When growing any vegetable, one of the biggest keys to success is ensuring that they get enough sunlight, but not too much!
When working in your garden, in your greenhouse, or even trying to grow veggies indoors, it’s always a challenge to make sure each type of plant gets the right amount of sun.
Understanding their unique requirements is crucially important when planning a garden, too. So let’s look at green beans. How much sun do green beans need?
Most varieties of green beans do fine with about 6 hours of sun per day. Certain types of green beans can still grow well with a little less if other conditions are optimal.
It is possible for green beans to grow and even thrive with far less sun than other veggies…
Even though these are iconic cool weather vegetables, you can still get a bumper crop in warm weather if you know what you’re doing, and take precautions to protect them from the sun if they’re getting too much.
Keep reading and I will tell you more below…
Is Full Sun Best for Green Beans?
Yes. It should be clarified that green beans need full sun, but they don’t need all day sun in most places.
How Many Hours of Sun a Day is Best for Green Beans?
Most green bean cultivars will do fine with about 6 hours of sunlight a day. Most will still be prosperous and productive with less than that if all other growing conditions are met, however.
If you’re taking care to make sure soil nutrients, watering and pest protection requirements are met, your green beans should prosper with just a little sun compared to other veggies.
Will Too Much Sun Hurt Green Beans?
Yes! Green beans are particularly vulnerable to getting too much sun in many zones, and they are extra vulnerable when grown in warmer climates or seasons.
In fact, one of the leading causes of crop loss concerning green beans is getting too much sun during periods of hotter weather.
Green beans are known to be picky when it comes to heat and sun stress: too much of either (or even worse, too much of both) and your plans will stop producing, stop growing, or might even drop any existing flowers.
Prolonged exposure will cause them to wilt and die back – if they are turning yellow, there’s a major problem!
If you are regularly having problems like this with your green beans, you might need to take action and plant them in a spot that gets more shade or install shades or coverings over them (at least during the hottest part of the day).
Do Green Beans Do Well in Indirect Sun?
Yes, not surprisingly. Most green bean varieties usually need direct sun, though they don’t need as much as other veggies or fruits. That being said, they can generally tolerate indirect sun.
Reflected sun, or sun that is filtered through an overhead canopy is just fine for green beans, and if you set up your garden or containers right this might be the ideal way to spare them from being scorched during the hottest part of the day.
If you’re trying to grow green beans in a very warm or truly hot climate, indirect sun might be absolutely necessary for you to have any chance of success.
Note that it is possible to start green beans growing with indirect sun, and then it move them to direct sun during a cooler season or times when it will be cloudier.
Will Green Beans Thrive in Shade?
Green beans will not grow well in full shade, but they can grow well enough in partial shade if you are taking care of all their other needs.
Once again, shade is probably a necessity if you’re trying to grow green beans in a hot environment with a high average UV index.
What Will Happen to Green Beans That Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?
Green beans that aren’t getting enough sun will start to suffer, typically shown by reduced production and scrawny beans.
Assuming that they’re getting plenty of water, nutrition, and other care you’ll know your green beans aren’t getting enough sunlight to produce a bumper crop when you notice the beans remaining very small, scrawny and stringy, or if they are growing in an unusual shape.
Also keep an eye on their total production: fewer beans overall is another sign of stress from lack of sunlight.
Note that this is probably not something you want to put up with because even if your plants are producing an adequate number of beans: the beans you do get will not be of good quality and probably won’t taste good.
Spend the time to “zero in” on green beans’ sunshine requirements, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a large haul of tender, crisp sweet green beans!
Sun Requirements for Different Green Beans Varieties
All green bean varieties can do just fine on relatively little sun compared to other vegetables.
That being said, the different species and cultivars have slightly varying requirements for optimal sunlight.
Take bush beans for instance. These are much more tolerant of partial shade for longer than most and only need 4, perhaps 5 hours of sun each day.
Other varieties like pole beans need more light, so they should get at least 6 hours of full sun each and every day.
These seem like minor differences, but combined with the environmental sensitivity of green beans, picking the right type for your growing zone and climate can make a huge difference, so do keep that in mind.
Tips for Bringing Indoor Green Beans Outside
If you are growing green beans indoors, or they’ve been greenhouse kept for the duration, you can’t just stick them outside if you are relocating them without badly stressing and probably killing the plant.
Avoid this by putting them outside in a well shaded spot or just a couple of hours each day over the course of a week, or more preferably two weeks.
During that time, slowly increase how long you leave them outside in that shaded spot before bringing them back inside.
After a week or two they will have fully acclimatized to the conditions outside and then you can relocate them in a container or transplant them to the ground.
Note that this is especially important if you’re growing green beans in a warmer climate!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.