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Blue corn not actually blue

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Blue corn not actually blue

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2012, 5:07 pm

I planted corn for the very first time this year, in brand new MM. The kind of corn I planted is a variety called blue jade, which is a dwarf kind that's said to be good for containers because it only gets to be three feet tall (it's so cute!).

I really like this corn. Despite not knowing what I was doing and growing in new MM which I always find to be hard to grow in, it's really taken off. Each stalk has at least three silks! Some stalks even have two or three silks growing from the same leaf crotch! It's so amazing. I'm going to plant this variety again next year.

The only problem I have with it is.... It's white! It's supposed to be a blue corn, but all the ears are pure white. I will say that some of th e silks were blue, but not all of them.

Am I maybe picking the corn too early? Or maybe this is caused by a lack of nutrients? I'm totally lost.

Oh yeah, and one more question maybe someone who knows corn can answer. The tassles and the silks didn't sync up. The tassles started releasing pollen several weeks before most of the silks even emerged, which I've read is most likely due to poor nutrition. I got maybe a dozen silks out before I noticed the tassles where completely done releasing pollen. However, I noticed that some unpollenated silks have actually started developing into ears! I know for a fact that they didn't get pollinated because the leaves started to come out of the leaf crotch like silks were about to emerge, but the silks never come out and instead it just got really fat. So I picked them and although small, they had fully developed kernels that were sweet and tasty just like the pollinated ears. I'm so confused!

It's really too late to do anything about my corn this year, but I would love to solve these mysteries so I'll be a better corn grower next year!
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Re: Blue corn not actually blue

Post  camprn on 8/2/2012, 5:48 pm

I have read about this variety and the kernels are white when small but turn a blue color as the ears reach maturity.

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Re: Blue corn not actually blue

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2012, 6:53 pm

Oh that's good to know! I'll try to be more patient with the other ears then Smile
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Re: Blue corn not actually blue

Post  southern gardener on 8/2/2012, 7:24 pm

QUOTE__Oh yeah, and one more question maybe someone who knows corn can answer. The tassles and the silks didn't sync up. The tassles started releasing pollen several weeks before most of the silks even emerged, which I've read is most likely due to poor nutrition. I got maybe a dozen silks out before I noticed the tassles where completely done releasing pollen. However, I noticed that some unpollenated silks have actually started developing into ears! I know for a fact that they didn't get pollinated because the leaves started to come out of the leaf crotch like silks were about to emerge, but the silks never come out and instead it just got really fat. So I picked them and although small, they had fully developed kernels that were sweet and tasty just like the pollinated ears. I'm so confused!

Two of my beds did the same thing, sent up tassels, then weeks later the silk came, but the pollen had already fallen off for the most part. Some stalks were a foot tall, some a little higher, some 8 feet. I'm attributing it to poor nutrition. You can end up with "ears" with no pollination, but there might not be any kernels on the ears. This happened to me last year, but only on a few ears that weren't pollinated, just got cobs. Hope your corn turns blue! Keep us posted. would love to see pics. I love growing the different types of things!
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Re: Blue corn not actually blue

Post  littlejo on 8/2/2012, 9:25 pm

Corn is a mysterious plant, but corn is sooooooo tasty! My best guess: corn is pollinated by the wind and by bees/bugs. Sometimes the pollen from the tassel falls into the little crook where the silks come out of. It is pollenated as it grows. Also, all it takes is 1 tassel and a few bees. Also, a bee could be getting the pollen from the neighbors.
If you wait til the silk turns brown, corn will be ripe and will have a blue tinge. It may not be real blue unless it is left to dry on the stalk.

I read somewhere (on this forum, maybe) about someone getting some of the pollen in a shoebox, and saving til silks came out. Might be an idea for next yr.
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Re: Blue corn not actually blue

Post  littlesapphire on 8/8/2012, 10:45 am

Littlejo, I think you're right about the pollen falling into the cracks of the leaves. That's the only thing that makes sense! I'm totally going to try the shoebox trick next year if the tassels and silks don't sync up again.

Ok, so I have a couple of things I'd like to share, just in case anyone's interesting. I decided that since none of the silks were developing into ears anymore, I'd cut the stalks down and count up all the silks/baby corn I had. I was just curious what I might have had if the silks and tassels had synced up. Total count for all baby corn and all fully developed corn was 90! 90 potential ears from just 8 squares of corn! I'm going to grow this variety again next year, hopefully with better luck.

The next thing I want to share is a picture I took. I let this ear of corn ripen on the stalk longer than I really felt comfortable with because I wanted to see if it would turn blue.

I took the picture next to a store bought ear just for comparison. Remember this was a dwarf variety of corn and the ears are supposed to be that small.



Lol, it turned out butter and sugar colored, no sign of blue in sight. But I'm not disappointed!

And in case anyone's interested, it was very good. The store bought corn was sugar enhanced, and both hubby and I thought the old-time corn flavor of the blue jade corn was much better, even if it wasn't as sweet.
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