Can You Grow Sweet Corn in a Container?

Written by denise howard
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Can You Grow Sweet Corn in a Container?
Sweetcorn needs room to grow. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

It is possible to grow sweetcorn in containers, but the yield is inferior to corn grown in a garden. Corn requires more space than most containers provide. If planting corn in containers, replicate optimal outdoor conditions as closely as possible.

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Sweetcorn needs full sun, plentiful water and rich soil to thrive. It relies on the wind for pollination, which is best achieved when corn is planted in a block of several short rows. Container gardening doesn't generally allow for cross-pollination unless plants are arranged in several rows of tubs.


Sweetcorn is available in a number of heirloom and hybrid varieties. Some dwarf varieties are more suited to container gardening because of their decreased size, but they still require proper pollination.


Researchers at Purdue University recommend using a 8-inch standard pot when growing corn in containers. Larger pots encouraged spindly growth, and smaller pots tipped easily and produced sterile plants in their studies.

Time Frame

Corn is usually ready to harvest between 60 to 100 days from the time of planting, depending on seed variety and climate conditions. When corn is ripe, the ears turn dark green, the silk turns brown and the kernels are full and plump, releasing a milky liquid when squeezed.

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