Growing Plants

Should You Soak Corn Seeds Before Planting? Can It Help?

Should you soak corn seeds before planting? This is a common question if you want to grow corn from seeds.

Soaking the corn seeds may be a simple method to get impressive germination and have a fruitful corn crop.

Yet, you can also face the negative effects or unwanted problems from improper seed soaking. Besides, this method requires good preparation and the right process.

Keep reading this article to identify whether you should do so before growing and gain useful knowledge about seed soaking.

Should You Soak Corn Seeds Before Planting? 

should you soak corn seeds before planting

Yes, you should. The proper soaking using lukewarm water will soften the outer shell of seeds faster and make favorable and optimal conditions for your young plants to begin their growth.

Soaking gives inside seeds sufficient moisture to boost the new development.

What Happens If You Soak Corn Seeds? 

When you soak corn seeds, you are letting them know that it is the right time to start their germination and grow into a new corn plant.

This process happens when the soaking destroys the seeds’ natural defenses, allowing them to develop faster.

As you see, the corn seeds consist of an immature plant part with a surrounding seed coat. This coat is in charge of protecting the young plants until they germinate.

Also, it helps prevent the corn seeds from germinating if the conditions aren’t optimal.

Soaking the corn seeds will remove this protective coat, allowing the baby corn plants inside to sprout quickly.

As a result, you may grow the young plants from these soaked seeds to support their quick growth.

How Long to Soak Corn Seeds Before Planting? 

The best time to soak corn seeds before growing is 8 to 24 hours.

When you have good corn seeds, prepare a clean container with warm water, soak them, and remove them from the warm water after 24 hours.

Yet, the time for soaking the corn seeds also depends on their size.

After placing the corn seeds into the lukewarm water, note the starting time and monitor the germination process in the recommended time, a maximum of 24 hours, to increase the germination rate.

What Happens With Your Corn Seeds When Soaking Them Too Long? 

Over-soaking the corn seeds for a long time, often more than 24 hours, will exclude oxygen, a vital factor in the young plants’ germination process.

Thus, ensure this problem doesn’t happen by removing them from warm water when the recommended time is over and plating them at once.

Yet, changing new water every 6-8 hours is advisable to maintain the available oxygen amount for the corn seeds during the soaking process.

This is useful for you control the right time for soaking the corn seeds and avoid the regrettable outcomes of putting the corn seeds into lukewarm water for too long.

Why Should You Soak Corn Seeds Before Planting? 

do corn seeds need to be soaked before planting

It’s necessary and helpful to soak your corn seeds in a clean bowl of warm water. Yet, why should you do this before growing the plants? Let’s explore the main reasons below: 

Soften Seeds’ Shell

As mentioned, soaking the corn seeds effectively softens their hard outer shell, which is a natural defense to protect the parts inside from the bad effects of the surrounding environment.

Of course, after harvesting the corn stalks, you must choose dried seeds to sow again, which take longer to sprout due to the hard coat.

After soaking for about 24 hours or overnight, the warm water will make the seed coat easier to split for the new growth. 

With fertilized soil and proper care, I’m sure you’ll see young corn plants sprouting in your garden soon.

Trigger Complete Germination

Soaking gives the corn seeds the essential moisture to sprout and grow easily.

When you soak the corn seeds, you may trigger the complete germination of the corn seeds thanks to the adequate moisture content.

But remember that things only work if you use warm water since corn seeds are sensitive to cold temperatures.

Warm water is safer and better than cold one, which can hinder complete germination, damaging the immature and new growth.

So soaking using warm water creates the environment for the fastest germination at the required right temperature.

This will help you shorten the waiting time to plant corn from their seeds. Yet, note that the effectiveness of soaking will depend on the different seeds.

Accelerate Successful Germination Rate 

Aside from triggering the new growth of the seeds, soaking also accelerates the successful germination rate by eliminating the unhealthy ones.

You can collect the seeds with good quality and put them all in the water. Those floating on the surface should be diminished to have healthy young plants for your productive corn crop.

As such, more seeds will germinate. And the time for corn seeds to grow from sowing to the stage of ready transplantation will be shortened.

How To Soak Corn Seeds Properly Before Growing?

how long to soak corn before planting

Soaking the corn seeds requires the proper process with careful preparation and thorough inspection. Follow the detailed steps to soak your seeds without hassle.

Choose the Healthy Seeds

The first step you must consider when soaking your corn seeds is selecting the healthy seeds. Start with the right corn seeds to increase the chance of germination when you soak them in lukewarm water.

The viable ones may tolerate severe conditions from the surrounding environment and unfavorable elements.

Besides, they are also easy to germinate for new growth with good-quality young plants after soaking.

Prepare Warm Water 

The second step is to prepare warm water when soaking corn seeds before planting to provide the right temperature for the best and fastest germination.

It’s best to use water at about 68 °F. Yet, use separate labels for each container that keep different corn varieties before soaking them.

Place Seeds In a Container With Lukewarm Water

Prepare a large, clean container or bowl and pour the lukewarm water about two inches at the top. Next, put the selected corn seeds.

You can observe the floating of unviable seeds on the water’s surface top to discard them.

Yet, you must consider the increased sizes of corn seeds to pick the container or bowl for the proper accommodation since the seeds may swell into various sizes.

In addition, using a regular jar or bowl with warm water is useful to soak corn seeds and monitor the water temperature without trouble.

You can check the water when pouring into the bowl by inserting your fingers in it to determine if the water is too cold or hot and adjust its temperature to avoid bad impacts on your seeds.

Again, you should change the new lukewarm water every 6 to 8 hours to maintain a stable temperature for complete germination.

Keep Seeds in a Warm Place For 24 Hours

After covering your seeds using warm water in a container or bowl, place them in the warm area for about 8 to 24 hours.

It’s better to store the corn seeds on the clothes dryer’s top or over the fridge. Check the bowl of soaked corn seeds after 24 hours to remove them from the water and grow immediately.

Delaying sowing will spoil all your prepared seeds due to the high moisture content.


How To Germinate Corn Seeds Besides Soaking?

You may germinate your corn seeds in other ways aside from soaking.

Try putting them on damp sphagnum moss, fine-textured vermiculite with sufficient moisture, or a wet paper towel like growing sunflower seeds.

These methods are simple to supply suitable moisture for thorough germination and new growth.

How Can You Grow Corn From Seeds?

Follow these simple steps to plant corn from seeds properly: 

  • Soak the healthy corn seeds within 24 hours before planting.
  • Choose the right location with sunlight, fertile and well-drained soil, and favorable conditions for the growth of plants with healthy seeds.
  • Directly sow your seeds in the ground about 15 to 25 mm in depth and 20 to 30 cm apart to make the rows about 50 to 90 cm apart.
  • Observe the complete germination of seeds from 5 to 14 days at the right soil temperature.
  • Give your newly planted corn seeds the proper water amount to maintain the necessary moisture for the best growth.
  • Protect your seedlings from harmful pests, insects, pets, and severe weather until they start their establishment.


Should you soak corn seeds before planting? The answer is yes. It’s necessary and beneficial to soak corn seeds before growing.

Doing so will help make the outer shell softer and easier to have successful germination.

The soaking process requires choosing healthy seeds and preparing warm water.

Yet, remember that keeping the corn seeds in warm water at a dry and clean place within 24 hours is best to obtain the highest germination rate for a productive corn crop.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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