How to Take Care of Corn Plants


Corn grows well in most gardens as long as it has full sun and regular water. Once you've planted your corn plants via seed or starter plants, you'll need to care for it through the growing season. According to the University of Illinois, most corn plants mature in 70 to 80 days, with some types taking longer or shorter than that. Care for your corn plants during the growing season to be rewarded with plump, sweet ears of corn.

Step 1

Mulch the ground once the corn plants have germinated or after you've planted corn transplants. Scatter 1 or 2 inches of straw on the ground to keep out weeds and to help keep the soil moist.

Step 2

Water corn regularly. Corn is not drought-tolerant. Too little water may lead to missing kernels in ears and small ear size. Water the corn plants at the roots, without getting the leaves wet, until the soil becomes saturated. Water them again when the soil becomes barely dry to the touch. Getting the plant leaves wet invites disease.

Step 3

Fertilize the corn plants when they reach a height of 8 inches by using 34-0-0 fertilizer. Apply 1/4 cup of fertilizer for every 10-foot row of corn. Scatter the fertilizer in the soil near the base of the plants and water to spread the fertilizer.

Step 4

Continue to water the plants regularly throughout the growing season. Once the corn tassels turn brown and the tip of the ear becomes firm to the touch, the corn is ready for harvest.

Step 5

Pull ears off the corn stalks by using your hands. Twist the ear and pull downward and it will become free.

Things You'll Need

  • Straw
  • Water
  • Fertilizer (34-0-0)


  • University of Illinois: Corn
  • Essential Garden Guide: Grow & Care - Corn, Sweet and Popcorn
Keywords: corn plants, care for corm, grow corn

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.