled, but you just won’t enjoy that fresh taste of green beans.
  • Mold: You need to check for mold on your green beans to know if they are still in good condition to be eaten. When your green beans become moldy or slimy, it’s a sign that they are no longer fresh. So, you should throw them away.

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Lasting Duration of Green Beans Outside the Fridge

Leaving your green beans on the counter outside for 2 days is fine because they can last up to 2 days outside the fridge.

All you need do is to keep these beans away from direct sources of sunlight like close to a window, or an area on the counter that receives direct sun.

Lasting Duration of Green Beans in the Fridge

If you store your green beans properly in the fridge, they should be able to last you up to a week and this is for both raw and cooked beans.

Just ensure you store them properly in the fridge. Use a container to put the green beans inside the fridge. Avoid tossing the green beans in the fridge so they don’t get wet or else they can go bad faster.

However, you should look out for any signs that the beans are turning bad such as brown spots or a mushy look.

Lasting Duration Of Green Beans In The Fridge

Lasting Duration of Green Beans in the Freezer

You can store green beans for longer in the freezer. They can last up to 6 months when frozen. It will be easy for you to defrost them when you’re ready to use them. When you freeze green beans, you take pleasure in knowing that they will still taste as good as when you bought them.

So, if you want that longer storage duration for your green beans, you can store them in the freezer. However, if you just want to use your green beans for about a week, storing them in the fridge will be much easier.

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How Can I Keep My Green Beans, Fresher, for Longer?

When you properly store your green beans, it will further help in prolonging their shelf life. For instance, it is recommended you don’t wash your green beans until you’re ready to use them. Once water touches the green beans, it can further speed up the spoiling process. Hence, the shelf life will be reduced.

Again, your unwashed green beans need to be stored in a plastic bag or container and stored in a vegetable drawer in the fridge.

Is It OK to Eat Green Beans With Brown Spots?

When it comes to deciding whether to eat green beans with brown spots, it all depends on how many brown spots there are. If the spots are few and far between, then it’s safe to say you can eat them without any problems. The only issue may be it may not taste as good! However, if the discoloration is significant and there are many spots, then it’s probably best to discard it to avoid any potential problems.

What Do Rotten Green Beans Look Like?

The easiest way to tell if green beans are rotten is by their appearance. Brown spots and discoloration is the easiest sign to see that your green beans are going, or have already gone rotten. Other signs may include limpness, sliminess, and misshapen.

When you’re looking at fresh green beans that have yet to be washed, they should look vibrant and bright. As well as this, they should be able to snap with ease. Instead, they may feel rubbery in texture, or even slimy.

If you’ve boiled your green beans and then place them back in the fridge, they’re likely to last longer, at around 5-7 days. However, if they start exhibiting any of the signs above before then, it may be best to discard them.

The same goes for frozen green beans. While freezing does massively increase the shelf life to around 6-8 months; they can still go bad. It may be easier to tell once they are defrosted. Keeping your green beans frozen is a great way to ensure they keep their snap.

As for canned green beans, they can last anywhere from an amazing three to five years. No matter what the best-by date is on the packaging, it’ll safely last well beyond that date. The only deterioration that may happen is mold, and an odor may eventually appear. If either of these things happens, it’s best to throw the can of green beans away.

My Green Beans Are Slimy – Why?

If your green beans are slimy, likely, they are already past the point of no return. You want your green beans to be crisp and snap easily; not limp and slimy. If you notice that only the ends are like this, simply slice them off and wash them under water. When cooking them, you should allow an extra 5-10 minutes to ensure the delicious texture you’re looking for.

How to Prevent Brown Spots on Green Beans When Growing?

Brown spots don’t just appear on green beans when harvested. They can occur while the green beans are growing, and this can be for a variety of reasons. But first, you need to determine why this is happening. Is your soil not wet enough, or too wet? Are there any insects around your green beans? Is your soil fertilized enough? These are questions you must ask before you can solve the issue.

To prevent brown spots, keep your green beans in ample sunlight, with the right amount of fertilizer. You should also ensure you’re watering your green beans daily and checking for any insects, such as aphids. As long as you’re following these guidelines, it’s unlikely your growing green beans will have brown spots.

Final Words: Brown Spots on Green Beans

Brown spots on green beans can be a sign of your beans turning bad. It usually implies that the beans have started deteriorating. But there are things you can do to prevent your beans from turning brown and losing their taste and we have listed them in this post. Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to brown spots on green beans? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring! 

green beans are slimy


Is Brown on green beans bad?

Usually, when you notice a brown color on your green beans, it often means that the beans have started losing their fresh taste. But they may still be safe to be consumed. Just make sure there is no mold and they are no slimy appearance on the beans.

How do you know if green beans are bad?

You can detect if your beans are bad once they are growing mold or looking slimy. If you perceive any unpleasant smell from your green beans then they may be bad. Also, once you snap the beans and they don’t break easily, it may be a sign they are bad.

Why are my green beans turning brown?

Green beans are inclined to turn brown when they are not properly stored. Once you leave them outside on the counter for instance for more than two days, they can turn brown.

How to prevent green beans from turning brown?

You can prevent green beans from turning brown by storing them properly. For instance, you can store them in the fridge for about a week. Your green beans can also be stored in the freezer for about 6 months.

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