Sweet corn is part of the Zea genus. Its scientific name is Zea mays var. saccharata.
Tall grass type erect plant, immature ears form at nodes along the main stem Green tassels grow out of the end of the immature ear, these are the female flowers. Male flowers bloom at the tips of the stem. Corn is wind pollenated.
Adventicious roots are visible at the base of the stem and help support it
Blooms appear in these approximate colours: Green-yellow and Yellow-green and Pastel yellow. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours: Yellow and School bus yellow. Leaves appear approximately as a Kelly green and Dark spring green
A type of flowering edible vegetable / grass, it mainly grows as an annual plant - which means it typically only grows best for a single growing season.
Sweet corn normally grows with a erect habit to a mature height of 2.00 metres (that's 6.50 feet imperial). This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in mid summer.
Sweet corn is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Sweet corn have been kindly provided by our members.
Requires warmth and sunshine to crop well
Sweet corn likes a position of full sun and remember to water often. Zone 3 to 11 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Sweet corn needs a loamy and clay soil with a ph of 6.5 to 7.5 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Keep in mind when planting that Sweet corn is thought of as tender, so it is really important to ensure that the outside temperature is well above freezing before planting or moving outdoors.
See our list of companion Plants for Sweet corn to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Soak kernels in water overnight before sowing. Some people suggest buttermilk.
In climates with a short season, put 3 seeds in a 7cm pot and germinate on a bright windowsill or cold frame.
Pot on as the plants grow and keep under cover until the ground has warmed.
By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Sweet corn about 14 days after your last frost date .
Planting out too early will make the plant cold and delay its growth. When the ground has warmed plant out in a block rather than a row, to aid the wind pollenation.Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 15°C / 59°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Sweet corn is a tender plant.
Sweet corn is ready to harvest when the ears feel full and the tassels have turned from green to yellow or brown. Peel back one of the husks and pierce a kernel with your fingernail, if the juice is milky it is ready.2 Another way of knowing corn is ready is when raccoons have eaten it all.2
Sweet corn should be eaten quickly after ripening. If you have more then you can eat you may can or freeze for later use. The easiest way to store is to simply place whole ears, husk and all, into a freezer bag and freeze as quickly as possible. Then the whole ears may be microwaved or grilled later. Kernels may also be frozen off the cob which saves freezer space.
When harvesting for seed leave the ears on the stalk for as long as possible, preferably a few weeks after the stalk turns brown. Brake the ears off of the stalks and pull back the husks then string up by the husks to dry for 2-3 months. When fully dry the kernels will easily come off from the cob. Hold the corn over a paper bag or other container and twist your wrists in opposite directions (like wringing) to remove the kernels. Store the seeds away from rodents and moisture.3
Ripen on the plant and harvest when the cob begins to Feel dry and hard. Continue to dry on a bright windowsill, if necesary
These estimates for how long Sweet corn takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 8 days | Min 1 days | Max 21 days (309)
Average 30 days | Min 2 days | Max 52 days (21)
Average 88 days | Min 52 days | Max 140 days (15)
Our when to plant Sweet corn estimates are relative to your last frost date.
Zea mays var. rugosa
Misspellings: Corn on the Cob, Cob Corn, sweetcorn, sweet corn, Maize, Green mealie
mulched with cut straw.
HollyBee about growing Corn 'Golden Cross Bantam Hybrid'
mulched with cut straw.
HollyBee about growing Corn 'Ruby Queen Hybrid'
Weeded the entire bed, including the corn which I couldn’t differentiate from the grass. Will not plant more corn this year.
HollyBee about growing Corn 'Early Choice Hybrid'