Corn needs full sun to produce large yields. Six hours of direct sunlight per day is the bare minimum. Over eight hours of bright sunlight works best. Corn will grow in indirect sunlight but not well. You cannot grow corn in shade. Without enough sunlight, corn does not bloom and grow large cobs. There’s no such thing as too much sun when growing corn.
Table of Contents
How Many Hours of Sun Does Corn Need?
Corn needs 8–10 hours of full sun to grow at its best. Six hours of direct sunlight is the absolute minimum. Plant your corn after soil temperatures reach 60°F (16°C) to ensure it gets enough sun.
- Corn needs at least 8–10 hours of full sun to grow properly.
- Under six hours of sunlight per day will result in poor yields.
- Plant your corn after the soil temperatures reach 60°F (16°C).
- Select the sunniest spot in your garden for your corn plants.
- Each plant will produce up to two ears of corn in ideal conditions.
Not sure where to plant your corn? Check your garden hourly on a sunny day. Note the areas that get at least eight hours of sun. Then, plant your corn there to get the best yields. Each plant will produce one to two ears of corn in ideal conditions.
Can Corn Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Corn can grow in indirect sunlight. But the plants may not reach their full potential. Corn grows rather slowly without full sun, too. You could end up without a large harvest if you attempt to grow corn in indirect sunlight.
- Corn plants can grow in indirect sunlight, but it’s not ideal.
- The plants may not reach their full potential without full sun.
- Growth typically slows down when corn doesn’t get enough sunlight.
- Corn takes 80–95 days to produce a harvest when in full sun conditions.
- Indirect sunlight increases the time until corn is ready to pick and may prevent you from getting a harvest.
Most varieties of corn take 80–95 days to produce a harvest in full sun. Indirect sunlight lengthens that timeline considerably. Plants must produce their ears of corn before the first frost comes. Otherwise, they will die before getting the chance. So, if you grow corn in indirect sunlight, the plants may be killed by cool temperatures before you can harvest any corn cobs.
Can Corn Grow in Shade?
Corn does not grow well in the shade. The best you could hope for is scraggly stalks. The plants will not bloom without exposure to direct sunlight. Without blooms, you will not get any corncobs. Full sun is a must when it comes to enjoying big harvests of corn.
- Corn doesn’t grow very well in shady conditions.
- The lack of sunlight prevents the corn from blooming.
- Without blooms, your plants will not produce ears of corn.
- You must plant your corn in full sun conditions to get good harvests.
- Planting your corn too close together can limit their sun exposure, too.
Planting corn too close together can limit their sunlight exposure, too. For best results, plant corn in rows spaced 3 feet (90 cm) apart. Plant seeds every 4 inches (10 cm) along each row. Then, once the sprouts come up, thin the corn to one plant per 12 inches (30 cm) to ensure you grow healthy, upright corn stalks.
What Happens if Corn Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?
Corn does not produce good harvests without enough sunlight. Growth slows in indirect sunlight. Shade prevents blooms from setting. Slow growth and a lack of blooms negatively impact yields for the season.
- Corn will not grow a good amount of healthy corn cobs without enough sun.
- Growth goes slowly in indirect sunlight – Shady conditions result in no blooms.
- Both slow growth and a lack of blooms can result in little or no yield from your corn.
- Plants should reach knee-high by the Fourth of July when growing properly.
- If your corn struggles, look for a new planting spot next year.
Corn farmers often say that plants in good condition should reach knee-high by the Fourth of July. So, if your plants reach knee height by then, you’re in good shape. If not, then it might be a good idea to choose a different site for your corn next year.
Can Corn Get Too Much Sun?
Corn cannot get too much sun. Over eight hours of sunlight per day is ideal. In fact, the more sun corn gets, the better your harvests will be. You do need to keep a close eye on irrigation to keep the corn from drying out.
- Corn cannot get too much sunlight.
- Your plants ideally need at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.
- Maxing out the sunshine helps your corn produce the biggest harvests.
- Keep a close eye on irrigation to keep your plants from drying out.
- Corn plants thrive when given 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of water per week.
Corn needs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week to grow strong. In temperatures above 85°F (29°C), increase watering volume to 2 inches (5 cm) per week. Drip irrigation or using a soaker hose makes watering your corn easy.
How Much Sun Does Corn Require?
Corn is a sun-hungry plant that thrives with as much light as possible. In order to get the most from your corn:
- Corn needs at least 8–10 hours of full sunlight every day.
- 6 hours of direct sun is the absolute minimum for corn.
- Indirect sunlight slows down the growth of your corn plants.
- Shady conditions prevent your corn from flowering and producing edible corn cobs.
- Corn cannot get too much sunlight, so give your plants as much as possible.
Carefully select a full sun spot in your garden for your corn. You may need to scope it out for a day or so to see which area gets the most sunlight. By putting in the effort, you can rest assured that your corn will reach knee-high by the Fourth of July. Then, all you have to do is keep watering and get ready for an excellent harvest at the end of the growing season.