Difference Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans

The main difference between pole beans and bush beans is that pole beans grow up long and require a trellis for support whereas bush beans grow only about 2-3 feet tall in a bush and do not require any support.

Pole bans and bush beans are two types of legumes that are easy to grow. Both types of beans are quite similar to each other, and both have exactly the same taste as well. However, bush beans require more space to grow than pole beans. Understanding the characteristics of the two types of beans helps to select the most suitable type for your garden.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Pole Beans
      – Definition, Characteristics, Types
2. What are Bush Beans
     – Definition, Characteristics, Types
3. What are the Similarities Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Bush Beans, Length, Maturation, Pole Beans, Space, Support

Difference Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans - Comparison Summary

What are Pole Beans

Pole beans refer to climbing beans, usually trained to grow upright. They grow up to 5-6 feet on the ground. Therefore, pole beans need 6-8 feet trellis for support. They can also be trained to grow into a teepee shape. Due to vertical growth, pole beans produce the same yield within a small space. Also, they are easy to pick. 

Difference Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans

Figure 1: Pole Beans

However, pole beans take a longer time to mature. Instead, they produce the yield for several times. The plants stop producing the fruit once harvesting declines. However, pole beans are more resistant to diseases.

What are Bush Beans

Bush beans refer to the beans with a bushy growth. They grow approximately 1-2 feet on the ground and do not require any support. Generally, bush beans prefer hot summer temperatures to produce more yield. Bush beans are less labor intensive. 

Main Difference - Pole Beans vs Bush Benas

Figure 2: Bush Beans

Bush beans mature soon. But, they produce their fruit only once. Hence, mechanical harvesting is suitable. And this makes the bush beans ideal for commercial purposes. Some beans such as blue lake beans have both types of pole and bush bean varieties.

Similarities Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans

  • Pole beans and bush beans are legumes.
  • Both are easy to grow.
  • The color of the bean can be green, purple or yellow.
  • Both may have the same taste.

Difference Between Pole Beans and Bush Beans


Pole Beans: Climbing beans, usually trained to grow upright

Bush Beans: Beans with a bushy growth


Pole Beans: Grow long (5-6 feet)

Bush Beans: Only grows for 1-2 feet long


Pole Beans: Require a pole for support

Bush Beans: Do not require a support


Pole Beans: Do not require more space

Bush Beans: Require more space

Growth Conditions

Pole Beans: Prefer cool temperatures

Bush Beans: Prefer warmer temperatures as summer

Shape of the Fruit

Pole Beans: Broad and flat

Bush Beans: Pencil thin


Pole Beans: Mature later (within 65-75 days)

Bush Beans: Mature quickly (within 50-60 days)


Pole Beans: Produce fruits several times

Bush Beans: Produce fruits once for the season


Pole Beans: Require more care

Bush Beans: Require less care

Fresh or Dired

Pole Beans: Dried beans are better

Bush Beans: Fresh beans are better


Pole Beans: Easy to handle into some shade

Bush Beans: Better for low-growing gardens


Pole Beans: Kidney beans, navy beans, and scarlet runner beans

Bush Beans: Filet beans


Pole beans grow long and they require a support while bush beans do not require a support as they do not grow long. Also, pole beans require less space to give the same amount of yield when compared to bush beans. Pole beans produce their fruits for a longer period of time as well. The main difference between pole beans and bush beans is the type of growth.


1. “How to Grow Pole and Bush Beans – Gardening Tips and Advice at Burpee.com.” How to Grow Cosmos – Annual Flowers, Gardening Tips and Advice at Burpee.com, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Kentucky Blue Beans on Bamboo Tipi” By Soni Pitts (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Soni Pitts” by wanko (CC BY 2.0)  via Flickr

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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