Do you know that you can grow corn from popcorn? That’s true. You can cultivate your popcorn if you’re a gardener and a snack fan. It needs a sizable plot of land to grow a cornfield. However, it’s a lot of fun to grow. Popcorn is easy to grow and is a fantastic crop to cultivate with kids as a gateway crop into the gardening world.

One of the most widely consumed vegetables is corn. Popcorn can be a delicious late-season snack when grown by a daring gardener.

Growing your corn at home is a rewarding challenge. Popcorn, also known as Zea mays everta, is a corn kernel. Typically, you’ll find popcorn kernels in a packaged form. Popcorn may be planted, grown, and cared for with some education and effort. Grow some popcorn seeds, and soon you’ll have a crop of popcorn to pop, cook, and eat. 

People who want to cultivate their popcorn or microgreens at home frequently search for popcorn kernels. The exquisite flavor of popcorn you grew yourself more than justifies the time and energy spent on doing so.

You should read the post if you are a gardener. By reading this guide, you will be able to know Can You Grow Corn from Popcorn at Home.

Can You Grow Corn from Popcorn at Home | Complete Guide+Tips

Let’s start,

Can you grow corn from popcorn? 

Popcorn seeds can be planted and will produce corn. A maize kernel, so long as it is healthy, has the potential to germinate. The only things needed are the right temperature and humidity.

No plant can thrive on a popcorn kernel. This corn does have a reasonable probability of germinating, though. Remember that these kernels should not be steamed, boiled, or roasted. It would be a waste of resources.

Can you use store-bought popcorn to grow corn? 

As long as the commercial popcorn is not dead, it can be grown into a new crop. You intend to eat all that popcorn you purchase.

Most popcorn kernels come from hybrid corn. If these kernels had cooked previously, they would not sprout. Therefore, cultivating a popcorn kernel is an exercise in trial and error. Make sure the popcorn kernels you’re planting are healthy before you start growing the popcorn. Some of the popcorn kinds available for import are sterile.

Radiation can use to eliminate all possible germs in these kernels. The radiation treatment eliminates all the viable cells within the seed. Particularly if they have popcorn, it’s preferable to heat and eat them.

What would happen if even one popcorn kernel sprouted? The likelihood of a good harvest is still relatively low. Instead of growing regular popcorn, an heirloom strain should purchase from a garden center. A higher percentage of these seeds germinate than in packaged popcorn.

How to grow corn from popcorn at home? 

It is not so difficult. You can grow popcorn at your home when the required materials you have.

What materials do you need to grow popcorn?

Many people’s kitchens already have everything they need to grow popcorn plants. It is what you’ll require:

  • Popcorn
  • Soil / Potting Mix
  • Water
  • Planting Tray (when growing indoors)

So long! The popcorn is available without even placing an order with a garden center. Popcorn kernels from the store should work fine.

What are the steps to growing popcorn? 

There are a few steps that you should follow when growing corn from popcorn.

1. Choose the right popcorn seeds.

You can use popcorn from a bag, but you need to test the fertility first. Due to the heating and sterilization steps popcorn undergo before it hits shop shelves, not all of it will be viable. Popcorn seeds can also purchase from farmers and garden stores.

How to test store-bought popcorn fertility?

Plant some seeds like 15 or 20 in moist soil and wait. You know you have good corn seeds if they germinate in about a week. When no signs of growth appear after two weeks, you know you have bad seeds. That’s why you need viable seeds.

The corn should soak for 12 hours in warm water. It will help them absorb more moisture and germinate more quickly.

2. Choose the right spot.

Pick a good location. It’s essential that the garden soil is well-drained and that there is plenty of sunlight where you plan to plant. Corn is a very space-intensive crop.

Cross-pollination can occur between different maize varieties if they are planting closer than 100 feet apart. The flavor may alter or even be lost if hybrids form due to this.

What kind of soil does popcorn grow best?

Soil with a pH of 5.8 to 7.0, enough organic matter, and good drainage is ideal for growing popcorn. The garden soil test results will tell you how much phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to apply.

Some Minnesota soils have an abundance of phosphorus. Do not apply any phosphorus fertilizer until instructed to do so by a soil test.

To enhance your soil, add compost or manure in the spring or fall. Do not use new waste because it can worsen weed problems and contain hazardous microorganisms.

Apply 0.15 pounds of actual nitrogen per 100 feet of the row as a side-dressing when plants reach a height of 1 foot. Apply the best fertilizer in a band along the row, keeping it four to six inches away from the roots. Water the garden after you’ve scratched it into the soil.

3. Sow popcorn kernel seeds.

Use two seeds in each hole. The maize should plant about half an inch deep in the spring. It is the year to sow summer corn at a depth of two inches.

Plant the seeds 8-10 inches apart. You should leave 18–24 inches between rows if you’re planting in rows.

If the soil is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds will germinate. Take the temperature of the ground with a thermometer to ensure it’s ready. After sowing seeds, water properly.

How to sow popcorn kernels indoors?

If you want to start popcorn seeds indoors, you can fill trays with potting mix, make holes an inch deep, plant two popcorn seeds in each cell, and then cover them with soil.

Put the seeds on a heating pad or a sunny windowsill, and water them regularly until they sprout. If you can’t keep them on a sunny window sill after they sprout, give them eight to ten hours a day of grow light.

Then, transplanting seedlings outside is simple Space the holes four to nine inches apart and dig them to the same width and depth as the pots. Take each seedling one by one and place it in the hole. Fill the space behind the plant with soil, then water it thoroughly. It’s over now.

4. Thin out the plants. 

At around 4 inches in height, thin out your seedlings. There won’t be enough survivors to warrant doing it any sooner. Space them out so that there is no more than a ten- to fifteen-inch gap between each.

How to care for popcorn plants? 

There are basic caring tips to use for popcorn plants. As a gardener, you should pay attention to plant care to take a better harvest.

Can You Grow Corn from Popcorn at Home | Complete Guide+Tips

1. Water the popcorn plants regularly. 

Popcorn will grow more successfully if watered adequately. Extreme heat doesn’t affect the growth of any maize variety. Unless you rinse popcorn plants, they may suffer from drought stress during hot, dry periods.

It is because popcorn has a shallow root system. New roots may appear to be growing just above the soil at the plant’s base, but they contribute very little to the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients. They serve as a form of plant stabilization.

Soak the soil well once a week if the seedling isn’t getting an inch of water per week. It’s best to water more frequently than once per week if your soil is sandy. Sandy soil can saturate with an inch of water, but heavy clay soil can only soak with six inches.

Check the depth of the moisture with a trowel. Keep the faucet on if it’s only an inch or two. When the ears have fully developed, you can harvest them and let the plants dry. It is unnecessary to keep watering at this time.

2. Feed the corn plants.

To speed up the growth of the maize, you need occasionally apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer (12-12-12 fertilizer). The fertilizer should spread in between the rows. Get it down into the ground by watering it. It is not necessary to fertilize frequently.

You can use half a pound of fertilizer per 100 square feet after the corn reaches approximately knee height or has 8 to 10 leaves. Once the ears develop silk, apply 1/4 pound fertilizer per 100 square feet.

Fertilizer should apply when the leaves become light or yellow, especially after receiving silk.

3. Keep out the animals. 

It is very important to keep out the animals such as crows, raccoons, and rabbits from your popcorn plants. If not, your plants can harm by animals.

How to keep crows away from popcorn plants?

From when your corn reaches the sprouting stage, or even before, your vigilance is necessary. To protect your corn from the elements, you can use mulch. Covering each row of seedlings with a chicken wire tunnel is better. You can also use a scarecrow.

How to get rid of raccoons?

Once the ears of corn have formed and begun to ripen, raccoons will start to prey on them. A few strategies exist for keeping furry thieves away from your harvest, such as installing a fence, sprinkling some hot pepper on the silk, and putting portable radios to good use in the cornfield.

4. Give support to plants with stalks. 

Additional staking will require once the stalks begin to develop. To make them more stable, pack earth around their legs.

5. Remove and control the weeds. 

Cultivating the soil around the maize is necessary for weed control. If you want to avoid damaging the roots, proceed with caution.

Weeds can prevent before they become a problem by cultivating the soil frequently and shallowly with a hoe or other hand instrument. Be careful not to chop or hoe too profoundly. Remove weeds from the soil by cultivating just below their surface.

Once the corn has matured, the canopy of leaves it creates will help to prevent further weed growth. Reduce the frequency of cultivation by applying a three- to four-inch layer of mulch made from grass clippings treated with no pesticide, weed-free straw, or another organic material.

6. Prevent the diseases

As with posts, keep an eye out for these frequent diseases that might affect corn plants.

How does Stewart’s Wilt disease affect the popcorn plant?

Pantoea stewartii causes Stewart’s wilt, a bacterial illness that can be fatal.

This bacterial disease, also known as bacterial wilt or bacterial leaf blight, is spread by the corn flea beetle and is prevalent in the Midwest, East, and South of the United States (Chaetocnema pulicaria).

The adult beetle’s feeding causes striped, yellowish lesions in the leaves, infested with bacteria. Within a short time, an entire plant can begin to turn yellow and die.

How to fix it?

At the first indication of infection, pull off any infected plants and treat the rest with insecticidal soap or neem oil once every few days to prevent the spread of the disease. Throw them out in the garbage can, not in the compost.

It causes powdery orange spores to release from rusty orange streaks on leaves. The most excellent method of rust prevention is to plant rust-resistant cultivars.

How does Root rot disease affect the popcorn plant?

Planting corn in soil with good drainage is essential for several reasons, including preventing the occurrence of root rot. When plants are diseased, their leaves become black and wilted.

How to fix it?

Keep the top half an inch of soil dry in between waterings to reduce disease risk. If it’s going to rain, you might want to protect your seedlings by covering them with a tarp.

How does Smut disease affect the popcorn plant?

White or black galls appear on infected plants’ ears, stems, and tassels due to the fungal disease caused by the fungus Ustilago maydis.

Galls on the leaves and tassels don’t grow too large and aren’t noticeable, but on the ears, they cause the kernels to swell into blue-purple bumps that look very unnatural.

How to fix it?

To eliminate or slow the spread of infection, cut down any infected plants and spray the surrounding area with copper fungicide.

7. Control the pests.

As a crop, popcorn is vulnerable to a wide variety of pests and illnesses. If you make it a habit to check on your green shoots in the garden regularly, you can catch problems before they become.

How do Corn Earworms harm popcorn plants?

The larvae of these moths can cause harm by eating silks and ears. If you find that your silks are vanishing, you can check for the caterpillars, a yellowish green, by removing an ear and inspecting it and the plants around.

How to get rid of Corn Earworms?

You can spray any damaged plants with pesticides to get rid of them.

How do Wireworms harm popcorn plants?

The larvae of click beetles, which are these brownish-orange pests, feed on maize seeds before they have a chance to germinate. Young corn in a row may have wireworms if it has irregularly spaced teeth.

These worms, which can reach a length of an inch and a half, enjoy eating young plants by burrowing them into their roots.

How to get rid of Wireworms?

Remove any visible wireworms, then spray the plants with Gardening organic pesticide formulated from daisy and neem tree plant extracts.

How do Aphids harm popcorn plants?

The small yellow-green to reddish-brown critters are true to form in that they enjoy feasting on tassels, silks, and ears, which you don’t want because it will prevent you from getting at those delicious kernels.

How to get rid of Aphids?

Insecticidal soap or neem oil should use in the affected region every other day, and a hose should use to remove the pests like Aphids from your plants if you spot them.

How do Corn Flea Beetles harm popcorn plants?

This small black beetle measures only 1/16 of an inch in length and deposits its eggs on and near corn plants. When their eggs hatch, the larvae can start nibbling at the roots, but they won’t usually do enough damage to the plant to warrant any concern.

Adult beetles, especially young plants, feed by removing the outer layer of leaf tissue, and they may spread the deadly Stewart’s wilt disease, which causes by the bacteria Pantoea stewartii.

How to get rid of Corn Flea Beetles?

A flea beetle infestation can avoid by keeping the crop clean and clear of weeds and waste.

These tiny black beetles are easy to spot, so if you see any, pick them off by hand. Then, spray the leaves with insecticidal detergent, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

When to harvest popcorn? 

The corn usually takes between 85 and 120 days to reach maturity. Some types of maize are ready to be harvested earlier than others.

Hang the ears of corn to dry in the sun. Corn can be dried on the stalks if autumns in your region are dry. If it starts raining in the fall, harvest the corn and store it indoors to dry off. Whenever you think the corn is ready, harvest it. Dry husks and firm kernels are ideal. First, remove the corn from the stalks and then the husks.

Where to store popcorn?

The curing process for maize takes two months, so be sure to store it properly. Prepare mesh bags for the de-husked ears. Don’t hand off the bags unless you’re in a dry, warm spot with good air circulation. Nylon stockings are another viable alternative. Another option is to shell them and keep them in a sealed bag.

If you want your popcorn dry, you can dry it in the oven. Get the range ready by heating it to three hundred degrees Fahrenheit. After preheating the oven, spread the popcorn out on a large baking sheet, and then put it inside at the lowest temperature possible. Drying the popcorn in the oven will take around five hours, during which you should stir it occasionally. Then, after taking the popcorn out of the range, please turn off the oven and let it cool overnight.

Popping a kernel in your mouth can tell if the corn did. Turn the cob on its side, remove a few seeds with a twist, and toss them onto a hot skillet. Prepare them in oil as you would usually. The corn did when it popped. If it does not release quickly from the pan, it needs more time to dry or cure.

What are the problems of growing corn from popcorn?

Gardeners may face some challenges or problems when growing corn from popcorn. It is better to know for beginners.

1. Low chance for sprouting.

The diversity of species and the potential success of each kernel present challenges if you cultivate them. Popcorn kernels purchased in a bag are probably not viable for sprouting. For raw materials, development is possible. There is a chance that they will germinate, though.

2. Need more room to grow.

The likelihood of a good crop arising from any germinated seed is extremely low. If you want to turn a popcorn seed into a flourishing plant, you’ll need a lot of room. Cornflowers are wind-pollinated, and this is why. Unfortunately, they cannot fertilize on their own. Successful fertilization requires many popcorn plants.

3. Differ the taste from corn.

Popcorn is any type of corn that can pop into a snack. Therefore, popcorn doesn’t have any particular classification within botany. It is a matter of taste to distinguish popcorn from regular corn. Thus, it would be unreasonable to assume that a bag of popcorn would contain kernels from the same corn type.

4. Require more maintenance.

The quality of the corn kernels you produce will fall short of your standards even if you do everything perfectly. It’s unlikely that your planted seeds will yield the same results. The leading cause of this is pollen transfer between the parent plants.

Plants of different types of corn are kept separate and segregated during the seed-growing process. The store-bought popcorn you consume need not stick to these standards.

But don’t worry. If you read the above-mentioned growing and caring tips, you can grow corn from popcorn successfully.

5 Best Popcorn varieties to grow at home 

Popcorn fans, you can grow more than one kind of popcorn! They all look different and have unique qualities. However, there are also variations in crunchiness and texture.

1. Snow Puff popcorn

It will grow to a massive size when popped, making it perfect for marathon viewing sessions. This variety’s kernels have extremely delicate husks. Snow puff has ears that are eight inches long and stalks that are seven feet in height, and it can only grow in full sun.

2. Heirloom popcorn

Thanks to this cultivar’s superior ability to store, you can keep eating corn even as the weather turns chilly. To thrive, heirloom varieties of popcorn must expose to direct sunlight. Also, the bright yellow, eight-inch ears don’t reach maturity until three months have passed.

3. Carousel popcorn

This heritage is an edible cultivar despite its common misclassification as a decorative. This 100-110-day cultivar produces tiny multicolored ears four to five inches long and has a pleasant flavor.

You can either pop the cobs or dry them as decorations. This cultivar’s thin hull and soft, crisp kernels make it ideal for nibbling. Cornmeal can make from grinding dried seeds.

4. Robust Yellow Hulles Hybrid popcorn

This Native American corn is well-known for having excellent, exploding kernels, making it suited to making fantastic popcorn due to its thin hulls, which allow for simple popping.

Plants of this kind thrive in the full sun and yield large ears of corn on sturdy stalks. It will take around 110 days to reach maturity.

5. Heirloom Strawberries popcorn

This gorgeous, ornamental type looks just like giant red strawberries and produces several small ears between two and three inches long and packed with ruby red kernels. It takes roughly 100 days to harvest this particular cultivar.

Watch How to germinate popcorn seeds | Video

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to Can you grow corn from popcorn at home

Can you grow popcorn kernels with other corn types? 

Popcorn kernels can indeed use to grow a whole new type of maize. The children will develop normally. However, because of the potential for cross-pollination, this is not advised.
The wind uses to pollinate corn. Self-pollination is impossible for corn. Other plants’ pollen grains are required for a maize plant to bear fruit. There may be unexpected outcomes if a plant of a different species pollinates it. It has the potential to alter how kernels usually evolve.
If you’re growing corn for seed, this could be extremely costly. Unintentional hybridization of corn seeds is possible.

Can we expect the same flavor from popcorn grown from kernels?

Indeed, it is not the case at all. A popcorn kernel can be germinated and grown into a popcorn plant. However, the flavor will differ from the seeds you have already gathered.
Mostly, this is attributable to pollination between different species in the parent plants. They weren’t kept apart from other corns throughout cultivation. In reality, though, they need not. Popcorn is grown commercially for use in food. The farmers have no interest in buying the kernel. As a result, they pay no attention to the possibility of hybridization among the kinds that plant in the fields.
Popcorns with new flavors could emerge from this hybridization. No, they won’t taste sweet because popcorn isn’t supposed to.

Can you grow corn from dried popcorn kernels? 

Corn seeds are nothing more than dry kernels of corn. Corn ears can use to attempt growing corn from seed. You may just dry out the ear and sow the grains.

How to propagate popcorn plants?

Still, it’s not easy to start a new plant from cuttings. If you’re using seeds to spread your plant, soak them for 24 hours (longer in warmer water) before sowing them shallowly in nutrient-rich, moist soil with good drainage. Seeds benefit from soaking to facilitate quicker germination.

How do you germinate corn seeds quickly?

Put the corn seeds on a damp paper towel. A resealable plastic bag is where you should place the seeded paper towel. Place the bag in a warm (65–75⁰F), dark spot out of direct sunlight. Open the package and inspect the maize seeds every seven to ten days.


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