When we think of long beans, most of us would conjure a picture of beanstalks climbing up a trellis. Climbing beans are also called pole beans. But do you know there are varieties of beans that take on a bush-like growth habit?
Bush long beans plants.
Out of curiosity, I went to buy some bush long bean seeds and grew them up a long time back. The picture above shows how the plants actually look like. Bush bean plants do not send out shoots that would otherwise seek a support to twine around. Initially, when the plants grow, they do so by growing upwards. As they continue to grow, they get weighed down by their own leaves and the plants trail along the ground subsequently.
Flowers of the bush long bean.
Depending on the cultivar, the growth habit of the bush long beans I grew was quite compact and they eventually covered up the entire planting bed. I found them quite attractive with the mounds of leaves that grew on the ground. Bush beans also make very good candidates for growing on a sunny apartment balcony. They do not require support to climb on and hence are space-savers. Do try growing them on a long trough.
The long bean pods.
The main advantage of growing bush-type bean varieties is perhaps their space-saving characteristics when compared with the climbing types. However, I have noticed that bush-type bean plants actually do not crop as heavily as conventional pole beans. In addition, because the pods they produce are close to the ground, they become the targets of snails, slugs and even ants where they get eaten away!