Where Do Popcorn Seeds Come From?

If you love the taste of freshly popped popcorn, you are not alone. Popcorn is one of the most popular snacks in the world, and the variety of flavors you can add to it are endless. You might be happy to know that once you understand where popcorn seeds come from, it is a simple matter to grow popcorn in your own garden!


So Where DO Popcorn Seeds Come From?

If you think popcorn seeds are simply dried kernels of any corn you grow, you are also not alone in that belief. Many gardeners plant extra rows of sweet corn, thinking that they can harvest it, dry the kernels, and have popcorn.

However, while popcorn is a variety of corn, the kernels are very different. You cannot turn sweet corn or field corn into popcorn.

Popcorn seeds are called Zea mays everta. You can find many different kinds of popcorn seeds, but they are all from the same family. The two types of popcorn you see are:

  • White popcorn, which is white when popped and is excellent for adding flavors like cheddar cheese or salt.
  • Yellow popcorn, which has a yellow color when popped and is larger than white popcorn.

Tip: You can purchase either white or yellow popcorn seeds to pop at home.

Growing Popcorn

Growing popcorn is the same as raising any other kind of corn. You need to be sure to provide ample sunshine, lots of water, and regular applications of fertilizer.

The difference between popcorn and corn for eating fresh comes at harvest time. You pick sweet corn and eat it immediately, while the kernels are still firm and juicy. With popcorn, you leave the ears on the stalk to dry entirely before storing them.

Buying Popcorn Seeds

You can plant popcorn seeds that you purchased at a grocery store, but there is no guarantee that the seeds are fertile and will produce popcorn plants. Your best bet is to buy popcorn seed packets are your local garden center or on the internet. This way, you can be sure the seeds will sprout and produce popcorn.

Once you have watched your popcorn seeds grow from tiny seedlings to a mature, harvestable ear, you will probably never buy popcorn from a grocery store again!

Text: Garden.eco