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ornamenta kale - any experience?

Posted by mandolls 4 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 9:58

Hi - I am growing some ornamental kale as an annual "flower" this year. I saw some at a florist and fell in love.

Has anyone on this forum grown it before?

I the seeds are up and the plants are only about 4" tall at this point, but I am wondering if I should pinch it back after it gains a little more growth, so that it will branch out. I do that with pretty much all of my other annuals that I grow from seed, but I'm not sure its the right tactic with this stuff. I have never actually seen it growing before.

Here is a link to what I am growing

Here is a link that might be useful: white crane ornamental kale

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RE: ornamenta kale - any experience?

  • Posted by pitt IN-Zone5 (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 15:27

I have grown ornamental kale for several years and it is well received by customers. One note -- as adviced, you will want to strip leaves as it grows throughout the season. First time, I believe was at about 10 inches. This is rather labor intensive, but otherwise you get quite a different looking plant with thick stem and leaves that are difficult to strip at end of season. Beautiful plant -- very eye catching at farmers' market. I am certainly not an expert on this annual, but am planting some again this season. Good luck!

RE: ornamenta kale - any experience?

Thanks for the tip on stripping the leaves. I had assumed they were just stripped when harvested.

You didn't answer the pinching question - but I am assuming that these dont get pinched - its a one "flower" per plant harvest.

RE: ornamenta kale - any experience?

I have had a rabbit pinch mine for me. The results were not very encouraging. They did branch but had very short stems. Also, you may have planted them too early. I am zone 6 and do not seed until May. Plant out in early July and get color on them by October. They do not color up until we get cold nights (near frost). Definitely need other late flowers (or greenhouse grown flowers) to make it worth selling ornamental cabbages. They just color up way late. You can sell a few "green" but not too many.

RE: ornamenta kale - any experience?

Hmmm.............well this is an experiment, so I'll just see how they go. I am not a seller (though maybe in the future) right now these are just for me. Good to know they dont get their color until late - that will help me in placing them in the garden.


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