The peanut plant is a native to South America, but grows well in warm climates all over the world. Peanuts are legumes, which means that the "fruit" is actually the seed and is encased in a shell. George Washington Carver discovered many uses for the plant, which led to its popularity among farmers in the Southern region of the United States.
Peanut seeds are planted at least 2 inches deep into the soil. Within one week, it will form a root system and within another week, a sprig will form above the ground. Plant seeds 3 feet apart from each other.
The peanut plant grows to be approximately 2 feet tall and at least 3 feet wide. It takes 30 to 40 days for the plant to reach maturity.
Mature peanut plants produce small, bright yellow flowers less than 1 inch in diameter. The flowers normally last for 30 days and are self-pollinating.
The peanut blooms produce runners called "pegs," which work their way down to the soil. The pegs enter the soil where they will produce peanut pods. It is crucial to keep the surrounding area weed-free to avoid any interruptions to the peg's journey down to the ground.
When the plant is at least 100 days old, the entire plant should be harvested from the ground, exposing the fully grown peanuts that have grown underground. The plant should be set out to dry for at least a week before removing the peanuts.