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Why Is My Sweet Corn Growth Stunted?

By Karen Carter
Sweet corn grows well in favorable conditions.
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One issue stumping gardeners growing sweet corn is the occasional stunted growth of plants, including sweet corn. Causes include viruses, pests and unfavorable environmental conditions. Many of these conditions lead to nutrient deficiencies in the sweet corn plants.

Significance

Sweet corn planted in soil with a pH level of 5.2 and below grows stunted. Good corn growth occurs in soil with pH levels in the 5.5 to 7.0 range. After soil testing, the pH level can be fixed with the incorporation of lime after the sweet corn is harvested.

Warning

Sweet corn is susceptible to maize chlorotic dwarf virus, which turns the young leaves yellow or red and severely stunts the corn plants. Leafhoppers transmit this plant disease.

Considerations

Parasitic nematodes and grubs cause serious damage to the roots of sweet corn plants. The only above ground sign of pests feeding on the roots is stunted growth in localized areas. The root damage of these types of pests causes nutrient deficiency in the plants.

Other

Sweet corn will grow stunted if planted in compacted soil, which leads to abnormal root growth and nutrient deficiency. Herbicide carryover from the previous growing season will also stunt sweet corn.

 

About the Author

 

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.