Types of String Beans You Can Grow: Best Varieties

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on March 13, 2023

There are different types of string beans you can grow and enjoy amazing recipes from them despite their differences.

Did you know that green beans, string beans, snap beans, and wax beans are all but the same thing? The slight differences they have are mainly in shape or color that separates one type from another.

All of these green beans are interchangeable in recipes, with each standing out in its delicacy. Some beans have a bit more texture and are chewy, while others are smooth and cook quickly. Bigger beans like Romanos take longer to cook than skinnier beans like haricot verts.

With this information in mind, feel free to grow different types of string beans in your garden, mixing them around for a better crop.

Green beans or string beans are easy to grow from seed and do well almost in every area of the US. You can choose from many varieties, but you need to be aware of the care and maintenance of a particular type requires.

Fun Facts About Types of String Beans

There are over 500 cultivars of green beans, and some of them are not even green in color. You can grow purple, red, streaked, or white string beans if that’s what strikes your passion. However, the beans inside the pod will always be green.

Many years ago, green beans originated in the Andes, which is now Peru. Columbus brought them to the new world in 1493.

The strings were bred out of string beans in 1894, with almost all varieties being stringless today.

Green beans are nitrogen fixers meaning the plants give nitrogen into the soil. This eliminates the need to add nitrogen fertilizers before planting the next crop.

The US produces 60% of commercially grown green beans; primarily produced in States like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Green beans contain carotenoids associated with red veggies and oranges. They are also rich in Vitamin C and full of fiber and protein.

The first bush bean was drawn in 1542 by a German doctor interested in plants’ medicinal properties.

For the longest time, native Americans planted beans together with corn and squash, calling them the three sisters. Corn was planted first, followed by beans to help support the bean bushes, which in turn provided nitrogen for the corn. Squash was later planted to provide shade and help retain water.

Garden Tools Set 11Pcs Stainless Steel

Different Types of String Beans

Purple string beans

Purple string beans are a purple version of the classic green beans. Once cooked, they lose their purple color. If you want to preserve as much color as possible, you can consider them for recipes or lightly steam them and dip them in ice water.

Green beans

Green beans are long, rounded, and green in color. Heirloom varieties still have a favorite strain running down the sides. However, most varieties today have been bred out of the strings. Steamed green beans are delicious with a sprinkle of salt and a put of butter. You can also turn them into pickles and enjoy them for prolonged seasons.

Romano beans or flat beans or Italian green beans

Romano beans are wide and flat with a good flavor. The smaller ones tend to be more tender, while the larger ones have developed beans inside. Romano beans require a little more cooking than other pole beans, but they also have more flavor. Try braising your Romano beans to bring out the nutty, sweet flavor.

Fillet beans or haricot verts or French green beans

These beans are skinny and delicate. They are green in color, but yellow varieties are also available. Most gardeners consider haricot verts the best green beans because they cook fast and are tasty. Most people like to blanch them quickly and use them in salads.

Long beans

Also known as yard-long beans, they are entirely different from most green beans. They are extraordinary in length, similar in flavor, and lean on green beans mainly in the way they are cooked. These long beans can grow between 12 and 18 inches long, retaining the best flavor and tender texture.

Wax beans

Wax beans look like green beans except for their yellow coloring. You can use them in any dish as you would green beans if you’re not affected by their color. Remember that the color of the final dish will be different.

Caring For Types of String Beans

String beans require plenty of sun and tolerate different soil conditions. They do not require fertilizers because of their ability to draw nitrogen into the soil. However, like most vegetables, they benefit from organic compost manure.

If you plant your string beans from seed, ensure that the danger of frost has already passed to protect your seats from dying. Keep the soil moist until the seedlings appear, then you can allow your soil to dry in between waterings. Once your beans flower and pods begin to grow, soak them in water during the summer season to prevent mildew from forming.

Pick your pods when they are smaller without any beans inside. If you allow them to grow any more significantly, they will be tough. Carefully use your two hands when picking the pods so that you don’t damage the plant. Harvest every few days to keep new flowers and beans growing.

white string beans

Different Cuts of Green Beans

There are many different cuts of green beans. However, the most popular cut is French-cut green beans. However, to cut them this way, you need to familiarize yourself with the preparation and technique. Let’s take a closer look.

For loose green beans, the best way to do this is to prepare a bowl with water and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Mix well and add your loose green beans. Leave for around 10-15 minutes and then remove your green beans, and leave them to dry. Once dry, cut off the string on each side of the beans.

For bagged green beans, shake your bag and cut the bag and beans, and rotate a few times. Then wash them using the method above.

If you don’t have a bean cutter to French cut your beans you’ll need to do this a different way to ensure they’re even in size. Use the slicer blade of your blender to cut the beans, and pass them through gently. As well as looking great visually, it helps them cook quicker and taste better.

How Many Types of Green Beans Are There?

When it comes to green beans, you may be wondering how many different types there are. There are actually over 130 varieties! They all taste and grow slightly differently. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common favorites we’ve not already looked at in detail.

  • Tendergreen. A particularly easy green bean to grow produces many beans. It’s an heirloom bean, that grows tender pods that are versatile. They can be kept fresh or frozen.
  • Contender. Quite a strong-tasting green bean, that tends to grow reasonably quickly too. Can be kept fresh, canned, or frozen.
  • Kentucky Wonder. A sweet bean will take around 65 days to grow. This is a type of pole bean and you need a trellis to grow this effectively.
  • Kentucky Blue. This pole bean also needs a trellis to grow. Another sweet green bean, that has a great flavor.
  • Rattlesnake. This bean has an almost purple hue. They like to grow in humid climates and have an intense sweet flavor.
  • Scarlet Runner. Another bean is almost purple. A type of pole bean that needs to be grown on a trellis. This bean plant doubles up as an ornamental plant.
  • Blue Lake. A common bean that can either be grown on a trellis or as a bush bean. This is a versatile bean, that makes for a great side. The pods are sweet in flavor.
  • Royal Burgundy. As the name suggests, another purple in the color bean. A bush bean that doesn’t need a trellis to grow. These beans love the sun and need at least 8 hours a day.

Do Beans Need a Trellis?

If you’re wondering whether your beans need a trellis to grow, some types do. It all depends on whether you’re growing bush green beans, or pole green beans. Let’s take a closer look at the two.

Bush beans only grow to around two feet tall, because of this, they do not need any vertical support. However, pole beans can grow up to a staggering fifteen feet tall! For this reason, they need a trellis to grow effectively.

They both take a similar amount of time to grow, with pole beans just taking slightly longer. Bush beans are low maintenance, while pole beans need slightly more care and attention.

string beans variety

Final Thoughts

Sadly, the many types of string beans might be obsolete, with many people preferring the stringless varieties. Whether you enjoy the string beans or the stringless, keeping the bean’s culture thriving is essential. Every person in this whole wide world can attest to the beauty of enjoying some type of string beans in their meal.

There you are, go ahead and get busy growing any type of string beans that you like. Try growing one type at a time or grow them mixed depending on the ones you want. In addition, don’t forget to share your produce once it matures, as it will be overwhelmingly good.

Happy gardening to you all hardworking gardeners!


What’s the history of string beans?

The answer to this question has to do with the history of the string bean. The history of the string bean can be traced back to China. In the early 1900s, the Chinese had developed a method of growing the string bean in a way that made them grow in long strings that were easy to pick and eat. By the mid-1900s, the United States and other countries were growing these string beans in their own fields and were selling them to customers. This is how the string bean came into existence. It wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that the first American farmers grew these string beans. Today, they are grown all over the United States as well as Canada and other countries. The first American farmer who started growing the string bean was named John R. Boudreaux. He grew the string beans in his garden and sold them to local farmers markets and to customers. Eventually, he started a company called the Louisiana Bean Company that was based in New Orleans.

What are the different types of string beans?

String beans are also known as asparagus peas. There are many types of these green vegetables.

There are many different kinds of string beans, some that are used as a vegetable and others that are cooked into sauces and soups. There are green string beans and purple string beans. There are string beans that are white, green, purple or yellow. And then there are string beans that are used for other purposes like the string bean sprouts which are a type of bean that is eaten raw.

What are they good for?

They are good for people who want to lose weight. They contain high amount of fiber and protein which helps to keep you full. They help in maintaining your healthy weight. You can eat them raw or boiled.

What are the best string beans to plant?

The best string bean to grow is probably the runner bean. This is a hardy, bush-type bean that grows to about 1 foot in height and produces large pods, some of which are more than 5 inches long. You can also use pole beans as a string bean. These are vines that grow up to 20 feet long, produce pods in bunches along the vine, and usually only grow to 1 foot high. Pole beans do well in containers.

Sharing is caring!