How to Grow Ornamental Cabbage Plants: Gardening Guide

How to Grow Ornamental Cabbage Plants
15 min reading time

Adding ornamental cabbage plants to your garden can provide a stunning visual display that will breathe life into any outdoor space. However, growing these attractive plants requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise. In this guide, we will provide you with comprehensive instructions on how to grow ornamental cabbage plants in your garden.

From selecting the right varieties to creating ideal growing conditions, preparing the soil, planting, watering, fertilizing and pruning, we’ll take you through all the steps required to keep your ornamental cabbage plants healthy and vibrant.

If you’re a gardening enthusiast looking to beautify your garden with ornamental cabbage plants, this guide is just for you. Let’s get started on mastering the art of growing these stunning plants, and discover how to make your garden the envy of your neighborhood!

Choosing the Right Varieties of Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Before you start planting, it’s crucial to choose the right varieties of ornamental cabbage plants to match your garden’s style and needs. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to pick the best ones. However, with these cabbage plant tips, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

1. Consider the colors

Ornamental cabbage plants come in different colors, including white, pink, purple, and green. Think about which colors would complement your garden’s color scheme and enhance its overall appeal.

2. Determine the size

Ornamental cabbage plants vary in size, from small to large. Consider your garden’s size and spacing requirements, as well as the desired visual impact of the plants when selecting the appropriate size.

3. Assess the texture

Ornamental cabbage plants have different leaf types and textures. Some have smooth leaves, while others have ruffled or fringed edges. Consider which texture would add the most visual interest to your garden when choosing your varieties.

4. Research the growing habits

Each type of ornamental cabbage plant has its own growing habits that can affect its success in your garden. Research the specific needs of each variety, including sunlight requirements and resistance to pests and diseases, to ensure they will thrive in your garden.

By considering these tips and growing ornamental plants tailored to your garden’s needs, you’ll be well on your way to having a stunning and thriving garden!

Ideal Growing Conditions for Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Creating the ideal growing conditions for your ornamental cabbage plants is crucial to their success. Here are some essential tips for cabbage plant care:

Soil Conditions

Ornamental cabbage plants thrive in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. Before planting, ensure that the soil is loosened to allow for good root development. You can add organic matter like compost or aged manure to enrich the soil. Aim for a pH level of about 6.5 to 7.5 for optimal growth.


Ornamental cabbage plants require full sun for at least six hours a day. Ensure that you choose a spot in your garden that receives sufficient sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, consider planting your cabbage plants in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.


Ornamental cabbage plants require consistent moisture to thrive, but they don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil. Water the plants deeply, but allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged.


Ornamental cabbage plants benefit from regular feeding throughout the growing season. You can use a balanced fertilizer every two weeks to ensure optimal growth. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

Cool Temperatures

Ornamental cabbage plants can tolerate cool temperatures and are ideal for fall planting. They can withstand frost and even snow, making them a perfect choice for winter gardens. Ensure that you plant your cabbage plants at least eight weeks before the first hard frost to ensure successful growth.

By taking care of these essential factors, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving ornamental cabbage garden. Happy gardening!

Preparing the Soil for Ornamental Cabbage Plants

How to Grow Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Proper soil preparation is essential for the optimal growth of ornamental cabbage plants. The first step is to choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day.

The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Start by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris from the soil surface to provide a clear area for planting.

Amending the Soil

Before planting, amend the soil by adding organic matter such as compost or aged manure. This will improve soil structure, provide nutrients, and enhance water-holding capacity.

Add the organic matter to the topsoil and work it in with a rototiller or garden fork. Mix it to a depth of at least 6 inches to ensure good root development.

Checking Soil pH

The ideal pH range for ornamental cabbage plants is between 6.0 and 7.5. If the soil pH is outside this range, adjust it by adding lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it.

To check the soil pH, use a soil test kit or send a soil sample to a local agricultural extension office for analysis.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Good drainage is crucial for the success of ornamental cabbage plants. If the soil is heavy or clay-like, improve drainage by adding sand or perlite.

Alternatively, consider planting in a raised bed, where the soil is elevated and well-draining. This will also help prevent soil-borne diseases and pests from attacking your plants.

Planting Ornamental Cabbage Plants

The first step in growing ornamental cabbage plants is to start with healthy seedlings. You can find seedlings at your local nursery or start them from seeds indoors several weeks before the last frost. Note: Make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet for optimal results.

When planting your seedlings, choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Ornamental cabbage plants grow best in well-drained soil, so it’s recommended to amend the soil with organic matter before planting. Allow at least 12 inches of space between each plant to ensure proper growth and circulation.

After planting, water your cabbage plants regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can cause root rot and other diseases, so make sure to monitor the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule as needed.

Pro Tip: Consider using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to keep the soil evenly moist without saturating the foliage.

Once your cabbage plants have become established and started to grow, it may be necessary to thin them out to ensure they have enough space to continue growing. When thinning, gently pull out weaker plants or those that are too close to others. Be careful not to disturb the roots of the remaining plants.

As your ornamental cabbage plants continue to grow, you can fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Alternatively, you can add organic matter or compost to the soil to provide the necessary nutrients they need.

With proper planting and care, your ornamental cabbage plants can grow to be vibrant and stunning additions to your garden!

How to Grow Ornamental Cabbage Plants: Watering and Fertilizing

Caring for ornamental cabbage plants requires proper watering and fertilizing techniques. These practices are essential for maintaining the health and vitality of your plants. Here are some tips to help you water and fertilize your ornamental cabbage plants:


Water ornamental cabbage plants deeply and consistently, ensuring that the soil stays moist throughout the growing season. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other plant health issues. Here are some tips for watering ornamental cabbage plants:

  • Water plants in the early morning to prevent evaporation and allow foliage to dry before nightfall.
  • Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to water plants at the base, avoiding wetting the foliage.
  • Monitor soil moisture regularly and adjust watering frequency according to weather conditions, such as drought or excessive rainfall.


Like all plants, ornamental cabbage requires nutrients to thrive. Fertilizing can help provide these essential nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant color. Here are some tips for fertilizing your ornamental cabbage plants:

  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting. This will provide a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season.
  • Use a fertilizer with a higher ratio of phosphorus, as this nutrient supports root development and encourages blooms.
  • Avoid overfertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and reduced flowering. Follow package instructions carefully and apply fertilizer only as needed.

By following these watering and fertilizing tips, you can keep your ornamental cabbage plants healthy and thriving for a beautiful addition to your garden.

Controlling Pests and Diseases in Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Growing ornamental cabbage plants can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be aware of the pests and diseases that can impact their growth.

Identifying Common Issues

The most common pests that can affect ornamental cabbage plants include aphids, caterpillars, and slugs. These pests can cause damage to the leaves, stunting the growth of the plant. Diseases such as fungal infections can also impact the health of ornamental cabbage plants.

It’s important to regularly inspect your plants for any signs of damage or distress. If you notice any yellowing or wilting leaves, or if you see evidence of pests, take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Preventing and Treating Infestations

One of the most effective ways to prevent infestations is to maintain a clean and well-groomed garden. Remove any debris, weeds, or dead plant matter that can attract pests or harbor disease. Additionally, introducing beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings can help control aphids and other pests.

If you do notice an infestation, there are several natural methods you can try to control it. Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and diatomaceous earth are all effective treatments for many common pests. For fungal infections, avoid overhead watering and consider using a fungicide.

Protecting Your Plants

Regularly monitoring and maintaining your ornamental cabbage plants is essential to prevent and control pests and diseases. Take care to avoid over-fertilizing or over-watering, as this can weaken the plants and make them more susceptible to issues.

By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can ensure that your ornamental cabbage plants stay healthy and vibrant throughout the growing season.

Pruning and Maintenance of Ornamental Cabbage Plants

How to Grow Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your ornamental cabbage plants remain healthy and vibrant. Pruning and grooming are recommended to keep the plants looking their best and prolong their lifespan.

Prune your ornamental cabbage plants in the early stages of growth to encourage bushier and compact growth. Pinch off the growing tips to stimulate the growth of lateral branches. You may also remove any damaged or discolored leaves to maintain the plant’s appearance.

When pruning your ornamental cabbage plants, use sterile pruning shears to prevent the spread of diseases. Ensure to clean the blades with rubbing alcohol between cuts and avoid over-pruning to prevent stress on the plant.

For maintenance, regularly inspect the plant for signs of disease, pests, or nutritional deficiencies. Check the soil moisture regularly and water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering or allowing the plant to sit in standing water, which can lead to root rot.

In addition to maintenance and pruning, fertilizing can also promote healthy growth. Use a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season to provide adequate nutrients to the plant.

Overall, regular maintenance, pruning, and fertilizing can ensure the longevity and optimal growth of your ornamental cabbage plants. Incorporate these practices into your cabbage plant care routine to enjoy flourishing and attractive plants in your ornamental garden.

Harvesting and Using Ornamental Cabbage Plants

When it comes to ornamental cabbage plants, the leaves are the main attraction. They come in a range of colors, from pale green to dark purple, and can add a vibrant and eye-catching element to any floral arrangement or decorative display. Here are some tips on how to harvest and use your ornamental cabbage plants:

  1. Wait until the leaves have fully matured before harvesting. This will ensure that they have reached their full color potential and are sturdy enough to handle.
  2. Use a sharp pair of garden shears or scissors to cut the leaves from the plant, leaving a short stem attached.
  3. Rinse the leaves thoroughly with water and pat dry with a towel to remove any dirt or debris.
  4. Arrange the leaves in a vase or floral arrangement to showcase their vibrant colors and unique texture. For added interest, mix and match different colors and varieties.
  5. Alternatively, use the leaves to add interest to a tabletop display or as a focal point in a fall-themed centerpiece.
  6. Ornamental cabbage leaves can also be used to create wreaths or other decorative items. Simply attach the leaves to a wire wreath frame using floral wire or hot glue.
  7. For a fun DIY project, try using the leaves to add a pop of color to homemade soap or candles.

With a little creativity, the possibilities for using ornamental cabbage plants in your decor are endless. Experiment with different colors and arrangements to create a unique and visually striking display.


Cultivating and growing ornamental cabbage plants can add vibrancy and beauty to any garden. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can create a stunning garden filled with these attractive plants.

Begin by choosing the right varieties of ornamental cabbage plants that suit your garden’s environment and aesthetic. Ensure to create the ideal growing conditions with the right soil conditions, sunlight, and water. Proper soil preparation, amendment, and drainage are also crucial for optimal plant health.

When it’s time to plant, learn the best seed starting and transplanting techniques to ensure successful establishment. Remember to water and fertilize your plants regularly and appropriately for their specific needs. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that may harm your plants. Use preventive measures and effective control methods to maintain their health.

Regular maintenance, including pruning and grooming, will keep your plants looking their best. Finally, when it’s time to harvest, take advantage of the gorgeous leaves by incorporating them into your ornamental displays or floral arrangements.

With the right care and attention, your ornamental cabbage plants will thrive and bring visual interest to your outdoor space. Experiment with different varieties and enjoy the beautiful impact they can have on your garden.


How do I choose the right varieties of ornamental cabbage plants?

When selecting ornamental cabbage plants, consider factors such as color, size, and leaf texture to choose varieties that complement your garden. Look for vibrant hues, varying leaf shapes, and compact growth habits to create an eye-catching display.

What are the ideal growing conditions for ornamental cabbage plants?

Ornamental cabbage plants thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer well-drained, fertile soil. They can tolerate cooler temperatures, making them suitable for fall and winter gardening. Regular watering and occasional fertilization will help ensure healthy growth.

How do I prepare the soil for ornamental cabbage plants?

Before planting, prepare the soil by removing weeds and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage. Aim for a slightly acidic soil pH, around 6.0 to 6.5, for optimal plant growth.

What is the best way to plant ornamental cabbage plants?

Start by sowing seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the desired planting date or purchase young seedlings from a nursery. Plant them in well-prepared soil, spacing them according to the specific variety’s requirements. Ensure they receive adequate water and protect them from extreme weather conditions during establishment.

How often should I water and fertilize ornamental cabbage plants?

Water ornamental cabbage plants regularly, aiming to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Apply water at ground level to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to disease. Fertilize every 2-3 weeks with a balanced fertilizer, following the product’s instructions for application rates.

How can I control pests and diseases in ornamental cabbage plants?

Monitor plants regularly for signs of pests, such as aphids or caterpillars, and use organic pest control methods like handpicking or applying insecticidal soap if necessary. To prevent diseases, practice good garden hygiene, such as removing fallen leaves, and avoid overhead watering. If disease does occur, treat with appropriate fungicides.

When and how should I prune ornamental cabbage plants?

Pruning ornamental cabbage plants is optional but can help maintain their shape and appearance. Remove any damaged or yellowing leaves as needed. However, avoid excessive pruning, as it may hinder the plant’s ability to produce new leaves and affect its overall appearance.

How do I harvest and use ornamental cabbage plants?

Harvest ornamental cabbage leaves when they reach full size and have vibrant color. Cut the leaves at the base of the stem, leaving some foliage to support new growth. Use the harvested leaves in floral arrangements or as captivating additions to other ornamental displays.

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