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Corn    

Zea mays

  • 74 plantings
  • 15 for swap
  • 25 wanted
  • 86 stashed

Belonging to the Zea genus, Corn has a botanical name of Zea mays.

When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Canary yellow and   White. Leaves appear approximately as a   Ao green

It is an edible grass / vegetable that typically grows as an annual, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of a single year.

Corn is known for its erect habit and growing to a height of approximately 2.00 metres (6.50 feet). This plant tends to be ready for harvesting by late summer.

Popular varieties of Corn with home gardeners are Dakota Black, Black Aztec, Cherokee Long Ear Popcorn, Japonica Striped Maize and Silver hawaiian supersweet.

Mexico is believed to be where Corn originates from.

Corn needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Corn have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Corn

  • Full Sun

  • High

Corn is wind pollinated, and because of this at least 6 plants should be grown together to ensure a harvest. Do not plant in an area that is particularly sheltered from the wind to encourage pollination.


You can hand pollinate the corn by snapping off one of the hairy stems and rubbing it against the hairy stems of the nearby plants. Called “tickling the corn”.


You can also hand pollinate by shaking pollen off the top (tassel) and applying this yellow powder to the silks (hairy part of ears). The best time to do this is after any morning dew has dried but before the sun is directly overhead. In this way, even a single plant can produce a crop.


When the stalks at the top of the ear turn brown and dry, and the ear begins to droop a little, the corn is ready to harvest.


Corn requires a lot of nutrients, plant with compost or manure, and add a good fertilizer (eg. fishbone meal).

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water often. Use Zone 3 - Zone 9 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. A soil ph of between 6.5 and 7.5 is ideal for Corn as it does best in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Corn is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Corn to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Corn from seed

Seeds will easily rot if the soil temperature is not warm enough for germination. To prevent this sow early indoors starting around late April – early May (depending upon your zone).

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 1.95 inches (5.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 18°C / 64°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Corn about 10 days after your last frost date .

Transplanting Corn

After transplanting ensure the water is kept moist evenly. Do not let the soil dry out excessively until the corn is established. It is best to transplant corn in the evening to avoid drying out.

As Corn is tender, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Corn about 10 days after your last frost date.

Seed Saving Corn

Keep at constant temperature around 5°C. Do not save seed from hybrid corn.

Seed viability is two years.

How long does Corn take to grow?

These estimates for how long Corn takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Corn to germinate?
8 days

Average 8 days | Min 2 days | Max 19 days (117)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Corn?
+ 11 days

Average 11 days | Min 5 days | Max 30 days (7)

Days to Maturity How long until Corn is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 69 days

Average 69 days | Min 52 days | Max 111 days (9)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Corn?
= 88 days

When should I plant Corn?

Our when to plant Corn estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Corn before or after your last frost date.
10 days after Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Corn before or after your last frost date.
10 days after Last Frost Date

Corn Etymology

The term maize derives from the Spanish form (maíz) of the indigenous Taino term for the plant. Corn used to be a term considered to include any grain, and is still used in this way in many countries (including the United Kingdom). In Canada, Australia, and the US the term “corn” is now exclusively used to denote Maize.

Corn Folklore & Trivia

Corn/maize has 16 different genes for seed color, plus many more that influence kernel shape and apperance. Almost any color of the rainbow is possible.

Landrace corn is best maintained in large (100+ plants) populations. These are a diverse mixture of lines and the most variable.

Hybrid corn is produced by crossing two or more specific lines, resulting in plants with improved vigor. These plants are generally uniform in both size and apperance.

Specific lines of corn (e.g. shrunken, sugary) are generally not grown in home gardens. These are used to produce hybrid and GMO corn for commercial sale.

Other names for Corn

Sweet corn, Popcorn

Zea mays L. ssp. mays

Misspellings: maze

Latest Corn Reviews

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Footnotes

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