How Do You Grow Painted Hill Corn?

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Painted Hill Corn

Growing Painted Hill Corn

This variety of corn almost looks like candy! Maybe this is where candymakers got the inspiration for candy corn, right? Whatever it’s history may be, having the Painted Hill Corn (Zea mays var. saccharata) in your garden will add so much more fun and color into your vegetable garden!

Cheatsheet: Growing Painted Hill Corn


🌽 Choose fertile soil with good drainage.

🌽 Sow seeds 1-2 inches deep, 8-12 inches apart.

🌽 Plant corn in rows to enhance pollination.


💦 Water regularly, 1 inch per week.

⚡️ Provide ample sunlight, at least 6 hours a day.

🌾 Fertilize at knee-high stage with nitrogen-rich feed.


🪲 Apply organic pest deterrents as needed.

🌬️ Shield young plants from strong winds.

🌧️ Protect corn from excessive rainfall with shelter.


⏳ Harvest corn within 20 days of tasseling.

🌽 Plump, sweet ears are ready when silk turns brown.

⚠️ Store in cool, dry place to prevent spoilage.

Benefits & Fun Facts

  • 🌽 Painted Hill Corn boasts colorful kernels resembling a painter's palette.
  • 🌽 Rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, promoting a healthy diet.
  • 🌽 Cultivating corn fosters self-sufficiency and sustainable living.
  • 🌽 A single corn stalk can produce up to two ears of corn.

Growing Painted Hill Corn: Tips For A Rich, Healthy Harvest

If you’re looking for a unique corn crop to bring your garden to life, Painted Hill Corn is an excellent choice. This variety produces vibrant, colorful corn heads that add both flavor and excitement to any meal.

Unlike many hybrid corn varieties, Painted Hill Corn is certified organic and non-GMO, so you can feel good about the food you’re feeding your family. Read on for our top tips for harvesting a full and healthy crop of Painted Hill Corn.

Choosing The Right Area To Plant

When selecting a spot to grow your Painted Hill Corn, make sure you have a warm, sunny location as this variety loves the sun and thrives in heat. You should also look for an area with well-draining soil, as this type of corn is prone to root rot in overly-saturated soil. Before planting, add organic compost or manure into the soil to ensure your corn has plenty of nutritious access to the nutrients it needs to grow.

Timing The Planting

Painted Hill Corn is an early- to mid-season variety, so you should time your planting accordingly. It’s best to wait until the soil is warm, usually a few weeks after the last frost of early spring. Plant your seeds a foot apart in rows, spacing each row about three feet apart. Don’t cover the seeds with more than a few inches of soil, as they need light to germinate.

Proper Watering And Managing Weeds

As your Painted Hill Corn grows, be sure you’re adequately watering it (about one inch of water per week). It’s also essential to watch for weeds. Some weeds can steal the necessary nutrition from your corn, so it’s best to use your hands to diligently remove them as needed.

Harvesting Your Corn

Expect to harvest your Painted Hill Corn between 55 and 75 days after planting (depending on the temperatures in your area). When you’re ready to pick it, look at the ears of corn – the husks should be a creamy yellow color and have a slightly sticky feel when touched. Gently peel back a couple of the husks to check the kernels – if they’re plump and yellowish-white, your Painted Hill Corn is ready to be picked.

The Perfect Side Dish For Every Meal

With its unique flavor and beautiful, vibrant colors, Painted Hill Corn is a crowd-pleaser that's perfect for everything from salads and salsa to grilled corn on the cob and more. When grown correctly, it can easily supplement your garden harvest for months in the year.

Keep these tips in mind next time you’re looking to add a little something extra to your garden. We’re confident you’ll be glad you took the time to plant this delicious, organic corn!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the best time to plant Painted Hill Corn?

The best time to plant Painted Hill Corn is in late spring or early summer.

Q: What are the ideal growing conditions for Painted Hill Corn?

Painted Hill Corn thrives in well-drained soil, full sun, and warm temperatures.

Q: How often should I water my Painted Hill Corn?

Water your Painted Hill Corn regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Q: Do I need to fertilize my Painted Hill Corn?

Yes, fertilize your Painted Hill Corn every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer.

Q: How long does it take for Painted Hill Corn to mature?

Painted Hill Corn typically takes around 80-90 days to reach maturity.

Q: How do I protect my Painted Hill Corn from pests?

Protect your Painted Hill Corn by using organic pest control methods, such as companion planting and natural deterrents.

Q: When is the right time to harvest Painted Hill Corn?

Harvest your Painted Hill Corn when the husks are dry and the kernels are plump and milky.

Q: How should I store harvested Painted Hill Corn?

Store harvested Painted Hill Corn in a cool, dry place with good ventilation, such as a mesh bag or open container.

Painted Hill corn may require some extra effort in planting and harvesting, but with some patience and extra care it can be a rewarding addition to your garden. It is a beautiful heirloom variety that will bring a unique flavor to your table. If you're looking for something special and delicious to grow, Painted Hill corn is the perfect choice.

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