How to Grow Peanuts (and Nutty Peanut Facts!)

Peanuts aren't actually nuts and don't grow on trees, but the birds and squirrels in your backyard love to eat them. Learn tips on how to grow peanuts.

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Peanuts Don’t Grow on Trees

The most important tip about how to grow peanuts—these tasty snacks are actually legumes that grow underground. Peanuts do not grow on trees, unlike hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans. But squirrels still love to eat them.

Peanuts Need Sun and Sand to Grow

Two things are required to successfully grow peanuts: full sun and sandy soil. Learn more about feeding peanuts to attract birds to your backyard.

Peanuts Require a Long Growing Season

To grow peanuts in the north, start seeds indoors and plant a variety such as Early Spanish that is ready to harvest in only 100 days. Other cultivars need at least 120 frost-free days.

Blue jays love to eat peanuts. Check out the best bird feeders for blue jays.

How to Plant and Grow Peanuts

The peanut is the seed! Place shelled, raw peanuts on top of the soil, cover with an inch more soil and look for sprouts in about 10 days. You can even grow peanuts in containers. Here’s how to make a DIY bird feeder for peanuts.

Don’t Water Peanuts Too Much

Peanut plants need only about 1 inch of water per week. When is the best time to water plants?

Best Types of Peanuts to Grow

There are four major types of peanuts: runner, Virginia, Valencia and Spanish. Valencias are one of the easiest for home growers. Try Tennessee Red and Georgia Red. Discover the 4 best foods for attracting woodpeckers.

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How Many Peanut Plants Should You Grow?

A single plant produces around 40 pods and each holds one to four peanuts. Find out which birds prefer peanuts in the shell vs. shelled peanuts.

How Tall Do Peanut Plants Grow?

Reaching up to 18 inches, flowers soon turn downward where they develop the peanuts underground. Psst—these perennial vegetables grow back each year.

Peanuts Need Drying Time After Harvest

Peanuts hold a lot of moisture (25 to 50 percent) when harvested, so hang the whole plant to dry for about 2 weeks. We found 10 fast-growing vegetables you can harvest quickly.

Recycled Paper Heart DIY Bird Feeder | Birds & Blooms MagazineJIM WIELAND

Grow Your Own Peanut Butter

It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. We asked the experts: Can birds eat peanut butter?

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.