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Zea mays japonica 'Quadricolour' (Ornamental)Zea maysOrnamental Corn

Half-hardy Annual

What is Half-Hardy Annual?
A plant that completes its entire life cycle (growth, reproduction, death) in one season.
Can be grown outdoors but requires winter protection from frosts and temperatures below 0C.


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An ornamental corn with spectacular striped foliage

Produces large decorative cobs for autumnal displays

Ideal for sunny borders


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Height Up to 150cm (59in)
Spread Up to 45cm (18in)

Half-hardy Annual

cottage gardensexotic gardencut flower garden

full sun

Flowering Months

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Grown for its colourful, pink and green striped foliage, this ornamental corn makes a spectacular addition to the garden. This half-hardy annual is easy to grow and quickly reaches impressive heights, making a great partner for sunflowers or adding an exotic leafy feel to the back of sunny borders. Zea mays japonica 'Quadricolour' produces large cobs with dark kernels which can be dried to make fabulous autumnal decorations for your home. Height: 150cm (59"). Spread: 45cm (18").

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1 packet (10 sweetcorn seeds) (KB9360)


Sow ornamental corn seeds from April to May in 7cm (3") pots of free draining seed compost at a depth of 4cm (1½"). Place in a propagator or seal the container inside a polythene bag at temperature of 18-24C (64-75F) until after germination which takes 7-10 days. After germination, grow plants on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. When all risk of frost is passed, gradually acclimatise Zea plants to outdoor conditions over 7-10 days before transplanting into fertile, well drained soil in full sun, with shelter from winds. The flowers of ornamental corn are wind pollinated and should therefore be planted in close proximity to ensure good pollination. Allow at a distance of 30cm (12") between each plant.

Alternatively direct sow seeds outdoors in May once the soil has warmed, at a depth of 4cm (1½") and a distance of 45cm (18") apart. Sow 2 seeds per hole and thin out the weakest seedling per station after germination.

More Info

Water ornamental corn regularly until established, particularly during dry periods. Provide a thick mulch of organic matter around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Zea plants are shallow rooted so take care when hoeing to prevent root damage.

Ornamental cobs can be used in autumn floral displays. Leave the cobs to dry on the plants for as long as possible. Harvest ornamental corn cobs when the silky tassles at the end of the cob have turned brown. Peel back the sheath of the cob to reveal the colourful kernels, but do not remove the husk. Use the husk to hang them indoors to dry until ready to use as autumnal decorations.


Seeds and garden supplies will normally be delivered within the time period stated against each product as detailed above. Plants, bulbs, corms, tubers, shrubs, trees, potatoes, etc. are delivered at the appropriate time for planting or potting on. Delivery times will be stated on the product page above, or in your order acknowledgement page and email.

Orders for packets of seed incur a delivery charge of £2.99.

Orders which include any other products will incur a delivery charge of £6.99.

Where an order includes both packets of seeds and other products, a maximum delivery charge of £7.99 will apply - regardless of the number of items ordered.

Large items may incur a higher delivery charge - this will be displayed in your shopping basket.

Please see our Delivery page for further details, and more information on different charges that may apply to certain destinations.

For more information on how we send your plants please visit our Helpful Guide on plant sizes.

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Zea mays japonica 'Quadricolour' (Ornamental)

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