Variegated Ornamental Corn
Zea mays 'Variegata'
Variegated Ornamental Corn
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spacing: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Maize
Variegated Ornamental Corn's attractive enormous sword-like leaves remain grayish green in color with prominent creamy white stripes and tinges of buttery yellow throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Variegated Ornamental Corn is an open herbaceous annual with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should never be pruned except to remove any dieback, as it tends not to take pruning well. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Variegated Ornamental Corn is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Variegated Ornamental Corn will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species.
Variegated Ornamental Corn is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
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