All You Need To Know About Growing Broccoli

You consider growing broccoli at home but have some open questions that need to be answered in this regard?

Great! Stick with me since you will find answers to almost all questions you might have about growing broccoli in this article!

Table of Contents

Time & Duration

When to grow broccoli from seed?

If you want to grow broccoli in moderate climatic zones, you should start growing it in spring between March and April to get the best results.

Just make sure that you don’t expect strong spring frost anymore before planting broccoli seeds outside since your plants might decay due to the cold otherwise.

Does broccoli grow year-round?

Growing broccoli year-round is not a good idea. While you could try it, the best time to grow broccoli is still between spring and summer.

Hence, growing broccoli in the off-season will adversely affect the growth behavior and also your yields tend to be smaller.

If you want to grow broccoli year-round and want to get multiple harvests, you would also have to plant seeds multiple times a year.

Prepare the soil!

I personally advise you not to grow broccoli year-round but rather to focus on growing it in the main season since you will just get the best results and you can avoid many issues that might arise by growing broccoli during the off-season.

Does broccoli grow fast?

Broccoli is not a garden vegetable that you can grow pretty fast. In fact, compared to carrots, lettuce or mustard greens, broccoli will take much longer to grow from sowing to harvest.

Hence, make sure that you are not an impatient person and that you are willing to invest several months of your time before you can finally harvest the fruits of your labor.

How long does it take to grow broccoli?

It will usually take you 90 to 140 days to grow broccoli from seed to harvest.

How long it will take you also greatly depends on your skill level and your knowledge about gardening and also on the overall conditions you provide to your plants.

The better the soil and the location you choose for your plants, the faster they will grow.

Thus, make sure to optimize growing conditions for your broccoli plants as best as possible if you want to see results in a rather short period of time.

Does broccoli grow back every year?

No, broccoli is grown as an annual and this means that you will only harvest it once a year and then get rid of the plant material.

If you want to harvest broccoli in future years, you also have to plant new seeds every year.

How long do broccoli plants live?

Without human intervention, broccoli plants live from early spring to late fall until the first strong winter frost arrives. Hence, the lifecycle of broccoli plants is around half a year long.

However, if you harvest your broccoli plants before late fall, you will shorten the lifespan of your plants since you will remove the whole plant from your garden once it is ready to harvest.

How long does it take until broccoli flowers?

It will take between 60 and 80 days after you planted broccoli seeds until you see broccoli plants flower.

It can also take longer or shorter depending on the growing conditions you provide to your plants and also on the lighting.

Can you grow broccoli in fall?

Growing broccoli in fall is not a good idea since your plants will take a few months to grow from seed to harvest and this means that you will have to grow broccoli indoors to protect it against frost.

In turn, you will not be able to provide as natural growing conditions to your plants and your yields will also be much lower due to that.

Can you grow broccoli in winter?

Similar to growing broccoli in fall, I also don’t recommend growing broccoli in winter since you will run into similar issues.

Not only will you not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants, but your broccoli plants will also take away lots of space from you if you have to grow them indoors.

This can be quite frustrating, especially if you just have a small place to live in and need every inch of space to store your stuff.

Location & Climate

Will broccoli grow in shade?

Although broccoli grows well in rather cool climatic zones, growing broccoli in full shade is not a good idea since your plants will just not get sufficient sunlight to grow well.

Consequently, instead of growing broccoli in shady environments, make sure that your plants get at least a little bit of sun.

Will broccoli grow in partial shade?

Partial shade is a great environment to grow broccoli.

In fact, a healthy mix between sun and shade is perfect to grow broccoli since your plants will get enough sunlight but will still be protected from excessive sunlight, heat and radiation.

Does broccoli grow best in full sun?

While broccoli likes the sun, too much of it may do more harm than good to your plants.

Hence, instead of growing broccoli in full sun, make sure that you choose a spot in your garden or on your balcony where your plants get at least some shade so that they don’t get sunburned and can grow in a healthy manner.

Will broccoli tolerate frost?

While broccoli is not as sensitive to the cold as most other garden vegetables, you should still not expose your plants to strong frost.

Otherwise, your plants may just decay and you will have to sow seeds again to make it better next time.

Do you have to protect broccoli from the sun?

Especially while your broccoli plants are still young, it can definitely make sense to protect your plants from excessive sun exposure.

You can simply do so by growing broccoli in pots and by moving those pots to a half-shady environment so that your plants get a healthy mix between sun and shade.

How much space do you need to grow broccoli?

While broccoli doesn’t grow big in the vertical, it still grows big in the horizontal and also the crops of broccoli plants need a lot of space.

Hence, make sure to provide each plant with at least 7 square feet of space so that your plants can grow in a decent manner and don’t have to compete for sunlight, nutrients or water with each other.

Will broccoli grow indoors?

It is pretty hard to grow broccoli indoors since you will run into several issues.

First, you will just not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants.

Second, your broccoli plants may develop plant diseases and you may also have to deal with pests much more often.

Third, your plants will take away lots of space from you.

Fourth, you will have to clean your home more often.

As you can see, growing broccoli indoors instead of outdoors can imply various problems and you should make sure that you are willing to deal with those issues and that you want to put in the extra work that is required to grow broccoli successfully indoors.

Otherwise, growing it outdoors will just be much easier and will also save you lots of nerves in the long run.

Can you grow broccoli without a garden or balcony?

In case you don’t have a balcony or a garden, it can be a real challenge to grow broccoli at home since you would have to grow broccoli plants indoors and deal with all the issues that come along with it.

Hence, even though it is possible to grow broccoli under those circumstances, I would rather wait until you move to a place where you can grow broccoli and other garden vegetables outdoors.

Can you grow broccoli in small flats?

Growing broccoli at home also doesn’t make a lot of sense for you if you currently live in a small flat.

In such a case, you will need every inch of space to store your belongings and you can simply not afford that plants will take away lots of precious space from you.

Thus, in such a case, you should just wait with growing broccoli until you move to a bigger place.

Can you grow broccoli in an aquarium?

While it is an interesting idea to grow broccoli in aquariums, it is just not practical.

You will just not be able to make sure that water will be able to run off properly and waterlogging will therefore become a serious issue if you grow broccoli in aquariums.

Consequently, your plants will not grow as well and will also not produce decent yields.

Hence, instead of growing broccoli in aquariums, make sure to use conventional pots from the garden center and you will be perfectly fine.

Can you grow broccoli in a terrarium?

Growing broccoli in terrariums is also not a good idea. Even if you fill your terrarium with high-quality potting soil, you will still not be able to provide natural growing conditions since water will be logged at the bottom of your terrarium and once the roots of your broccoli plants reach the bottom of your terrarium, the roots of your plants may start to rot.

Can you grow broccoli in a bucket?

Growing broccoli in buckets is a much better idea compared to more exotic alternatives out there.

In fact, buckets can be a real substitute for conventional flower pots as long as you make sure that water can run off properly.

Also make sure that you use big buckets and that you fill them with high-quality potting soil to provide optimal growing conditions for your plants.

Can you grow broccoli in bags?

You could also just try to grow broccoli in bags. Just make sure that you use fabric instead of plastic bags since they are much stabler and water will also be able to run off much better.

Can you grow broccoli in hanging baskets?

Growing broccoli in hanging baskets is not the best idea since broccoli crops can get quite big and if you don’t provide a solid foundation for your pots, broccoli plants may not be able to hold on to those crops and you may just lose parts of your yield.

Thus, while it is possible to grow broccoli in hanging baskets, you would provide better conditions by just growing broccoli in flower pots.

Can you grow broccoli in rainy climatic zones?

Broccoli grows well in rather cool climatic zones and it will also grow in rainy climatic zones in a decent manner.

However, if you live in one of those regions, make sure to choose the sunniest spot in your garden or on your balcony to grow your plants so that your broccoli gets at least a minimum level of direct sunlight every day.

Can you grow broccoli in tropical climatic zones?

While it is possible to grow broccoli in tropical climatic zones, many broccoli varieties still don’t like high humidity levels and you should therefore make sure that you choose a variety that has been specifically produced for those extreme climatic zones.

Can you grow broccoli in regions with permafrost?

Growing broccoli outdoors in regions with permafrost is not possible since your plants would just decay pretty quickly due to the cold.

Hence, if you want to grow broccoli in those extremely cold regions, you would have to grow it in greenhouses or inside your four walls.

Growing broccoli indoors is not ideal since you will not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants.

Growing broccoli in greenhouses is not a good idea since you would have to spend lots of energy and money on your growing project and this will not only hurt our environment, but also your finances.

Consequently, if you live in one of those regions, you should rather get broccoli and other vegetables from the store instead of trying to grow your own vegetables at home.

Does broccoli grow on vines?

Broccoli doesn’t grow on vines. Instead, broccoli crops grow on plants that stay relatively small in the vertical but spread extensively in the horizontal.

Does broccoli grow underground?

In contrast to other garden vegetables like potatoes, onions or garlic, broccoli doesn’t grow underground.

Both the plant as well as the crop will develop above the soil surface where you can easily harvest it once the time has come.

What is the best orientation for growing broccoli?

The best orientation to grow broccoli is either west or east since your plants will get a healthy mix between sun and shade.

It is also possible to grow broccoli in south orientation. Just never grow broccoli in north orientation since your plants would just not get sufficient sunlight.

Can you grow broccoli with indirect sunlight?

Growing broccoli with indirect sunlight will also be possible.

For instance, you could just grow broccoli in greenhouses.

However, from my experience, growing broccoli outdoors instead of in greenhouses will still get you better results on average.

Where does broccoli grow best?

Broccoli grows best in your garden if you provide your plants with high-quality soil and sufficient space so that your plants don’t have to compete for sunlight or nutrients with each other.

Moreover, make sure to provide a healthy mix of sun and shade for your plants so that they can grow fast and also become resistant to several garden pests.

Where to grow broccoli in pots?

If you want to grow broccoli in pots, you should place those pots in a partially shady spot on your porch or in your garden.

Moreover, also make sure that your pots are big enough so that your broccoli plants get enough nutrients to grow in an optimal manner.

Where to grow broccoli indoors?

In case you want to grow broccoli indoors for your own reasons, make sure to grow them in bright rooms inside your home so that your plants get sufficient natural sunlight.

Can you grow broccoli in water?

Growing broccoli in pure water is not possible. Instead, you have to provide a healthy soil mix to your plants so that they get enough nutrients to grow fast and also to develop decent yields.

Can you grow broccoli with LED lights?

Using LED lights or other forms of artificial lighting can also help you to grow broccoli indoors in a better manner.

However, those artificial light sources will need lots of energy in the long run and you should therefore rather grow broccoli with as much natural sunlight as possible instead of relying on artificial lighting to make your growing project a success.

Can you grow broccoli in dark rooms?

You should never try to grow broccoli in dark rooms since your plants would just not get sufficient sunlight and would therefore grow quite poorly or even decay after a rather short period of time.

Instead, make sure to grow broccoli indoors in bright rooms if you want to get decent results.

Soil Requirements

Can you reuse soil for growing broccoli the next year?

There is no need to get rid of used soil after the growing season. Instead, you can reuse this soil for growing broccoli multiple years as long as you loosen it and you also add some fertilizer to the soil to provide sufficient nutrients to your plants.

Does broccoli grow well in waterlogged soil?

Broccoli doesn’t like waterlogged soil at all. Hence, make sure that excess water will be able to run off properly to protect the roots of your plants so that your plants will not decay sooner or later.

Does broccoli grow best in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?

You can grow broccoli in acidic to neutral soil with an optimal soil pH of 6.2 to 7.1.

However, most broccoli varieties are pretty tolerant to the acidity level of the soil and you should therefore just get a solid soil mix from the garden center and will be good to go.

Will broccoli grow in sandy soil?

Growing broccoli in sandy soil is not a good idea. While you may be able to grow your broccoli plants under those conditions in a decent manner, your plants would still grow much better by using a more balanced soil mix from the garden center.

Will broccoli grow in clay soil?

Clay soil is also not a great choice to grow broccoli since it is just too solid and excess water will not be able to run off properly. Hence, instead of relying on clay soil, make sure to get a looser soil mix.

Will broccoli grow in compost?

You could also just grow broccoli on compost. In fact, compost is a great soil choice since it is loose enough and also provides plenty of nutrients at the same time.

You could also just mix compost and potting soil from the store and you will be good to go.

Plant Care

Do broccoli plants need a lot of water?

While broccoli plants stay relatively small in the first weeks of the growing period and only need water once a week, you will have to water them much more once your plants get bigger and start developing crops.

Hence, make sure to adjust your watering behavior to the lifecycle of your plants.

Do you have to water broccoli on a regular basis?

If you grow broccoli outdoors in your garden, your plants will be able to use lots of rainwater. In such a case, you would barely have to water your plants at all during rainy periods of the year.

However, if you grow broccoli in containers where your plants are not able to use rainwater in the soil, you will have to water your plants much more often and a watering schedule can also help you in such a case to water your plants in a decent manner.

Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water broccoli plants?

It is better to rely on unfiltered instead of filtered water when it comes to watering broccoli plants.

Not only is unfiltered water more natural, but you will also not have to make any effort filtering it, which can save you lots of time and energy which you can use for things that are more crucial for the success of your gardening project.

Should you use rainwater to water broccoli?

The easiest and also the best way to water your plants is just to rely on rainwater.

Make sure to get a big rainwater tank so that you can collect rainwater during periods of heavy rain which you can then use for many dry months yet to come.

Not only will this save you money on tap water, but you will also have a reservoir of natural water which your plants will greatly appreciate.

When to stake broccoli plants?

There is no need to stake broccoli plants since your plants will stay rather small in the vertical and will be resistant against outside conditions even without your intervention.

However, if you really want to stake your broccoli plants, make sure to do it once your plants reach at least 3 inches in height.

What to tie broccoli with?

You can just place some sticks near each plant and tie broccoli plants with cord to those sticks so that they become more resistant against wind or other extreme conditions outdoors.

What to do when broccoli leaves turn yellow?

The leaves of broccoli plants turn yellow if you water your plants too often or if you don’t provide sufficient nutrients to the soil.

Hence, make sure to adjust your watering schedule first and see if this solves the problem.

If not, make sure to add some fertilizer to the soil so that your plants can get more energy to grow in a decent manner.

How to protect broccoli against wind?

There is no need to protect broccoli plants against wind. Just let them grow and they will be resistant enough to deal with wind themselves.

If you really want to intervene in this regard for your own reasons, you can just tie your plants with cord to sticks and you will be good to go.

How to protect broccoli against heavy rain?

There is no need to protect broccoli plants against heavy rain.

Just let your plants grow in a natural manner and your plants will become resistant enough to deal with these issues.

How to protect broccoli against hail?

It is easy to protect broccoli against hail if you grow broccoli in pots or containers. In such a case, you can just move those pots to a safe place around your home.

However, if you plant broccoli directly in your garden and don’t have the option to move your plants, you would have to rely on foliage cover from the garden center or the home improvement store to protect your plants from hail as best as possible.

Should you pinch out broccoli?

Pinching broccoli plants is not a good idea since by removing plant material, you would take away energy from your plant and this will do more harm than good in the long run.

Therefore, instead of pinching broccoli, make sure to let it grow in a completely natural manner.

Where to pinch broccoli?

In case you want to pinch broccoli plants for your own reasons, make sure to do it outdoors instead of indoors to avoid a mess inside your four walls and also to keep out insects or various garden pests.

Can you grow broccoli without fertilizer?

The better the soil mix you initially provide for your broccoli plants, the better the chance that you will be able to grow broccoli without adding additional fertilizer.

Hence, make sure to rely on high-quality soil right from the beginning of your growing project so that you don’t have to add any substances later in the year.

Should you cover broccoli plants to protect them against frost?

Covering broccoli plants is never a good idea since those covers often alter lighting conditions, which may in turn confuse your plants.

Consequently, instead of covering your plants to protect them from frost, make sure to wait with planting broccoli outdoors until you don’t expect frost anymore.

How to get rid of moss when growing broccoli?

If you see moss on the soil surface, this is often a sign that the soil is too moist and that you should water your plants less often.

By doing so, you will be able to get rid of moss in a completely natural manner and there will be no need for using any chemical substances in this regard.

Pests & Diseases

Can you grow broccoli without using pesticides?

If you provide optimal growing conditions to your plants, chances are that you will not need to rely on pesticides since your plants will get resistant enough to keep away pests and plant diseases without any intervention from your side.

Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for broccoli plants?

If your plants suffer from serious pest infestation due to various possible reasons, you should rely on natural pesticides like neem oil instead of using chemical substances since this will make your growing project much eco-friendlier and also the crops you produce will be more organic and better for your health.

What are the most common broccoli pests?

Cabbage worms, flea beetles and aphids are just some of the garden pests you may have to deal with when growing broccoli.

There are many more of those unpleasant companions that you have to keep away from your plants somehow.

How to protect broccoli against pests?

To get more information on how to deal with garden pests, make sure to also check out how to get rid of broccoli pests and diseases and also my pest prevention articles.

Growing Difficulty

Is broccoli a good plant to grow for children?

Broccoli is not the best plant to grow with children since it will take an extensive period of time to grow broccoli from seed to harvest and your children may just get bored of it rather quickly.

Moreover, growing broccoli is also not as easy as growing tomatoes or carrots and you may just not get satisfying results.

Is broccoli a good plant for a school project?

While growing garden vegetables can be a great school project since kids will learn a lot about how our food is produced, you should rather grow crops that are faster and easier to grow from seed to harvest.

Hence, instead of growing broccoli, make sure to grow carrots or lettuce as a school project.

Is growing broccoli difficult?

Growing broccoli is not that simple and there are definitely many garden vegetables that are easier to grow.

Consequently, if you really want to grow broccoli at home, make sure to check out all the information in this article to avoid any mistakes in this regard to make your broccoli growth project a real success.

Harvest

What color does ripe broccoli have?

Ripe broccoli has a deep green color. I am sure you have seen broccoli in the grocery store before and you should harvest broccoli plants once the crops reach a similar size and color.

Can you save seeds from broccoli?

You could also try to save seeds from your broccoli plants once they flower.

However, most of the time, it is better just to rely on seeds from a seed vendor since the seeds you save yourself will often be of rather low genetic quality.

Can broccoli get overripe?

Broccoli can definitely get overripe and broccoli crops may even start to rot if you don’t harvest them in time.

Hence, make sure to harvest broccoli crops once they are ready to get the best level of nutrients and flavor out of your crops.

What parts of a broccoli plant can you eat?

While many people just harvest broccoli crops, most people don’t know that you could also use broccoli leaves for salads or pesto.

Thus, make sure to also use the plant material if you want to make your growing project as economical as possible.

Additional Questions

Is growing broccoli expensive?

Growing broccoli at home is not expensive at all. If you have a garden, you barely have to invest any money since you just need to get some broccoli seeds and you are good to go.

If you don’t have a garden, you would have to get some potting soil and pots to grow broccoli.

However, even in such a case, you would not have to spend a fortune and therefore almost everybody out there would be able to grow broccoli and other plants at home from a financial point of view.

Is growing broccoli fun?

Growing broccoli and other plants at home is not only pretty interesting, but it can also be quite a lot of fun to see your plants grow and to see the progress that your plants will make every day.

Sitting next to your plants can also help you relax and to unplug after a stressful workday.

Does broccoli grow on trees?

Broccoli doesn’t grow on trees. Instead, it grows on plants that spread big into the horizontal but stay rather small in the vertical.

Does broccoli grow from flowers?

While broccoli plants flower, this is not a precondition to get broccoli crops.

Broccoli flower pots are only important for you in case you want to save seeds from broccoli plants which you may want to use for future growing projects.

How many broccoli plants should you grow per pot?

You should only grow one broccoli plant per pot and also use a big pot so that your plants will get sufficient nutrients.

If you plant more than one broccoli plant per pot, your plants would just take away too much sunlight and nutrients from each other and would not produce great yields.

Which animals feed on broccoli?

Rabbits, mice and squirrels will often try to feed on broccoli plants.

Hence, make sure to install a fence around your garden plants to protect them from those hungry intruders that may often come out at nighttime when you sleep.

Will your pets eat broccoli plants?

Rabbits and other pets will often try to feed on broccoli plants.

Consequently, to protect your plants, make sure that you don’t provide your pets with access to your plants and that you take measures to separate your plants and your pets.

Is broccoli toxic for pets?

While most pets can eat broccoli plants without any problems, some pets may develop serious health issues from consuming your plants and it is therefore advisable to keep your pets away from your garden plants, not only to protect your plants but also your pets from unpleasant surprises in this regard.

Why broccoli grows small?

Broccoli grows small if you don’t provide enough space or sunlight to your plants. It may also be due to a lack of water.

Just make sure to optimize overall growing conditions if you want to get better results in future years.

What to grow with broccoli?

If you want to get more information on the best plants to grow with broccoli, make sure to check out my article about the best broccoli companion plants where you learn what to grow with broccoli and what plants you should never grow with broccoli.

Can you grow broccoli from broccoli?

Just putting broccoli in the ground will not get you any broccoli seedlings (and it would also be a huge waste of food).

Instead, you should just get some seeds from the garden center or from an internet vendor.

Can you grow broccoli without seeds?

You could also rely on broccoli seedlings from the store instead of growing broccoli from seed at home.

Not only will this save you some effort, but also some weeks of time since you will be able to start growing broccoli with a solid foundation instead of having to raise your own seedlings from scratch.

Do you have to pollinate broccoli by hand?

There is no need to pollinate broccoli plants by hand. Just let nature do its work and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.

How to grow big broccoli?

The better the growing conditions you provide to your plants, the faster your broccoli plants will grow and the higher your yields will be.

Consequently, make sure to choose an optimal location for your broccoli plants and also give them lots of space.

Moreover, make sure to use a high-quality soil mix. You may also want to add some additional fertilizer to get even bigger crops.

Can you grow broccoli commercially?

If you want to grow broccoli commercially, you would have to invest lots of money on farmland and equipment and you would also have to compete in a pretty fierce market.

Hence, instead of growing broccoli commercially, you can save lots of time and money by just growing it for fun.

Can you grow broccoli from fresh seeds?

Growing broccoli from fresh seeds is perfectly doable. In fact, germination rates are pretty decent with fresh seeds and you will often even see better results compared to relying on dried seeds.

Can you grow broccoli from dried seeds?

Growing broccoli from dried seeds is also possible. However, make sure to get high-quality seeds from a trusted seed company so that you get decent germination rates and can produce broccoli seedlings in a reliable manner.

Can you grow broccoli from rotten fruits?

Growing broccoli from rotten fruits is not a good idea. It will just not work and it will also be pretty unhygienic. Thus, make sure to just rely on growing broccoli from seeds instead.

Can you grow broccoli from cuttings?

While growing broccoli from cuttings will be possible in theory, it is just much easier to grow broccoli from seed or from seedlings from the garden center.

Hence, if you are still a beginner in growing plants at home, just go for the second route instead of trying to produce cuttings from broccoli plants.

Should you use a broccoli growing kit for growing broccoli?

Broccoli growing kits can be great for beginners who want to get some experience in gardening in a playful manner.

However, if you want to get really serious about growing plants at home, you should get some proper equipment that will be more sustainable and will also last much longer.

Does broccoli grow in the wild?

There are also some broccoli varieties that grow in the wild. However, quite often, those varieties will not produce the same crops as you know from the store. Instead, they will often look pretty exotic.

Should you talk to your broccoli plants?

You should not talk to broccoli plants but rather use your time more wisely for things that have a real impact on the growth behavior of your plants instead.

Should you plant broccoli at half moon or full moon?

There is no scientific evidence that broccoli does grow better at half moon, new moon or full moon.

Hence, instead of caring about moon phases, make sure to optimize growing conditions for your plants to get the best results possible.

I hope you have found the answers you have been looking for.

Feel free to also check out my broccoli grower’s guide to learn more about how to grow broccoli from seed to harvest step-by-step.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli

Own research and experience

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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