Baby corn

Zea mays
Bay corn at a market in Honduras (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Baby corn at a market in Honduras (Photo by Frank Mangan)


Baby corn are small ears of corn that are harvested before pollination. They are sold in the husk when marketed fresh. In Central American countries it is used as a vegetable, sometimes called chilote when cooked.

Baby corn at a market in Siquirres Costa Rica. (Photo by Frank Mangan)


Baby corn is harvested 1 - 3 days after silking. There are basically two methods that are used for production. In one method, corn is planted at a high plant population, up to 45,000 plants/acre, and all the ears are harvested. In a second method, which may be more economical for the Northeast, one of the two ears of corn from a plant is harvested while the second ear is allowed to mature for animal or human consumption. In this second method, a plant population that would be used for sweet corn or field corn in the Northeast should be used.

Since baby corn ears are harvested so early, insect management is not necessary. However, if you are growing sweet corn and leaving one ear to go to maturity, then obviously insect management is required.

For information on production and management of baby corn, refer to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and click on "corn, sweet".

Seed Sources

There are no special “dwarf” varieties for baby corn. Usually a sweet corn variety is used.

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