Expert Advice

Facts & Favorites: Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

Posted on October 9, 2013

Coral Queen

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Ornamental cabbage & kale are a beautiful way to add color and texture to your fall planters and garden beds. Plant them alone or with other fall favorites such as mums, grasses or pansies.
 Before we discuss our favorites, we’d like to respond to some common questions about cabbage and kale.
How long will ornamental cabbage and kale last in my garden?
Good question! They should last through most of the winter provided we don’t have too much snow.
 How big will they get? Do they require sun or shade?
Full sun to part shade would be best. The plants will basically stay the same size as they were when you purchased them.
 Can I eat ornamental cabbage and kale?
Yes, in theory you could eat ornamental cabbage and kale but it tastes very bitter and was not grown for eating. If you are looking for cabbage and kale to eat, it would be better to plant or purchase edible varieties.
What’s the difference between cabbage and kale?
Cabbages have larger, flat leaves. Kale has curlier leaves. Kales tend to hold their color and shape better than cabbage.
 Now on to the varieties! Here are a few of horticultural buyer Alison Caldwell’s favorites:
  1. Red Bor Kale:  This plant is tall, dark and handsome! Turns a dark eggplant color – great centerpiece in a planter or place at the center of a circular bed. There is also a green variety called Winter Bor.
  2. White Peacock Kale: Looks like frisee lettuce and has extra fine cut leaves with white and green coloring.
  3. Red Peacock Kale: extra finely cuts on purple foliage. Rosy pink center.
  4. Tuscan Kale: Blue-green strap-like leaves add extra drama. This one is edible!
  5. Coral Queen Kale: Fancy, frilly leaves with beautiful deep red veins.
  6. Coral Prince Kale: Same size as the coral queen but in white with deep green leaves.
 Which one is your favorite? Share your picture and opinions with us below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.
Red Bor

Red Bor Kale.

White Peacock

White Peacock Kale

Coral Prince Kale

Coral Prince Kale.

Red Peacock kale

Red Peacock Kale.

Tuscan

Tuscan Kale.

Coral Queen

Coral Queen Kale.

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Alison Caldwell

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