Today I ate some delicious beans and I had a strange thought. We usually grow beans with sticks to support their upward growth. How about reverse?

Has anyone placed bean plants on a balcony or something (plant it normally just like any other plant), and tried to grow them downward, kinda floating in the air, without any support for the stems? Did the plant grow and had fruit?

Google didn't find a single image of beans growing downward. Could be that my search term was bad.

  • Well I have a third floor balcony, but I'm not keen on the idea of trying to pick beans off plants 5 or 6 feet long dangling downwards - without growing wings, I wouldn't be able to pick them. Depends what type of beans though - I grow runner beans, but there are some short growing varieties of beans.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 22:25
  • you could just pull the plant up when its time to harvest :D
    – sanjihan
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 22:27
  • I don't think that would work - I crop every 2 or 3 days once the beans start coming, not sure how well the topgrowth (stems and leaves) would hold up. Dwarf beans maybe instead
    – Bamboo
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 22:39
  • I know that they grow several other vines sideways and hang the fruits downwards, e.g. gourds and cucubirts
    – tox123
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


This is a good thought. I've had the same thought before, but unfortunately it didn't really play out as you might imagine. Climbing plants inherently want to climb, they have a desire to go up. When you droop the plant over the edge, it will reverse and climb back up itself. The process is called gravitropism. Roots grow down and stems grow up. Of course there are exceptions... set a tomato plant on its side in a dark room and you will see the process occur. If you are dead set on this, you could probably train the beans to grow down by continuously redirecting them, but probably not worth your time.

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