How to Grow Popcorn

Popcorn is a fun experiment in the garden and homegrown popcorn pops faster and has a fresher taste than store bought. And depending on how you grow it, it will be chemical free. homemade popcorn
Creative Commons License photo credit: faeryboots

Popcorn is fairly easy to grow. Just make sure you get popcorn seeds. It is different from regular corn seeds. It will be clearly marked on the seed packet. You can also check for popcorns  horticultural name: Zea praecox.

When planting your popcorn choose a location with rich soil and that drains well. Popcorn needs a fertile soil to produce large crops. Your popcorn will need to be planted 10 inches apart and at least 18 inches apart for the next row. Follow the instructions for planting on the seed package for how deep to place the seed.

For a successful popcorn crop you need to make sure you have the popcorn crop set out in a block form. Corn needs to pollinate by a breeze so planting in block form or at least 4 rows deep. This will insure good crop pollination.popcorn in our garden

Creative Commons License photo credit: Chris Radcliff

If you have limited growing space or like more adventure – grow your popcorn in 2 bushel baskets. It’s fun, easy and has a great look! It also adds to your Halloween décor! I would also add a few baby pumpkins and miniature gourds for color.

Popcorn Growing Tip:

Its important to keep corn crops separated so if you are growing regular corn, grow them on opposite sides of the garden or yard.


It’s time to harvest your popcorn when the silks turn brown. To harvest your popcorn, pull or cut the cob of the main plant. Then dry the kernels on the cob for another week or two. I tie the popcorn up in groups of 6 to 8 ears with the husks pulled back so the air will dry the kernels and preserve the popcorn. You can remove the kernels by rubbing them loose with your thumb or grate one cob against the other to loosen the kernels.

I store the popcorn in glass jars in the cupboard. Glass jars keep moisture away from the kernels so that they will last longer.

Our family grew popcorn for many years. We even sold corn and pumpkins in the fall. I have many memories from those days.

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12 responses to “How to Grow Popcorn”

  1. Wizzer

    My quest is at an end. For 3 years I’ve been scouring websites for the answer to my problem. How to grow my own pop corn to satisfy the instatiable appetites of my blog visitors (I have to dish it out with videos and my supplies run short very quickly!)

    Seriously, great article – popcorn is one of those “things” I never really thought about in terms of how to grow it.

    Well done – now for some caramel!

    Wizzer’s last blog post..Goal Setting Blogging Instructions

  2. D S

    What a wonderful idea! We are a popcorn eating family and always have a garden which is possibly what lead us to starting our site.

    Never thought about growing ‘popcorn’ but will be adding this to the list!



    D S’s last blog post..Solar Cascade Fountain

  3. Denise

    I don’t think you can supply enough popcorn those eager to learn video watches at Blogging beginners and But I think you should try!!

    As I found strange seeds I started looking for more different veggies and plants to grow in the garden. It makes the garden a fun place to hang out. Denise

  4. Hey DS

    Popcorn is a great crop to growand your kids will enjoy watching and waiting for popcorn. Denise

  5. Diana

    This is a great idea Denise for popcorn lovers. I never thought of growing my own popcorn, but it is something to think about. It probably tastes much better than store bought popcorn. Thanks for sharing.


  6. It does taste better and it pops faster.

    I aslo use any extra ears of popcorn I have over for decotation, either or doors or wreaths. Several popcorn varieties come in different colors so its very pretty.Denise

  7. Teri

    Does it come in blue?

    As in blue corn?


    Teri’s last blog post..Republicans Grovel at the Feet of Rush Limbaugh

  8. Denise

    Actually Teri there is a light blue color popcorn. And there is also a dark blue indian corn used mainly for grinding for corn meal. And yes, I have both kinds of seeds. 🙂 Denise

  9. Karyn

    Growing popcorn is a lot of fun and it looks beautiful as the stalks grow. Only concern you may have is raccoons. Out of my small crop, I had one stalk of “pop corn” remaining after the raccoon had a field day.

  10. Denise

    I have had the same problem in the past too Karyn. Living near a creek raccoons are a problem here. For several years the raccoons seemed to miss my corn but once they found it? It was not pretty. So I cut back on growing corm for a few and now grow it in bushel baskets or behind fencing and away from my other crops. Raccoons will tear up a garden to get to corn and that’s very disappointing.

    Fencing, dried blood -which is good for the soil and a radio left on a night will discourage raccoons. I also had sensor light come on one year near the gardens and that seemed to keep them away. Denise

  11. kevin

    i grew my sweet corn and pop corn rite next to each other – ,but have’nt harvested the popcorn yet – – will the popcorn not turn out very well ?

  12. Denise

    I think the popcorn will still turn out ok. Its mostly when saving see for the following year you have to be concerned.

    For future growing I would separate them in the garden or yard. If your garden is small even grow a vine or beans on a vine between the two crops will help. Denise

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