I Love Ornamental Cabbages and Kales

Oct 6, 2018 | Love This!

Name: Ornamental Cabbages and Kales

Type of Plant: Annuals for planting in the fall that will last and be colorful (in most areas) into January.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love ornamental cabbages and kales because they add great color and last so long in the autumn-into-winter garden. As the temperatures grow colder, these plants get more vivid in color. They also continue to grow, so you’ll get taller and wider plants as fall progresses into the colder months.    

 A Word to the Wise: Once you plant these, be sure to water once a week if it doesn’t rain. Like all plants recently placed in the ground, these have a root system the size of the pot and they will dry out if they go five to six days without watering.

Also, early in the fall the white cabbage butterfly is still floating about laying eggs on members of the brassica family…so spraying these with Bt or spinosad after planting will protect them from the holes the cabbage looper larvae make.

The colors in ornamental cabbages and kales get more vivid as the temperatures drop. These plants combine beautifully with pumpkins in your urns, containers and window boxes.

Here is a pumpkin stack that has been ringed with ornamental kale and cabbage. (The kale is the frilly, pink one.)

One of my favorites for the landscape is Peacock Kale. It comes in pink and white and I’ve found that it looks fantastic into January or beyond. In this garden I planted the white Peacock Kale where the peonies grow – I stick them all around the peony clumps. The Golden Delicious pineapple sage is in flower in the garden until hard frost.

I love to combine cabbages and kales with the annuals that still look good in the fall window boxes. 

As the temperatures get colder, these plants grow bolder!




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