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How to Grow Japanese Hulless Popcorn

By Sarah Morse ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hulless popcorn has tender, sweet kernels.
popcorn image by Ewe Degiampietro from Fotolia.com

Japanese hulless popcorn is an old variety of popcorn that commercial producers no longer grow. When popped, the kernels are tender and sweet, and the hulls basically disappear. These annual corn plants reach about 5 feet tall and produce three to six 4-inch cobs per plant. At home, these plants require little care to mature properly. Knowledge of how to create the right environment for the popcorn will help you produce a bountiful harvest.

Choose an area to plant your popcorn with full sun and well-drained, loamy soil two weeks after the danger of frost passes. Prepare the soil by digging to a depth of 6 to 8 inches with a spade, breaking up any clumps and removing rocks. Lay down a 1-inch layer of organic compost and mix into the soil.

Plant the Japanese hulless popcorn seeds 1 to 1.5 inches deep, spacing them 5 to 7 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart. Short rows will encourage better pollination.

Water the seeds, keeping them moist until they start to grow. When the corn plants are about 12 inches tall, thin them, leaving 6 to 8 inches between each plant. After this point, water during dry periods.

Fertilize the popcorn with a fertilizer marked 10-10-10. Follow directions on the package for application instructions, as each type will vary.

Harvest the hulless popcorn when the stalk has died and dried. Test one cob, and if it pops well harvest the rest. If it does not pop well, keep it drying on the stalk a bit longer.


Things You Will Need

  • Spade
  • Organic compost
  • Japanese hulless popcorn seed
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

About the Author


Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.