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Ornamental Corn

Zea mays. When the days begin to shorten and the nights begin to cool, the urge to welcome fall with displays of Pumpkins, mums and Ornamental Corn begins to grow. Growing your own Ornamental Corn is easy and fun. Two to three weeks after the last spring frost date, direct-sow seeds 1” deep in several short rows to form a block, which maximizes pollination and kernel formation. Thin seedlings to 12" apart and fertilize and water occasionally. Harvest after the husks have dried by giving the ears a sharp downward tug. Allow the ears to dry in a covered spot for an additional 1 to 2 weeks before peeling back the husks completely. Deer resistant. Annual. Summer flowering.

Average seed life: 3 years.

Glass Gem Ornamental Corn

Glass Gem is the rock star of the Ornamental Corn world. Bred by Oklahoma Cherokee farmer Carl Barnes in the early 1990s, after years of development by a friend, pictures of its ears went viral online in 2012, and many were convinced that they were altered to make the ears appear as vibrant as they actually are. The translucent kernels look like intensely colorful glass beads and, while they make for wonderful autumn displays, they can also be popped or ground into cornmeal. Height: 6' to 9'.

One packet of about 150 seeds
Catalog #7372
  • Buy 10 for $4.55 each and save 10%
  • Buy 50 for $3.80 each and save 25%

Availability: In stock


Gardening Tips

Ornamental Corn Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”-1 1/2”
Row Spacing:24”-30”
Seed Spacing:3”-4”
Days to Germination:4-14 days
Germination Temperature:60°-80°F

Zea mays. Direct-sow Corn when the soil is reliably warm, above 60°F, well after the last spring frost date. Prepare a well-draining area with rich soil in full sunlight. Amend the soil as necessary with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. Corn is pollinated by the wind, so grow a minimum of 4 rows, even if they are short rows, to ensure good pollination. If the weather gets wet and cold, you might want to re-seed just to be safe since Corn has a long maturation cycle. After thinning to 10" to 12" between the plants, water regularly and mulch with hay or straw to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Corn is particularly hungry for nitrogen: feed regularly as needed. Harvest after the husks have dried and the kernals are hardened by giving the ears a sharp downward tug. Peel back the husks and tie them with twine. Hang the ears in a dry, dark area for an additional 1 to 2 weeks. Excessive light during this drying period will fade the Corn’s vibrant colors.