Corn!?

Although I have about six posts in the works right now, this one will jump ahead all of them, because it is just that much cooler. Yes, it is that emphatic!

My "Bloody Butcher" corn that I showed you just two weeks ago is now a foot taller (it was an old-ish photo that I posted) and has a male inflorescence! When I saw it this morning, I immediately took a photo with my mobile phone and sent a picture message to my plant friends who work at the Arboretum. I showed it off to the guy sitting next to me at Master Gardener class tonight. I even showed my boss while I was at work. I'm just tickled that my corn is flowering--in March! On my windowsill!

This is why I grow things indoors. It doesn't matter what it is, when a plant does something that it's supposed to, such as make a new leaf, send out runners, or flower, it makes me so happy!

Now, the next test is to see if any female-flower inflorescences develop--that is to say, ears of corn. This variety is more for flour or cornmeal (although young ears can be eaten as corn-on-the-cob) and is supposed to make only two ears per stalk, although other sources say it can have up to six ears per stalk. Whatever--I'll be happy to get one!

I planted this probably in mid- to late December. It germinated on 21 December, according to my records--that means we're on day 96 or so. The maturity info says 110-120 days, so we're pretty close. I started this in a 4-inch pot, because I thought corn wouldn't like getting transplanted. Its roots quickly exited the pot from the holes at the bottom, so I upped it to an 8-inch black plastic container. Then, I potted it up to a 1-gallon container. It doesn't seem to mind being transplanted or washed of spider mites in the shower.

I know the plant is half the height it should be, but for a winter-grown stalk of corn on my windowsill, I think it's doing quite swell! I found a good quick-'n'-dirty resource on corn inflorescence emergence and pollination. It seems that a few days after the male inflorescence emerges and extends, the females' "silk" will start slithering out. Then a little while later, I'll have some ears of corn!

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3 Responses to Corn!?

  1. Do you have to aid pollination on these? I bought some short variety corn thinking it would be a fun conversation piece in a pot on my deck, a few to a pot, but everything I have read indicates that I really need row planting at least 4 wide for pollination? I just don't have the space but for just a few stalks, I could hand pollinate if necessary...

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  2. I wouldn't think I'd have to hand-pollinate, but I'll probably try something with a Q-Tip, just so I'm not disappointed. I mean, corn is just wind-pollinated, right? There's so much pollen, really, it should just fall right on the stigma.

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  3. I was thinking I wanted to start some corn on my deck but I wants so sure if the whole pollination thing would happen if I only had 8 plants

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