Difference between Pole Beans and Bush Beans

Beans are among the easiest vegetables to grow. There are beans grown to be eaten fresh as vegetables, while others are grown to be dried and eaten as cereals. Two common categories of green beans are pole beans, which grow up to six feet, and bush beans that reach a maximum of two feet. This article will help you decide which one to go for if you are planning to start a garden.


A pole bean
A pole bean
Bush beans
Bush beans

Bush beans are a variety of beans that typically grow laterally and have a bushy growth and often require no support, whereas pole beans are those bean plants that grow taller, requiring support such as a wall, trellis or tree.

Comparison Chart

Pole beans Bush beans
Grow up to five feet tall Barely reach two feet tall
Require trellis, fence or wall for support Require no support
Do well in cool summers Do well in moderate to hot summers

Pole Beans vs Bush Beans

What is the difference between pole beans and bush beans? The most notable difference between these two categories of beans is mainly in the way each grows.

Bush beans, as the name suggests, are bushy in their growth. They have a compact bush structure and barely reach two feet high. They are mostly tidy and are grown close together to support each other.

Pole beans, unlike bush beans, require trellis for support since they can grow up to five feet tall. If left to grow along the ground, they present harvesting problems. Instead, they are planted along fences and walls to climb onto, or poles are used to support their vines as they climb. Because of their straight up growth, they can easily be grown in containers.

In general, pole beans such as scarlet runner beans are well suited for cool summers, while bush beans produce highest yields in moderate to hot summer conditions.


Here is a video that gives more information on the differences between pole beans and bush beans: