Introduction: Desktop Popcorn Plant

This is a great project for kids. It's a "popcorn plant" - actually, it's several popcorn plants growing together as one. The glory of this project is that you can actually watch the roots and stalk grow. And, yes, it's regular old popcorn that you buy in the store to pop and eat. Fun and yummy.

Step 1: Gather Up the Stuff

You'll need...

  1. Clear container - I used a carton that originally had grape tomatoes.
  2. Soil - I used potting mix
  3. Paper towels
  4. Popcorn - just the kernels used to make popcorn, nothing special.
  5. Pencil or pen

Regarding the container, anything is fine, but something that will drain. Also, ideally the walls of the container should be vertical and not have a lip that curves inward. Simply, you want your popcorn plant stalks to be able to grow up straight.

Step 2: Put the Parts Together

Line the container with a couple of sheets of paper towels. This does not have to be fancy or neat. Then add the soil or the potting mix.

Step 3: Plant the Seeds

With the pen or pencil, poke down between the paper towel and the container edge. Then, drop in a kernel of popcorn. I put about 3 kernels on each side of the square container.

Next, poke holes in the center of the soil and drop a kernel into each. I put about 15 kernels in the top. The idea is that the kernels along the sides will be the visible ones, the kernels in the center will provide the bulk to the plant.

Step 4: Just Add Water

Nothing much to say here. Water the plant well, then wait. I was surprised at how quickly things happened.

In a day, the kernels had swollen up noticeably. A day later, tiny roots began to sprout, then stalks, and then poof...there they were!

Step 5: Growth in Action

I took a photo each day for ten days then made it into an animated gif. Hopefully it will be viewable here.


And by the way, be sure to pop some popcorn for eating!

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