Planting Blue Jade Corn in My Container Garden

So, if you read my blog, you’ll know that I have relatively recently become obsessed with gardening. But I don’t have a traditional garden – my garden is a container garden on my roof. So, what I choose to grow must do well in my climate, and also perform well in containers. 

I’m also trying to get my kids to eat more veggies. And one of the tricks is to have then eat the veggies they grow. Most kids like to plant seeds that they recognize – pumpkin, watermelon, and, of course, corn.

I’ve been wanting to grow sweet corn, but most sweet corn does not perform well in containers. I did try some last year, but I really didn’t get much of a yield. And that’s the problem – corn grown in containers doesn’t seem to produce much of a  yield for how much space the corn requires. The best approach is to try for dwarf varieties.

So, I was super excited to learn about Blue Jade Corn (Zea mays). It only grows around 3 feet high, and bears 3 to 6 ears with steel blue kernels that turn jade blue when boiled. Talk about perfect – corn that performs well in containers and that is a bright color that my kids will love and a sweet corn at that? Heaven. I first learned about it on Subsistence Pattern – his blog about corn being his nemesis made me feel like a kindred spirit. It seems like I can grow most anything else but never did well with corn. I was excited about his success.

So, I was going to order some seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, but I was shopping at my current favorite nursery, H & H Nursery in Lakewood, California, and they had seedlings. Whoot! So now I have some planted and will let you know how it goes. Not sure if the kids will like the flavor – I understand if you are used to the super sweet flavor of today’s varieties the less than super sweet heirloom taste may not be to your liking. I’m just glad to find a heirloom, non GMO corn to grow in my containers.

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  1. hi what kind of containers do you use for your garden? are plastic storage containers ok to use without the concern of PVC or BPA seeping through the soil?

  2. Just wondering how the Blue Jade Corn did for you… I’m in a zone 4a, would love to get some seed (if you saved any :-), as it might actually work for me… I’d be happy to go through my seed collection to see if there’s anything I have to swap that you’re interested in… Let me know!

  3. Hello Jennifer,

    I too wondered how Blue Jade did for you? Thought this variety might be a good first timer corn for my five year old and I to try. Also if you wouldn’t mind sharing the size of container you used. I have a couple of brand new wine barrels..

  4. The corn pic’d above seems a bit different from what I grew as “Baby Blue Jade” last year. Did your’s dry into a little shrivelled kernal, as mine did? Mine had the nice blue color but a slightly different shape to the kernals, too. I was happy with it despite losing almost all of it in the severe heat & drought. It didn’t bush out under the stress – one small straight stalk – yet still tried to make as many as 2 ears one the same node on a few plants. I’m hoping the seed I got from the surviving few…will just mean this year’s version of it may be rather drought & heat – tolerant, lol.

  5. BTW,…does anyone know where the corn originated, & how?
    I’d like more info on its origins but can’t find any.

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