Sorghum Seeds - Coral


Sorghum bicolor

‘Coral’ sorghum, originally sourced from Experimental Farm Network, is a showy variety that is entering its third year of adaptation in Western North Carolina. Reliable for both grain and syrup production, this variety makes an excellent choice for growers interested in growing sorghum for a multitude of applications. It is exceptionally tolerant and self-sufficient, thriving under minimal intervention. With large, gorgeous deep red seed heads and fairly consistent 6-8ft. stalks, ‘Coral’ is a captivating variety with a place in any cultivation setting from the home garden to the market farm. 6 gram packet contains a minimum of 120 seeds. 

SMALL FARM GROWN by Shelby Johnson, a member of the Appalachian Seed Growers Collective. A portion of proceeds from each packet benefits the Collective's efforts to increase seed production capacity in Southern Appalachia and breed varieties that thrive in our region.

As a passionate sorghum grower, Shelby trialed 29 varieties of sorghum in 2023 in collaboration with The Utopian Seed Project, and after all that, Coral was still her favorite!!

  • Planting Information
  • Growing Information
  • Seed Saving


Min. seeds / packetAverage packet weight
Seeds / gram 
Average seeds / oz
6 grams 54
Planting SeasonIdeal Soil TempSunFrost Tolerance
After Last Frost55-80°FFull SunFrost Sensitive
Sowing MethodSeed DepthDirect Seed SpacingDays to Harvest 
Direct Seed1/2"1-2"99
Mature SpacingDays to SproutProduction CycleSeed Viability
8"7-15Annual8-10 years

Because sorghum is self-fertile, a large plot is not needed for pollination purposes. Mix a balanced fertilizer into the bed or row before planting.

Choose a site that gets full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, and it’s best to stick to the edge of your gardens. Sorgham can get very tall and shade other crops you might not want shaded. 

Sorghum needs soil temperature to reach at least 60°F, and does best seeded directly in the garden rather than in pots inside to start. Plant sorghum by hand, ½-1 inches deep, in clumps of four seeds per hole. Space the holes 18 to 24 inches apart. Four seeds should yield about three uniform stalks and heads, enough to make a few dried arrangements if you’re growing them for ornamental use.

For grain production, plant one seed every 4 inches on 30-inch spaced rows. An average head of sorghum will yield about one-tenth of a pound of grain.

Harvesting all three varieties is fairly simple and similar. For sweet sorghum, cut the canes at ground level about two weeks after the milk stage. Next, strip off the leaves and ground or press the canes, which will yield a light green juice that can then be cooked into sorghum syrup. At this stage, the seeds aren’t yet fully mature, but they can be used as animal feed, or cooked and eaten like other whole grains.


Grain and sorghum are harvested after the seeds fully mature. The hard, glossy seeds of grain sorghum are harvested by cutting them off with a small portion of the stalk attached. Dry them in a warm, well-ventilated place for at least a week, then roll the dried seed heads on a hardware cloth screen or soil sieve to free the seeds and separate them from plant debris. Your processed harvest can then be stored.


As for broom varieties, when seeds are mature, cut the stalks as long as you need them for floral arrangements or crafts. Allow the stalks to dry in small bunches.

Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor

Pollination, self/wind; Life Cycle, annual; Isolation Distance, 200 feet

Perfect, self-pollinating flowers are held in panicles (flower heads), which dry on the plant for easy harvest. Wind pollination is possible with very open flowers, though rare. Dry panicles can be cut individually as they are ready, and screened and winnowed to clean for storage.