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Kentucky Blue Pole Beans

Kentucky: the home to Cumberland Falls, bluegrass music, and the famous Kentucky Blue Pole Beans!

Closeup of green beans.

Kentucky Blue Pole Beans fall under the Phaseolus vulgaris family and are a type of bean that usually grows in the southeast part of the United States.

In this article, we are going to cover this beautiful bean with its many characteristics, health benefits, and everything that makes Kentucky Blue Pole Beans so special!

History of the Kentucky Blue Pole Bean

The Kentucky Blue Pole Bean (or Blue Pole Beans) is a hybrid variety developed by Dr. Calvin Lamborn. The name of the bean comes from the color of its pods.

These pole beans combine the best qualities of two famous types of pole beans: the Kentucky Wonder, known for great flavor, and Blue Lake Beans, prized for their sweetness.

Pile of Kentucky Wonder green beans.
Kentucky Wonder beans.

In 1991, Lamborn’s Kentucky Blue won the coveted All-American selection award. It’s been a favorite of home gardeners ever since!

Characteristics of the Kentucky Blue Pole Bean

Kentucky Blue Pole Beans belong to the same species as other kinds of beans, such as kidneys, navies, pintos, blacks, etc. This particular variety has become more popular because of its beautiful appearance.

The beans are very productive, long, green pods with a distinctive flavor. Overall, the pods are oval, thick, gently curving, meaty and tender.

Pole beans growing on vines.

The vines grow 6-8′ tall and require trellising. The mature bean pod size is usually 6-7″ long and this is the best size for picking.

Kentucky Blue Pole Beans have a sweeter flavor compared to traditional pole bean types.

Nutritional Benefits

Kentucky Blue Pole Beans are a source of fiber and protein and are low in fat.

Nutritional benefits of the bean also include

  • Vitamin K which helps to heal wounds faster
  • Vitamin C for a stronger immune system
  • Vitamin A for proper organ function

Cooking Ideas and Ways to Enjoy the Beans

Pile of picked green beans.

If you’ve never had fresh-from-the-garden green beans before, they’re far superior to anything you’ll find in the grocery store produce department! You probably won’t have to twist anyone’s arm to try them.

But if you do have especially picky eaters in your house, we’ve got some great tips for you!

Getting Kids to Enjoy Kentucky Blue Pole Beans

Beans can be the last food choice for kids due to their texture and taste. Here are some tips to make your children enjoy Kentucky Blue Pole Beans!

  1. Get them involved with the cooking process. This will make them more excited to eat what they have prepared.
  2. Make Fried Green Beans that can be eaten as finger food.
  3. Prepare the beans as you would with pasta! It may sound weird, but it’s delicious.

Quick Kid-Friendly Recipe

  • Boil your beans until they’re soft and strain them.
  • In a different pot, cook your favorite red sauce.
  • Combine the beans and red sauce in the same pot, stir and serve with your favorite cheese! We recommend parmesan cheese for the best taste.

For Adults — A Mediterranean-Style Recipe

Pole beans are very common in Greece and the average Greek household consumes legumes once per week. Here’s a flavorful and easy recipe to cook at home.

A Greek Kentucky Blue Pole Bean Recipe (serves 4)

Greek style green beans.


  • 1 pound Kentucky Blue Pole Beans
  • ¼ cups of oil (one cup at the beginning and one for the end)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 garlic
  • 1 small can of diced tomato or 3 chopped medium tomatoes
  • ¼ chopped parsley
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 small Idaho potatoes
  • 2 big carrots (optional)
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon (optional)
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Add ¼ cups of olive oil to a pot, slice the onion and sautee it for two minutes.
  2. Wash the beans, cut the ends, throw them in the pot and saute them with the onion.
  3. Make sure they are coated with olive oil and cover them on low flame. Cook them for 2 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, cut the potatoes, dice your carrots, mince the parsley and cut and peel the garlic.
  5. Add the ingredients to the pot with the diced tomato and bouillon.
  6. Add salt and pepper and ¼ cup of olive oil.
  7. Cook for about 30 minutes. Make sure you stir while cooking until all the ingredients are tender.

And voila!

Grow Your Own Kentucky Blue Pole Beans

It’s easy to grow these beans. Because of the need for structures to support vertical growth, pole beans are ideal for small space gardens!

A flower on a pole bean vine.

When, Where, and How to Grow Them

Kentucky blue pole beans are sensitive to cold weather, so the best time to plant them is after the last spring frost. They perform best when grown in spring and in fall, depending on the region of the country.

Pro tip #1: If you want your beans to sprout faster, put them in water for 24 hours and plant them the next day.

Plant seeds 2 inches deep and 10 inches apart. The distance will allow the beans to grow on the trellis when they start sprouting from the soil.

Don’t forget to put the pole support in place after planting and make sure it’s sturdy.

Seeds usually sprout in 14 – 20 days.

Pole bean seedlings in a garden.

Pro tip #2: For the freshest taste, preserve or serve beans the same day you harvest them.

Water your plant every other day. It’s important to check that the moisture level of the plant is right so they produce a good yield. Don’t disturb the flowers as they are growing. Mulching also helps conserve water, control weed growth, and regulate soil temperatures.

You should expect your first beans about 10–12 weeks after they have been planted. When they’re 6-7 inches long, pick them daily – it makes them produce more!

Pro tip #3: Make sure to be in a good mood when you’re near plants  it helps them grow!

As soon as the growing season ends, let the beans dry on the vine. The pods should have a light brown color and the seeds should rattle on the inside. Take the seeds from the pods, and after they dry thoroughly, preserve them for a year in a dry, cool area.


Pole bean pods on a vine.

Early varieties, like Kentucky Blue Pole beans, start producing beans usually in one to two weeks. Kentucky Blue Pole Beans are usually harvested at the maturity stage (as soon as they start to turn brown).

After they’re picked, the beans are sold to manufacturers to produce various food items.

Where to Buy Seeds

Pole bean seedlings.

Have we sold you on the idea of growing your own Kentucky Blue pole beans in your home garden?

Kentucky Blue Pole beans seeds are available for purchase and delivery online. We recommend buying your beans from one of our favorite retailers for seeds, Hoss Tools!

Dish Up Some Kentucky Blue Pole Beans!

So, what’s not to love about this bean? It’s tasteful, nutritious, and easy to cook!

Pile of green beans

As you enjoy your Kentucky Blue Pole beans, you can also take a look at our Bean Plants page, and learn about different varieties and more!