Cabbage Plant

Leafy cabbage (Brassica oleracea) may be a vegetable grown for its densely packed heads. Some are often quite beautiful. they’re classified by head shape, round and flat-head being the foremost commonly seen. There are cabbages with smooth leaves and pronounced veins and a few with crinkled, or savoyed, leaves. You’ll find cabbages in reminder white, green, and purple, and therefore the flavor varies by variety. There are even ornamental cabbage varieties bred for his or her looks, not their flavor.

Cabbage is within the Brassica genus along side broccoli, cauliflower, and other cole crops. Cabbages are a number of the foremost popular vegetables to grow, although most home gardeners tend to grow alittle fraction of the many varieties available.

Cabbage plants are moderately fast growers and typically are able to harvest about two months after the seedlings emerge or are transplanted within the garden. they’re biennial plants that are typically grown as annuals. These are cool-weather plants that grow best in late-summer to fall in most climates. they will even be planted in spring.

Botanical Name Brassica oleracea 
Common Name Cabbage, Head cabbage
Plant Type Biennial (typically grown as annual)
Mature Size 12 to 18 inches tall and wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Rich, well-drained 
Soil pH Neutral (above 6.8) 
Bloom Time Typically does not flower 
Flower Color Typically does not flower 
Hardiness Zones 2 to 11 
Native Area Europe
Toxicity Non-toxic 

How to Plant Cabbage

Cabbage plants can grow in cool weather, so you’ll get an early start on the season. they will even be re-seeded throughout the summer, provided the temperature isn’t to high, to supply a continuing harvest of heads as you would like them, instead of having all of them mature at an equivalent time.

There are cabbage seedlings available at every garden center in spring, except for the simplest variety you’ll got to start yours from seed. Luckily that’s easy to try to to you’ll start seeds indoors about 6 to 10 weeks before your last expected frost date. Because cabbages can handle a touch frost, you’ll transplant the seedlings outdoors a few of weeks before your last frost date, as long because the soil is workable. Later plantings are often direct sown within the garden.

Plant transplants, or thin direct-sown seedlings, to a spacing of about 1 to 2 feet.

Cabbage Care

Cabbage plants can handle full sun to light shade. Since cabbage plants aren’t setting flowers or fruit, they are doing not need a full day of sun. Gardeners in warmer climates will want to supply some shade during hot months, therefore the plants don’t dry out.


Need a well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. to assist prevent a standard cabbage disease called clubroot that’s most prevalent in acidic soil, keep the soil pH above 6.8.


The biggest maintenance issue when growing cabbages is keeping them watered. Watering is additionally the key to preventing the heads from splitting. you would like the cabbage heads to fill out, but not so quickly they burst open.

Temperature and Humidity

Cabbages do best within the relative cool of spring and fall and start to suffer when daily temperatures stay around 80 Fahrenheit and above. Afternoon shade is suggested during the high heat of summer.


Cabbages are often heavy feeders, and side-dressing with compost every three weeks will keep the soil rich.

Cabbage Varieties

  • ‘Drumhead’ has deeply savoyed leaves and an exquisite savory crunch.
  • ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’ may be a classic cabbage that has been popular for years.
  • ‘January King’ may be a beautiful purple and green cabbage that’s extremely frost-hardy.
  • ‘Murdoc’ features a pointed head and tender, sweet leaves.
  • ‘Red Acre’ and ‘Red Delight’ are early, easy-to-grow purple varieties.


The length of your time a cabbage takes to mature will vary by variety, but most require about 50 to 60 days from transplant. Harvest when the top forms fully (depending on the variety) and that they are firm to the touch. If you allow the heads on the plants for too long, they’ll split.

You can remove the whole plant, or stop the top at its base and leave the wide, outer leaves and roots within the ground for a second harvest; keep just a couple of of the new heads and allow them to grow to about 2 1/2 to three inches in diameter before harvesting.

Cabbages are often stored for months during a cellar where the temperature is between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and freezing.

Common Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, there are many problems that plague cabbage. Cabbage worms and cabbage loopers are the most pest threats. they’re going to munch holes throughout the leaves. Their coloring allows them to blend in with the cabbage, but they will be handpicked easily if you’ll see them. Slugs also will attack your cabbages as will cutworms.

Diseases include club root; a fungus called blackleg that causes dark spots on the stems and leaves; plant disease , which affects the veins, making them dark and foul-smelling; and therefore the yellows (fusarium wilt), which leaves you with stunted, yellow heads.

Once your cabbages are infected, there’s not much you’ll do. you’ve got to stop these diseases by choosing disease-resistant varieties and by not growing cabbages within the same spot year after year. The fungus spores can remain within the soil over winter and reinfect new plantings.

Another preventative measure is to never leave cabbage debris, or any cole crop debris, within the garden over winter. once more , the spores can linger and over-winter, waiting to reinfect next year’s plants.

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