How to Grow Chocolate M&M's in Your Garden!

A fun, easy, colorful crop for sweet tooths!

April 1, 2021

April 1 is the traditional day to plant chocolate M&M’s—just as St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional day to plant peas. If you plant this cacao bean crop too late in the summer, it will melt! Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest this sweet crop. Kids love it!

The last time we planted M&M’s was back in 2014. It was just an experimental crop at the time, but we’ve decided to add it to our garden plan this season! Frankly, we’ve had a tough year, so this seemed like a fun, colorful crop to add to the mix.

Of course, M&M’s is a hybrid crop, carefully cultivated by cacao bean growers. (Cacao beans are the seeds of the cacao tree.) This means that you’ll never know if the same color that you plant will grow the same color harvest. In other words, you could plant a red M&M seed, but it will grow yellow and red M&M’s. That’s just part of the fun and surprise of this delightful crop. The taste is always the same, whatever the color (though some will debate that fact).

Recommended Varieties

Recently, a few new varieties of M&M’s have appeared on the market. For home gardeners, we recommend:

  • ‘Peanut’: produces larger M&M’s with a peanuty flavor; heat- and drought-tolerant
  • ‘Dark Chocolate’: shade-tolerant variety with a deeper flavor
  • ‘Minis’: dwarf variety that grows well in containers
  • ‘Smarties’: cold-tolerant, recommended for Canadian gardeners

Growing Tips

Over the years, we’ve also gained some valuable learning from readers. Here are our top five tips which we hope you’ll find useful:

  1. Soil acidity can affect the color of your M&M’s. As with hydrangeas, acidic soil produces blue M&M’s, while alkaline soil produces red ones. Always take a soil test before planting!
  2. Keep safe from pests, especially the Easter bunny (and maybe your family members).
  3. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you might get W&W’s. 
  4. Use non-GMO seeds or you could end up with Skittles or Reese’s Pieces.
  5. Be careful not to eat the seeds while planting; they’re delicious!

Please add your own tips below so we can all grow M&M’s successfully! 

After you watch this video, why not try our online Almanac Garden Planner for free here.

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Reader Comments

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Growing M&Ms

The idea of growing M&Ms in the garden is just plain silly. If you really want to grow something sweet in your garden you should try something more practical. After all threat of frost is past, I plant Cheerios, and by September I will have a fine crop of doughnuts.

Seriously, I very much enjoyed the video, it was very well done.

Growing M&M's

What a wonderful job you did with this video. One would actually believe it could be done, with all the information the gardener gives as he explains how to grow them. I knew it couldn't be done, but didn't think of this as an April fools trick until he said they had to be planted on April 1. Again, great job!

Well Done!

I write to compliment you on your witty article. I appreciate your humour and well-timed submission to the day's playfulness.

Well done, Editors! Well done!

Growing M&Ms

Delightful video, and so timely! I laughed out loud, just love the concept! And the gentleman's pumpkin seed idea was great, too! Hooray for the Almanac, every day is fun and interesting. Happy April Fool's Day!

M@M's

i find if you use a insulated greenhouse , you can grow them year round . winter crop is the best , they come out like ice wine... good vid , thanks ;)

M&Ms vs. Personalized Pumpkins

Rather than growing M&M's I find it easier to grown personalized pumpkin seeds for my grandchildren. Before planting I have each grandchild write their name and a simple design on "their special pumpkin seed." I plant the seeds and low and behold as they grow the name of the child and their design magically appear on the pumpkins. My grandkids are amazed to see their name and art work on a pumpkin and their smile says it all.

Yes, this really works but there is a catch. I keep the actual art work seeds to give to them when they are older. I plant my plain old pumpkin seeds with not art work and when the pumpkins appear I take a screwdriver and gently scrape into the pumpkin peel to create each child's name and their art work. As the pumpkins grow, so do the names and art work. I just hope that my grandkids catch onto my ploy before they become Picasso's because my screwdriver drawing is very limited!

Growing M&M's

There was no mention of the type of fertilizer that should be used to grow M&M's. I'm just guessing, but it would probably be a fertilizer with a high sugar content. Would appreciate a clarification of the best fertilizer to use, I don't want to disappoint my grandson's with a poor M&M crop. Enjoyed the video. Thank you!

Fertilizer

The Editors's picture

Ah, very good point! Indeed, you’re on the right track. Feed once a week with organic sugar. Also, you can keep any slugs away with crushed Skittles. 

I saw this video amoungst

I saw this video amoungst several serious how to videos and I thought...really? I was in a drs office, a psychologist at that!! I thought maybe it could be some kind of cocoa plant and actually came home and googled it! I didn't catch on when he said they had to be planted April 1st! However, when the harvested M&Ms had the trade mark stamp on them, I finally figured it out! Duh!! I was really hoping there was a plant that made fruit that tasted like chocolate! What a dork! I am really very intelligent, (trying to convince myself after this!) but thought it was not real M&Ms and just some odd veggie. Jeesh! Got me good! I'm getting my 16 yr old grandson and my hubby! I'll let you all know how it went! Lol!!!!

You made our day! Love your

The Editors's picture

You made our day! Love your comment--and so honest, too! Ha ha. Hope you got your hubby or grandson to bite.

I see the man who was saying

I see the man who was saying that you can grow m&m. I live in the state of Texas what month do you planted them

and I was Stupid enough to

and I was Stupid enough to believe this LAUGH is on me

I love this video! The

I love this video! The gardener does all of this with a "matter-of-fact" straight face, something I would be hard pressed to do. Wonder how many people bought into it? I think it would be a novel idea to actually get kids involved by really planting M&M's, then when they're at school to plant snow peas (provided the kids have never seen any growing), implant a few candies into mature pods and have the kids harvest them. I think I'll try the "pennies" idea mentioned above, too! All in good fun.

It's also fun to convince city kids that chocolate milk comes from black cows and strawberry milk comes from red ones!

I wonder if the dark

I wonder if the dark chocolate variety would be harder to grow. Would it take a slightly longer growing season?

Wheeeeeeee doggies, chocolate! :~D

I loved this gardening idea.

I loved this gardening idea. The best I have ever seen. And totally fantastic for April 1st.

I sent it around to my friends and they all loved it, too.

Thanks for sharing how to grow M & Ms. The fellow gardener did a wonderful job of explaining how to grow M & Ms. Please tell him.

To get more blues add a few

To get more blues add a few pennies to the soil in the plot lol.

What about mint M&Ms?

What about mint M&Ms?

This was awesome and so

This was awesome and so cleaver. I only wish my son was younger and I would have planted these as well. thank you

Happy April Fool's Day,

Happy April Fool's Day, Farmers Almanac!

I found using Miracle Grow

I found using Miracle Grow gets the best crop of blue ones.

What a wonderful video and

What a wonderful video and April Fool's Day to you , too!!! I do wish we could grow Chocolate in Virginia, USA but do not think it possible without a greenhouse and the proper climate combined!
Thanks for your charming message!!!

April Fools! LOL

April Fools! LOL

To grow the blue ones, try

To grow the blue ones, try fertilizing your soil with mouthwash. Any commercially-available mouthwash will do, just make sure it is colored blue.

Oh if that were only true LOL

Oh if that were only true LOL Great video by the way

I knew that you could plant

I knew that you could plant Cheerios and grow Krispy Kremes, but this is just silly.

Very interresting..Do you

Very interresting..Do you think we can grow Peanut M&M's too?!

The peanut M&Ms are grown in

The peanut M&Ms are grown in Gardening Zones 8-10. Our northern climate and short day can't support them!

Oh, the sorrows of being in

Oh, the sorrows of being in zone 5! Peanut M&M's are my favorite, too!

To get the blue ones to grow,

To get the blue ones to grow, you must choke the plant.

I was able to grow them one

I was able to grow them one year when we had a snowfall in July. But that was the only year.

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