ABSTRACT Associations between root distribution and bean growth habit may contribute to the selection of genotypes adapted to restrictive environments. The present work aimed to relate and compare root distribution with the growth habit in beans. 10 bean genotypes of different growth habits (I, II and III) were evaluated for root distribution in two agricultural years (2014/15 and 2015/16). The genotypes responded similarly for the trait root distribution throughout the agricultural years, without any simple effect of the genotype x year interaction. The factors genotype and years were significant for the trait. The genotypes of a determinate habit showed significant differences compared to other genotypes (II and III), which were ascribed to their poor performance in the average of years. They include the Carioca Precoce, which showed a behavior similar to the other habits. It could be considered a “plastic” genotype under restrictive conditions. The contrasts revealed significant differences between the growth habits II vs I (2.87) and III vs I (3.64) for root distribution. The differences were also significant for grain yield. Thus, genotypes of indeterminate growth habit show greater root distribution than those of a determinate habit, regardless of the agricultural years. Therefore, they are promising for use in blocks of crosses, when the purpose is the selection of cultivars adapted to low input environments.