As its name implies, the stalks of Broom Corn plants are used to make brooms. The tops grow in fan-shaped blooms. These grass-like plants are not true corn plants. And, growing broom corn does not produce ears of corn for consumption.
Native to Central Africa, Broom Corn plants are popular in fall decorating projects. The dried stalks are often included in floral displays with pumpkins and gourds. They also look great by themselves, like dried flowers.
Did You Know: It takes one ton of Broom Corn to produce 80 to 100 brooms…… neither practical nor economical in today’s world.
Plant Height: 8 – 12 feet.
Annual, Zea Mays
Broom Corn plants are grown from seeds. They are grown very similar to Sweet Corn. Directly sow seeds into your garden, after the last frost, and when the soil has warmed. Germination is poor in cool soils.
Grow plants in rows three feet apart. The final spacing for plants is 6″ – 12″ apart. Planting in blocks (3 to 4 rows), helps to maximize pollination.
Days to Germination: 7 – 14 days.
Grow this Corn plants in full sun, in a rich soil that holds moisture, yet drains well.
These plants are heavy feeders. Mix plenty of compost and manure into your garden before planting. Fertilize once every 2 -3 weeks during the growing season.
Keep the soil well-watered. Water deeply to about 5 inches, as the roots grow deep.
Harvest plants when the stalks turn a tan-like brown. Dry plants upside down, to keep stalks straight. Dry plants for three or more weeks.
Plant Maturity: 110 days.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0.
Insect can be a problem, especially corn earworm. Apply insecticides, as needed.
Fungal Smut can occur. Remove affected plants.
Blights and rots are not uncommon in wet weather.