Yellow leaves on corn

hermdogJune 22, 2006

First and foremost, I stumbled across this site and--Wow! I am amazed by the knowldege here! I am fairly new to gardening, as we just bought our first house and I finally have room to grow veggies in quanity. I am growing sweet corn and so far so good. The corn is about eight inches high now but some of the leaves on some of the plants are turning real yellow. Too much watering (and rain) maybe? not enough?

Thank you!!


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You should also go visit the vegetables forum and ask there. Up in the upper left side of your window is a link to "Other forums". Click there and scroll down to find "Vegetables". Click there and repost your question.

I'm not sure what causes yellow leaves on corn in MN. My corn is about 2-3' tall and very green, dark green. I added a lot of compost to my soil before planting and have added nitrogen heavy fertilizer once (about two weeks ago) and then heaped up two inches of mostly-finished compost around the corn two weeks ago. I water heavily once or twice a week if it isn't raining.

So I don't think it's the weather - mine is doing fine. It might be too much watering or not enough nitrogen/"plant food". I'm told that corn is a very, very heavy feeder, meaning it needs lots and lots of nutrients to grow well.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 3:27PM
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Depends on which leaves are yellow. If it is the older, lower leaves it is a nitrogen deficiency (the new, baby leaves are sucking the nitrogen out of the older ones). If it the new growth that is yellow, then there are many possible causes. Have you used any herbicides nearby lately? Round-up always begins yellowing the growing tips of plants.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 4:41PM
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Thank you Gamebird and Loodean. Perhaps it is a nitrogen deficiency. I'll grab a soil tester and see what that tells me. I really do appreciate you taking the time to post. One final question and PLEASE EXCUSE THE IGNORANCE! Gamebird you mentioned your corn is "very green, dark green". I would not decsribe my corn as dark green, but rather on the lighter side. What does this mean?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 4:23PM
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Sorry, but I don't know what it means if your corn is lighter colored than mine. I know in general (and this is a *very* broad statement) that darker foliage means healthier foliage. Tho at the same time if you're growing vegetables, having a lot of lush foliage might not be what you're looking for - with tomatoes in particular, though some root crops too, you can have all lush foliage and no fruit or root bulb. That's usually caused by having too much nitrogen.

This is only my second year of growing corn. Last year they were lighter colored and a bit spindly (not as big around of stalks) and had really lousy yeilds, not fully pollinated. On the other hand, I had all of six stalks planted, so it's amazing I had any pollination at all. This year I did a whole seed packet and have about 50-60 stalks in a block.

I don't have any bugs on them and their growth has been steady and good, so I think things are going well for me. If I were in your situation, I'd buy some nitrogen-heavy fertilizer, scatter it around the corn according to directions on the package, and then water it in. From what I've heard, you can't hardly give corn too much nitrogen. If it improves things, then repeat in a week, then repeat every two weeks. If it doesn't improve things, then try to figure out what else could be causing it.

Something I did first thing this spring, before I added compost or anything else to my dirt, was to take a soil sample and take it over to the University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension here in St. Paul. It was $15 for the basic test and that tells you how your soil is for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, as well as a few other things. I would highly suggest it, as I've heard that the store-bought test kits have a big range of error and can easily be used wrong. Plus, the store-bought kits cost about the same amount.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 7:40PM
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I have 2 corns that are growing together. When I got the plants, they were so close together I didn't want to seperate since I thought it would create too much damage. Could this be causing the yellowing?? I have 2 other plants that are healthy & green that are spaced about 6" apart.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 9:16AM
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