For an entertaining movie night, it is no longer necessary to visit a cinema. It’s much more comfortable on the sofa at home anyway. Of course, the popcorn should not be missing here either, when things get exciting on the screen. If you want to make it easy for yourself, you can get the popcorn corn from your own garden. Because growing and processing different varieties is easier than you think.

Different sorts

Popcorn corn is not only characterized by its fluffy consistency after heating, but also comes in many different varieties. Popcorn corn is actually a separate variety under the Zea mays genus, which is native to America. In the trade, the self-supporter will find this special type under the name puffed corn. Characteristic is the hard, bite-resistant shell, which bursts open completely under the influence of heat.

Thanks to the different types of puffed corn, it will be wonderfully colorful in the popcorn bucket. When growing in your own garden, the self-sufficient can easily fall back on different plants. If the trade only offers a small selection of seeds, the Internet has popcorn in various colors ready. For example, popular are:

  • Strawberry Corn Indian Berries: Variegated , short and thick cobs in purple, red, yellow, white, blue or pink, small kernels, plant grows 1.8 m tall
  • Heavenly Blue: elongated blue cobs, sometimes tinged with pink, average sized seeds, plant grows 1.5 m tall, best suited for salty popcorn
  • Striped Orange: yellow grains with red stripes, rare variety
  • Golden Butter: Plant grows up to 1.5 m tall, golden-yellow grains
  • Grünperl: Plant grows 1.2 m tall, green seeds in all variations, good pop properties
  • Caritas: Plant grows 1.2 m tall, orange, yellow, pink and blue grains on a single spike, short thick
  • Ruby Red: Plant grows up to 2m tall, blood red spadix, large fluffy kernels after processing
  • Purple Popcorn: Plant grows up to 2 m tall, long, deep purple cobs, high yield, large popcorn with nutty flavor after processing
Note: After processing, the different varieties only differ in terms of size and colour. The latter property leads to a colorful surprise in the popcorn bucket. In terms of nutrient content, however, there are no differences.

site conditions

The popcorn does not only need heat to pop up. The American origin requires the following location factors for growing in your own garden:

  • grow in groups
  • sunny and warm
  • frost protected
  • no waterlogging
Note: Since popcorn corn reproduces with the wind, planting in groups promises more success.

Cultivation in the bucket

Even if you don’t have a garden, you don’t have to do without crisp popcorn from your own cultivation. Popcorn is also suitable for growing on the balcony. A couple of mortar buckets are enough for about five to ten plants. A sunny location is required. There are actually some advantages to growing in tight spaces. On the one hand, the chances of successful pollination are higher, on the other hand, the plant on the balcony is safer from fungal diseases or pests such as the European corn borer.

sowing or planting

Depending on your preference, popcorn can be sown directly in the bed or placed on the windowsill. The latter variant has the advantage that the cobs have a slight growth advantage. If temperatures fall early in autumn or if the rainfall rate is particularly high before harvest, the grains will not fully ripen. This is later reflected in the taste of the popcorn.

It can be brought forward as early as mid-April or at the end of April and is done as follows:

  • Fill the seed pots with 10 liters of seed soil (normal garden soil if necessary).
  • Press the seed 2 to 3 cm into the soil
  • water well
  • after a week at the latest, the first shoots will appear
  • Wait for the night frosts to subside (after the ice saints) and put them outside
  • Plant shoots no deeper than in the seed container

When sowing popcorn corn directly in mid or late May, the gardener proceeds as follows:

  • Remove weeds from the bed
  • Dig grooves at a distance of 40 cm
  • Work in seeds at a distance of 30 to 40 cm
  • Cover soil with compost
Tip: Especially with young specimens, it is advisable to pile up the plants. This measure promotes vigorous root growth.


Maize is one of the heavy consumers and therefore requires a high nutrient density. However, artificial fertilizers are not recommended. Organic material such as home-made compost is better suited. Otherwise, corn turns out to be very undemanding.

Tip: For even more harvest in the following year, it is advisable to support the corn plants with pollination. The male flower is at the top. The gardener finds the female flowers in the leaf axils. He recognizes them by their light green or dark red colour. With his finger, he carefully rubs the pollen from the male specimen onto a piece of paper and then distributes it on the female flower.

Harvest popcorn corn

Until the gardener can harvest his corn, he has to wait until October. Harvesting is only possible when the entire plant has completely dried up. The now brown plant then opens its bracts. When harvesting, the gardener proceeds as follows:

  • Cut off the cobs with the secateurs
  • or rotate with your hands from the blade axis
  • bend the bracts backwards
  • Hang the flask upside down on a string to dry
  • Scrape the grains with your hands
  • pour into clean disposable glasses
Note: After the harvest, the corn is not yet suitable for immediate popcorn production. Before that, the grains have to dry for about two weeks at room temperature.

Process popcorn corn

Self-catering people traditionally prepare their popcorn in a pan. To do this, he first warms up some oil or butter (results in a finer aroma) and then adds the dried grains. Now he puts the lid on and occasionally swivels the pan. After five minutes, all of the kernels should have popped. He serves his popcorn savory with salt or sweet with sugar, depending on his preference. It is also possible to caramelize the popcorn immediately in the pan. In addition, the use of coconut oil is a special insider tip for people who like it exotic.

The simpler method is heating in the microwave. To do this, the self-supporter fills the grains in a suitable container, adds a little water and sugar or salt to taste and lets the grains pop at 600 watts for seven minutes. It is best to enjoy the popcorn while it is still warm. If stored too long, it loses its crispiness.

Note: Popcorn can only be made with popcorn corn. All other types of corn only burst superficially when heated and therefore do not have the typical, fluffy consistency.

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