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my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Posted by preppyjock (My Page) on
Sat, May 16, 09 at 18:12

i planted those two plants by the wall, i know that once they grow tall, they will get sun daily. i got them from a nursery around the winter time. they didn't really grow much at all. they stayed about the same height since i bought them. and their leaves are not green any more, they are turning dark red-brown. all the leaves are dried up. they still have some green in them, but it seems that those two are kinda dead. but it is only summer. i don't want to take them out of the soil, they might grow again? who knows.

i gave them plenty of fertilizer, they are just not growing, so what is going on here?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

There's... a number of things that sound wrong here. I'm very sorry and I don't mean to sound down on you. I killed a lot of plants before I got better at gardening and I'm still pretty good at slaying them. But...

Corn requires full sun from the start. Some plants can tolerate starting in shade or part shade and grow into the light, but most non-climbing vegetables need the sun right away. Corn is *especially* a heat and sun lover.

Corn requires a lot of other corn plants nearby to pollinate properly. Without pollination, it doesn't form kernals on the cob. Two plants are not enough. If you were good at hand-pollination, then maybe.

Too much fertilizer can be bad. Don't apply it on the plants directly unless it's a foliar fertilizer.

They sound dead. Dried up leaves on not-growing plants sounds done in. Get new plants or seed. Depending on your zone, you might still be able to plant corn from seed and do well. Pick an area where they'll get full sun, water frequently and fertilize carefully.


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

I agree with Gamebird - probably a lack of sun. Also, you said you got them "around winter" - did it freeze after you set them out? Corn can't take a freeze at all.

And a silly question - these are definitely veggie corn plants & not the house plants called "corn plants", right? I ask because I've never seen vegetable/edible corn sold in nurseries as transplants. Are you up North? Maybe they do up there? Can anybody answer that?


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Not a lack of sun.

I let a volunteer grow in our backyard a couple years ago. It got next to no sun at all, since it was shaded by the 3 story house surrounded by 100ft oak trees. It didn't die or turn brown - it stayed a light green color, grew to about 1 foot tall, tasseled, and set a VERY small ear of corn with only a few kernels.

Amount of sun will affect the size of the plant, but I've never seen corn turn brown and die from not enough sun.


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Yes, knittlin, I've seen corn plants sold as transplants. It may give an earlier harvest and definitely gives better germination than sweet corn planted in cool soil. However, it seems like alot to spend for a bit earlier harvest. Usually I see small cell packs with small plants and it's not too pricey. Recently I saw a quart container with 1 (yes ONE!) large plant priced at $2.99. Crazy, I tell you. I asked some friend with minimal gardening knowledge a few questions, though, and found that most of them figured a corn plant would produce many ears of corn just as a tomato plant produces many tomatoes. And some of them had paid $2.99 or more for a single large tomato plant to set on the patio. Still, the corn strikes me as a poor choice for a nursery to sell. At some point I would expect the customer to feel cheated.


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Corn are known for growing poorly when transplanted. They dont like having their root system disturbed as they normally have a deep tap root. Its ridiculous for nurseries to sell corn seedlings.

You would be well advised to start from seed and take care to not over-fertilize or you will kill small plants.

For a small plot of corn, buy a pack of seeds, soak overnight and plant at least 40 in a 10' x 10' block. After they germinate, pull half of them out, leaving the strongest.

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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

If in fact it is garden/field corn, I agree with dirtydan that corn and most garden vegs do not transplant well. Direct seed when the soil temp is a constant 60 degrees or above. Happy gardening.


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Y'all might be right about it not being lack of sun - I'm not sure, but maybe. I was basing my assertion on some oats that spilled out of my feed room & tried to grow is shade. They got about a foot tall, turned brown & died. It's possible it could have been the heat instead.

So maybe the OP's corn was frost killed? Or didn't get enough water? Preppyjock, can you give us some more input?

"However, it seems like alot to spend for a bit earlier harvest."
I agree, NatureGirl. At the nursery where I work we sold transplants of things like okra & cowpeas this spring. We have such a long growing season down here & those are so easy from seed that it really surprised me. I felt guilty selling someone a 4" pot of cream peas for $1.29 that might produce fifty cents worth of peas a week or two earlier than direct seeding. But there's a huge number of people just starting to garden this year & they wanted them. One person said he was willing to spend extra for the learning experience of growing them, that he'd learn seed sowing next year. I'd have done it the other way - seed sowing first - but as long as he was happy, so was I.


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RE: my corn leaves are turning brown. how come?

Mine did the same thing this year and in case anyone else looks this up (because conditions up here have been hot, then wet, then hot, then wet again)- further investigation found 2 good culprits.

poor pollination in a small home grown garden because of the weather. look to see if there few to no ears of corn on the red corn plants? see article bellow.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/PurpleCorn2.html

or

GIBBERELLA ROT:

http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0601/


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