Growing and Caring for Popcorn Plants: A Guide to Growing Popcorn Plant at Home

The Popcorn plant originates from Eastern Africa and is famous for its buttery smell. This plant is one of my favorite plants because of the nice smell of its leaves. It is a drought-resistant plant and thus grows well up to 25 feet in a temperate and humid region. Popcorn plants, which produce yellow flowers, are suitable as cover in vegetable gardens and cultivated as ornamental plants or green manure.

Although it originates from Africa, the popcorn plant thrives during the summer in the United States. Gardeners also cultivate this plant in the United States in the winter using fertilizers and with the required care.

Popcorn plants are pleasant because of their buttery smell that expells when you rub the leaves. Nevertheless, it is toxic and not edible for humans and animals, so people should be careful around the plant. I have always kept it in my garden, out of the reach of my pets, and I have let everyone at home understand the harmful effect of the plant.

How to Grow a Popcorn Plant

Popcorn Plant

The plant thrives under high temperatures and will require frequent watering for the plant to blossom. Popcorn plants can be cultivated from their seeds or root cuttings planted in the soil It is not difficult to cultivate and care for the popcorn plant, and we will show you the proper conditions below.

Heat and Humidity

The tropical plant thrives in regions with high heat and humidity. You can plant outdoors in a hot climate, but for those living in a cold environment, planting and caring for popcorn plants should be done indoors.

In winter or cold climates, you can plant and grow popcorn plant indoors in a container. Setting up suitable indoor atmospheric conditions, the plant can thrive in the nursery or indoors.


The best soil condition for the popcorn plant to thrive is loamy soil. Loamy soil is fertile and can retain water for the plant in hot climate conditions. Soil with the capacity to keep water will aid the plant in maintaining the needed moisture it needs to survive.

For indoor preparation and planting of the popcorn plant, use a mixture of sand and loamy soil. With the proper mix of soil in the container, the soil mixture will retain enough water for the water-loving plant.

Light and Sunlight

It is best to place the plant directly in the sunlight. The popcorn plant requires enough light and heat to flourish. With its mechanism for the leaves to close up during excess heat and at night, the plant can conserve the adequate water it needs to survive.

For indoor planting, place the popcorn plant close to the window for sunlight. You do not have to open the window at night or in winter. Or you can regularly take the plant outside when there is no threat of frost, and the temperature is high enough. Ensure the temperature of the room is kept above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Propagating Popcorn Plant

You can decide to propagate by replanting a rooted plant or the popcorn plant seed. Either way, with proper care, your popcorn plant will thrive. For effective seed germination, it is best to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting.

You can harvest the seed from the popcorn plant on the plant for propagation. However, it is best to gather them when they are mature and appear brownish rather than when they are crispy green.

Caring for Popcorn Plant

Popcorn Plant

It is essential to care for the popcorn plant after cultivation. The plant has particular needs, and it is ideal to consider them as it grows.

Watering of the Plant

The popcorn plant is a water-loving plant. Water the soil often to keep it moist and provide adequate water for the plant. Take note when the leaves of the plant are closed, then water immediately because the plant is trying to preserve the little water available.

For indoor planting, water the plant container pot daily, and the plant will rely on constant watering since there is no alternative in a container.

The plant does need enough water but avoids flooding the soil while watering. We will advise you to use water sprinklers and always water at the base of the plant. Furthermore, Pruning is essential to prevent infection and pests from affecting the plant.

Using Fertilizers

Applying fertilizers to the soil will help the popcorn plant grow. They need rich soil to thrive, so fertilizers will aid the plant’s growth.

The best time to apply fertilizers to cultivate the popcorn plant is during late spring and the middle of the summer. For indoor practice, regular fertilizers application is encouraged to enrich the soil in the container.

Deadheading And Pruning

Deadheading is essential as you remove dead or dying flowers and branches. As the popcorn plants grow, check out for dead or yellowing flowers and prune them out. It will prevent infection and allow the plant to blossom with access to more sunlight and nutrients.

Caring For Plant During Winter

It is best to place the plant directly in sunlight as much as possible. Transfer the plant indoors during winter or frost when the temperature will likely fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Uproot those in the field and transfer them to a planting pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Popcorn Plants Edible Or Poisonous?

The popcorn plants are poisonous and, therefore, not edible. It is advisable to restrict children from the area they are planted, for they may get attracted to the pleasant buttery smell of the plant.

Can The Popcorn Plant Be Cultivated in Winter?

Yes, it can be planted and nurtured during the winter. However, you have to maintain the room temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the plant regularly to keep it alive and fresh.

What Makes The Leave of the Plant To Close During The Day?

The leaves of the popcorn plant do maintain moisture. And the leaves close up when they lack water or the water content in the soil is insufficient, so it will be best to water your plant when you notice this occurrence, especially during the day.

Does a Popcorn Plant Grow All Year?

The popcorn plant is an annual plant that grows yearly, falling off during winter and picking up during spring. However, you can cultivate and grow the popcorn plant for more than a year using indoors and planting pot. The popcorn plant grows all year round with the nursery and indoor approach.

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