Why Are Your Green Bean Plants Falling Over?

Green beans are a vegetable that grows best when you give them ample space. The downside of this preference is that the plants tend to fall over during their development process. Why are your green bean plants falling over?

Your green bean plants are falling over because they do not have enough support to keep them upright. Green beans spread up and out as they grow, and if they are not supported, they will fall over. Other factors that may cause your bean plant to fall are pests and your growing environment. 

This article will explain the difference between the two main types of green bean plants and why each kind may be falling over. It will also provide some additional reasons why your plants cannot stay upright and will provide solutions for each potential scenario. 

Bean Types and Falling Tendencies

It is essential to distinguish first what kind you are growing to understand why your green beans are falling over.

Each variety develops differently, and the reasons for their falling may be due to different causes:

Bush Beans

The first variety of green bean plants you might be growing is bush beans. This type of green bean develops close to the ground and fills out into a thicker, shorter plant.

Although you may be less likely to experience your beans falling over if they are bush beans, it is still possible. Bush beans do not need to grow upwards naturally like pole beans, but they can still grow to be 1-2 feet (12-24 in) tall at full maturity. 

The main reason you would see your bush beans falling over is if the plants have become overloaded with matured vegetables. If too many green beans are attached to the plants at one time, they will become top-heavy and begin to droop on the ground. 

The Solution

Because bush bean plants grow short and sturdy, they do not need much extra support to help them as they mature. If you find that your green beans of this variety are struggling with drooping onto the ground, there is a relatively simple solution.

Adding a small wire fence around your bush bean plants will help to keep them caged in and standing upright. Doing this is particularly beneficial if they are overgrown with beans but are not ready to be harvested just yet since it keeps them in place to finish growing and does not permit them to fall over.

The fence will keep the vegetables from dragging on the soil, which benefits the bean’s growth and health. If there is any sort of disease or fungus in the soil, you won’t expose the beans almost ready to be harvested to potential harm. 

Pole Beans

The other kind of green beans you may be growing are pole beans. This variety grows far taller than bush beans, sometimes reaching up to 5 or 6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters) in height.

Pole beans are much more prone to falling over while growing simply because of how long the vines can get. They require a specific type of sturdy support to develop correctly. If they do not have the resources they need to stay upright, that is the reason why your green beans are falling over.

The Solution

The best solution for your pole bean plants falling over is to provide them with a robust and sturdy support system to climb up and grow on. Climbing beans can be more productive than bush beans, but they need the resources to do so.

You can provide support for your beans and optimize their growth by following these simple steps:

  1. Source several stakes between 6-8 feet (72-96 in) tall of either wood, metal, or any other strong material. They just need to be able to hold the weight of the growing beans.
  2. Before planting your green bean seeds, you will want to go throughout your garden and hammer stakes in the ground about 2-3 feet (24-36 in) apart from one another. 
  3. After the stakes are firmly in the ground, you can plant your green bean seeds at the base of each pole. As they germinate and start to grow upward, they will anchor onto the stake and use it as a resource to grow vertically in a counter-clockwise direction.

As long as your stakes can hold the weight of the green bean plants, your pole beans should be able to wind themselves securely enough around them that they do not continue to fall over.

Other Reasons Your Green Beans Are Falling Over

The primary reason your green bean plants are falling over is that they do not have the support they need to grow well.

However, there are a few other possible causes for your plants drooping onto the ground:

The Growing Environment

Like many other vegetables, green beans are very particular about their development conditions. If part of their environment is out of balance, they will struggle to mature properly and may begin to fall over. 

If the plants are not receiving enough water, particularly if they are growing in a hot, dry season, there is a much higher chance that they will not be able to continue growing upward due to the lack of hydration. 

The Solution

The easiest way to keep your green bean plants from falling over in this scenario is to keep a close eye on how much water they receive daily.

If your area does not get significant rain consistently during the growing season, you will want to water your green beans enough so that the soil is moist several inches (5+ cm) under the surface

Checking the ground to see how damp it feels will help determine if your plants need additional hydration. You can also mix organic material like manure, compost, or mulch into the soil to help it lock in moisture while avoiding becoming waterlogged.

Diseases and Pests

Green bean plants’ ability to stay upright can also be affected by parasites like disease and insects. Blights from bacteria, mold rot, and infestations from aphids, thrips, and other larvae all have the power to make your vegetables fall over. 

These pests get into the plants and attack them while simultaneously taking away their nutrients. If the plants are infected or do not have the resources they need to grow, they will begin to lose energy and will eventually fall over.

The Solution

While getting rid of diseases and parasites is more complex than the rest of the previous potential problems, it is possible, and you can still grow some good-quality green bean plants.

To take care of diseases and mold, you will want to remove as much of the infected part of the plant as soon as you notice it starts to appear. If you can catch the blight or rot before it spreads too far into the plant, you may be able to salvage some of the green beans. 

After removing the diseased parts, you can treat whatever remains of the plant with a fungicide to reduce the risk of the issue returning. 

You can prevent fungus and disease from forming if you monitor the soil you plant your beans to ensure you haven’t overwatered your plant. An overabundance of water sitting stagnant in the earth is the perfect breeding ground for mold and rot. 

To keep insects and parasites at bay, you can use a gentle insecticide that will harm the bugs but keep the plants safe. Natural predators may also help with this process but cannot be relied on to remove any traces of the pests altogether.

If you require more information on dealing with bean pests and bean health issues, please read my article: 16 Reasons Why Your Beans Are Dying and How to Stop It

Final Thoughts

While there are a few other problems that could be the culprit, the reason that your green bean plants are falling over is most likely because they do not have the support they need to develop correctly. 

Providing them with stakes or fencing to hold them in place and keep the beans from dragging on the ground will keep them growing upright and produce plenty of delicious green beans for you to harvest.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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