All You Need To Know About Growing Cabbage
You have some open questions about growing cabbage? Great!
This article is exactly for you since I answer various questions about growing cabbage at home in this FAQ section!
Table of Contents
Time & Duration
When to grow cabbage from seed?
The best time to grow cabbage from seed is in early spring when it is still cool outdoors since cabbage grows best with rather cool temperatures.
Hence, don’t wait too long with growing cabbage since it would likely get too hot and your cabbage plants would no longer be able to grow in an optimal manner.
Does cabbage grow year-round?
Growing cabbage year-round doesn’t make a lot of sense since cabbage only grows well with cool temperatures and this means that the best time to grow cabbage is in early spring.
After this period of time, it will just get too warm outdoors and cabbage plants will no longer grow well.
Consequently, you will also not get the same yields if you grow cabbage in the off-season in summer or fall compared to growing it in spring.
Does cabbage grow fast?
It will take you longer to grow cabbage from seed to harvest than with most other garden plants.
While you only have to wait between one and two months until carrots, spinach or lettuce will be ready to harvest, it can take you up to 6 months to grow cabbage.
Therefore, you should rather grow other garden vegetables instead of cabbage if you are a rather impatient person who wants to see results quickly.
How long does it take to grow cabbage?
It will take you between 4 and 6 months to grow cabbage from seed to harvest.
How long it will take you greatly depends on the growing conditions and also on the climatic zone you live in.
Also your expert level in growing plants will be a factor.
The more experienced you are in growing cabbage and in gardening in general, the fewer mistakes you will make and the faster you will be able to grow cabbage from sowing to harvest.
Does cabbage grow back every year?
No, cabbage is grown as an annual and you will only be able to harvest it once a year.
Consequently, if you want to get multiple yields per year, you would also have to plant multiple batches of cabbage seeds.
How long do cabbage plants live?
Cabbage plants usually live from the time you sow the seeds to the time you harvest your cabbage.
If you don’t harvest your cabbage plants for some reason and just let them grow, they will live until late fall or even winter until the first strong winter frost arrives.
How long does it take until cabbage flowers?
If cabbage plants flower, they will usually no longer develop a cabbage head you could harvest anymore.
Hence, it should not be your goal to get cabbage flowers if you want to plant cabbage to get high yields from it.
Consequently, if you plant cabbage in the right manner, you will not see any flowers for the entire growing season.
Cabbage only flowers if temperatures are constantly below 45 degrees Fahrenheit and you should therefore wait with growing cabbage outdoors until temperatures no longer drop under this mark for an extended period of time.
Can you grow cabbage in fall?
You should not grow cabbage in fall since it will take you quite long to grow cabbage from seed to harvest and if you only start growing cabbage in fall, your plants will not provide yields before winter arrives.
Consequently, to protect your plants from frost, you would have to grow them indoors.
However, since cabbage plants grow well under cool climatic conditions, they will usually not grow well indoors and you will therefore not get decent yields.
Thus, make sure to wait with growing cabbage until next spring to get the best results out of your growing project.
Can you grow cabbage in winter?
Growing cabbage in winter is also not a good idea since you would have to grow cabbage indoors for the first few months.
This will likely slow down the growth of your plants and you may also confuse them due to artificial lighting inside your home.
Consequently, you should wait with growing cabbage until it is warm enough to grow cabbage directly in your garden instead of growing it indoors.
Location & Climate
Will cabbage grow in shade?
Cabbage is a cool weather plant and it is therefore possible to grow it in shady environments.
However, it will still grow better in locations where it gets at least a few hours of sunlight per day.
Hence, make sure not to plant cabbage in completely shady spots around your home if you want to get decent yields.
Will cabbage grow in partial shade?
Partial shade is a great environment to grow cabbage since you can provide a healthy mix between sun and shade to your plants.
In fact, this mix of sun and shade is perfect to grow cabbage in an optimal manner since your plants get a few hours of sunlight per day but will still be protected from excessive radiation and heat.
Does cabbage grow best in full sun?
Since cabbage is a cool weather plant, too much sun will not be good for your plants.
Consequently, instead of growing cabbage in full sun, make sure to choose a spot where your plants get at least a little bit of shade so that they will not dry up and will also not get sunburned but can rather grow in an optimal environment instead.
Will cabbage tolerate frost?
Cabbage likes cool weather and is also more resistant to frost than most other garden plants.
However, cabbage may still decay if temperatures get too cold and you should therefore wait with growing cabbage outdoors until temperatures no longer fall below the freezing mark.
Do you have to protect cabbage from the sun?
You don’t have to actively protect cabbage from the sun.
Instead, choose a site in your garden or on your balcony where cabbage plants get a mix between sun and shade and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
How much space do you need to grow cabbage?
Since cabbage crops grow quite big, you should provide each plant with at least 5 square feet of space.
Of course, if space is no limiting factor for you, you should even provide more space to your plants so that they can grow in the best possible manner and don’t have to compete for sunlight or nutrients with each other.
Will cabbage grow indoors?
Growing cabbage indoors is not a good idea since cabbage likes cool climates and it would just be too warm to grow it indoors.
Moreover, cabbage will also grow quite big and would take away lots of space from you.
You would also not be able to provide as natural growing conditions to your plants and you should therefore aim for growing cabbage outdoors instead of indoors.
Can you grow cabbage without a garden or balcony?
In case you don’t have a garden or a balcony to grow cabbage, it will be pretty hard for you to grow cabbage in a decent manner since you would have to grow it indoors with all the issues that come along with it.
Consequently, you should wait with growing cabbage until you move to a place where you have a garden or at least a balcony to avoid any issues in this regard.
Can you grow cabbage in small flats?
Growing cabbage in small flats is usually not a good idea.
Not only will you not be able to provide cool temperatures cabbage needs to grow well, but your cabbage plants will also take away quite a lot of precious space from you.
Hence, you should not grow cabbage under such conditions but rather grow other plants like tomatoes that are easier to grow indoors in small places.
Can you grow cabbage in an aquarium?
While growing cabbage in aquariums is rather exotic, you may also want to give it a try.
However, while you could just fill your aquarium with potting soil, you will often not be able to assure that water will run off properly and waterlogging may become an issue.
Moreover, it will also be pretty hard to move your aquarium to another place since it will get quite heavy if you fill it with potting soil.
Hence, instead of using an aquarium to grow cabbage, it would be better to just grow it in conventional pots or in your garden.
Can you grow cabbage in a terrarium?
Growing cabbage in terrariums is also not a great idea since terrariums are not meant for growing purposes.
Consequently, water will not be able to run off properly and the roots of your plants may start to rot.
Thus, make sure not to use terrariums for growing cabbage or other plants but that you rather go for more conventional methods instead.
Can you grow cabbage in a bucket?
Growing cabbage in buckets is possible as long as you make sure that water can run off properly and that you also use big buckets to accommodate your cabbage plants well.
Just fill your buckets with potting soil and you will be good to grow cabbage seedlings in them.
Can you grow cabbage in bags?
Growing cabbage in bags is not a good idea since cabbage plants get quite big and you will often not be able to provide enough space and nutrients to your plants.
Moreover, your bags may also not be stable enough and may just break sooner or later.
Can you grow cabbage in hanging baskets?
Growing cabbage in hanging baskets is problematic since cabbage crops can get quite heavy and hanging baskets may simply not be stable enough to hold your plants and your crops.
In turn, you may just lose part of your yield if you grow cabbage in hanging baskets and you should therefore rely on conventional flower pots instead.
Can you grow cabbage in rainy climatic zones?
You can grow cabbage in rainy climatic zones without any problems.
Cabbage is a cool-weather crop from nature and doesn’t need lots of sunlight to grow well.
Hence, just make sure that you provide a few hours of sunlight per day on average to your plants and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
Can you grow cabbage in tropical climatic zones?
Cabbage doesn’t like the heat at all and it is therefore almost impossible to grow it in the tropics.
Hence, if you live in one of those extremely hot and humid climatic zones, you should rather grow tomatoes or other plants that love the heat.
Can you grow cabbage in regions with permafrost?
Growing cabbage in regions with permafrost is not a good idea since you would either have to grow cabbage in greenhouses or indoors.
While you will not be able to provide the cool climatic conditions cabbage plants need to grow well indoors, you would have to spend lots of money on energy by growing cabbage in heated greenhouses.
Consequently, it would be better just to rely on cabbage from the store instead of growing it yourself in case you live in one of those extremely cold climatic zones.
Does cabbage grow on vines?
Cabbage doesn’t grow on vines. Instead, it forms a big cabbage heat between the inner leaves of the cabbage plant.
Does cabbage grow underground?
Cabbage doesn’t grow underground. In contrast to potatoes, garlic or onions, you will be able to harvest the full plant above the soil surface and you will therefore be able to determine when cabbage plants are ripe to harvest much easier.
What is the best orientation for growing cabbage?
You should either grow cabbage in west or east orientation since they get the best mix between sun and shade.
You may also be able to grow cabbage well in south orientation where it will get more sunlight.
Don’t grow cabbage in north orientation since your plants would get barely any sunlight at all and would therefore not be able to grow in a decent manner.
Can you grow cabbage with indirect sunlight?
You could also grow cabbage in a greenhouse with indirect sunlight.
However, from my personal experience in gardening, you will still get the best results by just growing cabbage with direct sunlight outdoors.
Where does cabbage grow best?
Cabbage plants grow best in rather cool climatic zones in your garden if you provide lots of space to your plants so that they don’t have to compete for sunlight and nutrients with each other and can develop cabbage heads in a healthy manner.
Where to grow cabbage in pots?
If you want to grow cabbage in pots or containers, make sure to place them outdoors so that your plants can enjoy the cool fresh air and choose a spot on your porch or in your garden where your plants get a good mix between sun and shade while still being protected from heavy winds at the same time.
Where to grow cabbage indoors?
Growing cabbage indoors is not a good idea since you would just not be able to provide the cool climatic conditions cabbage plants urgently need.
If you still want to grow cabbage indoors, make sure that you at least put them in rather cool rooms where your plants still get some sunlight.
Can you grow cabbage in water?
Growing cabbage in pure water is not possible since your plants would simply not get sufficient nutrients.
Instead, make sure to use a proper soil mix to grow cabbage plants in a proper manner.
Can you grow cabbage with LED lights?
While LEDs and other forms of artificial lighting may help your plants to grow indoors, they will still not be a valid substitute for growing cabbage outdoors.
Hence, instead of relying on those forms of lighting, make sure to provide your plants with decent natural growing conditions.
Can you grow cabbage in dark rooms?
While cabbage plants like cool temperatures, it is still not a good idea to grow cabbage in dark rooms without sunlight since your plants would just not grow well and would also not provide you with decent yields.
Thus, instead of growing cabbage in dark rooms, make sure to grow them outdoors with a healthy mix of sunlight and shade.
Can you reuse soil for growing cabbage the next year?
You can reuse the soil for growing garden plants many times. Just make sure that you loosen it from time to time and that you also add some additional fertilizer to it to provide a healthy soil mix that is rich in nutrients to your cabbage plants.
Does cabbage grow well in waterlogged soil?
Cabbage doesn’t like waterlogged soil at all and you should therefore make sure that water is able to run off properly so that the roots of your plants will not start to rot in the long run.
Does cabbage grow best in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?
Cabbage grows well in slightly acidic or neutral soil with an optimal soil pH of 6.5 – 7.
However, cabbage is also quite tolerant towards the acidity level of the soil and you should therefore just get a solid soil mix from the garden center and you will be good to go.
Will cabbage grow in sandy soil?
Sandy soil is not the best environment to grow cabbage in.
Instead, you should rather rely on a more balanced soil mix so that your plants get sufficient nutrients to form big cabbage heads.
Will cabbage grow well in clay soil?
You should also not grow cabbage in clay soil since it is just too solid and water will not be able to run off properly.
Moreover, also the roots of your plants would have a hard time developing in a healthy manner.
Thus, instead of using clay soil, rather rely on a loose and balanced soil mix from the garden center.
Will cabbage grow in compost?
You could also just grow cabbage on compost. In fact, compost is great for growing cabbage since it is rich in nutrients and also loose enough so that the roots of your plants can develop in a healthy manner.
Do cabbage plants need a lot of water?
While cabbage plants will not need lots of water while they are still young, their water demand will grow exponentially once cabbage plants get bigger.
Consequently, make sure to adjust your watering schedule to the lifecycle of your plants and also to the climatic conditions.
Do you have to water cabbage on a regular basis?
If you grow cabbage outdoors in your garden and your plants have direct access to the soil and rainwater, you will not have to water cabbage plants too often since they can simply get rainwater out of the soil.
In such a case, you would only have to water your plants in dry periods of the year.
However, if you want to grow cabbage in pots, you would have to water your plants much more often.
Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water cabbage plants?
There is no need to filter water for watering cabbage plants.
You will just not see any difference in the growth behavior and you should therefore use your time for more important things instead of caring about filtering water.
Should you use rainwater to water cabbage?
Rainwater will be even better than tap water for watering cabbage plants since it is just more natural and your plants will likely grow in a better manner in the long run.
You can just install a rain barrel in your garden and collect lots of rainwater during rainy periods of the year so that you have enough water left during dry periods.
When to stake cabbage plants?
There is just no point in staking cabbage plants since they will be resistant to the harsh conditions outdoors on their own.
If you really want to stake cabbage plants, you should wait with it until your plants reach at least 4 inches in height.
What to tie cabbage with?
You could place some sticks next to your cabbage plants and tie them with cord to those sticks.
By doing so, you will make your plants more resistant against wind and other factors outdoors.
What to do when cabbage leaves turn yellow?
If cabbage leaves turn yellow, this is an indicator that you should adjust your watering behavior.
Moreover, you should also make sure that your plants have enough nutrients and may want to add some fertilizer.
How to protect cabbage against wind?
Tying cabbage plants to sticks is a great way to make them more resistant against winds.
However, from my personal experience, you will not have to take any measures in this regard since your cabbage plants will just be resistant enough to deal with wind on their own.
How to protect cabbage against heavy rain?
You also don’t have to protect cabbage plants from heavy rain since they will be able to deal with it themselves without any intervention needed from your side.
How to protect cabbage against hail?
If you grow cabbage in your garden and don’t have the option to move your plants to a safe place, you could try to protect your plants from hail by using foliage cover from the garden center.
Just place this cover over your plants when you expect hail in your region and you will be good most of the time.
Should you pinch out cabbage?
Don’t try to pinch out cabbage plants since you would often do more harm than good by removing plant material.
Instead, just let cabbage plants grow in a natural manner and you will be surprised of how good the results will be if you don’t intervene too much.
Where to pinch cabbage?
If you still want to pinch cabbage plants, make sure to do it outdoors to avoid a mess inside your home and also to keep away pests from your home that may have developed on your plants.
Can you grow cabbage without fertilizer?
How much fertilizer you have to add to your plants greatly depends on the soil mix you initially provide at the beginning of the growing cycle.
If you use high-quality soil and also provide enough space for your plants, you will be able to grow cabbage in a decent manner without the need of adding any fertilizer during your gardening project.
Should you cover cabbage plants to protect them against frost?
Cabbage likes the cold and there is no need to cover your plants if you only expect light frost.
However, you should still wait with growing cabbage outdoors until you no longer expect frost anymore to be on the safe side in this regard.
How to get rid of moss when growing cabbage?
If you see moss on the soil surface, this is a good indicator that the soil is too wet.
In such a case, just slow down your watering behavior and let the soil dry up for a while and moss will vanish in a completely natural manner.
Pests & Diseases
Can you grow cabbage without using pesticides?
The stronger your cabbage plants get, the more resistant they will become to pests.
Hence, make sure to provide optimal conditions to your plants and you will be able to grow cabbage without using any pesticides.
Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for cabbage plants?
In extreme cases, you may have no choice other than to rely on pesticides to get relief for your plants.
However, there will still not be the need to rely on chemical substances.
Instead, try need oil or other natural pesticides to get rid of garden pests in an entirely natural manner.
What are the most common cabbage pests?
Cabbage worms, loopers and cutworms are just some of the annoying companions you will have to deal with when growing cabbage.
However, it is also pretty easy to get rid of those pests if you know what you are doing.
How to protect cabbage against pests?
If you want to learn how to get rid of garden pests in a simple but yet efficient manner, make sure to also have a look at my guide on how to control cabbage pests and diseases and on my pest removal guides in general.
Is cabbage a good plant to grow for children?
Cabbage is not the best garden vegetable to grow with children since it will just take you quite long to do so and your kids may just lose interest in your gardening project.
Hence, instead of growing cabbage with children, you should rather go for carrots or spinach instead since those plants grow much faster.
Is cabbage a good plant for a school project?
You could also try to grow cabbage as a school project.
However, note that cabbage doesn’t grow well indoors and that you should only grow it in school if you have a school garden where cabbage plants find decent growing conditions.
Is growing cabbage difficult?
While growing cabbage is not that difficult, it still requires more gardening know-how than you would need for growing tomatoes or peppers.
Thus, make sure to read this article and my grower’s guides carefully to get all the information you need to grow cabbage in the best possible manner.
What color does ripe cabbage have?
Since cabbage grows above the soil surface, you will have an easy time determining when the time is right to harvest cabbage.
Most cabbage varieties will have a green to white color and will have the size of a small soccer ball once they are ready to harvest.
Can you save seeds from cabbage?
Saving seeds from cabbage plants is rather difficult since your plants will only produce flowers and seeds when they don’t produce cabbage heads anymore.
Hence, if your goal is to harvest big cabbage heads, you will just not be able to save any seeds and will rather have to rely on seeds from the garden center instead.
Can cabbage get overripe?
Cabbage can get overripe and will even decay if you don’t harvest it in time.
Thus, make sure to harvest cabbage heads once they look similar to the ones you know from the grocery store and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
What parts of a cabbage plant can you eat?
Not only will you be able to eat cabbage heads, but you could also use the remaining plant material for salads or pestos if you want to make your growing project as economical as possible.
Is growing cabbage expensive?
Growing cabbage is not expensive at all. You just need to get some cabbage seeds and you will be good to go, at least if you have a garden at home.
If not, you may also want to get some flower pots and some soil to grow cabbage in.
However, your expenses will still be rather limited and therefore, almost everyone will be able to afford growing cabbage and other plants at home.
Is growing cabbage fun?
Growing cabbage at home can be quite a lot of fun and it can also be quite fascinating to see the progress your plants will make every day.
Moreover, sitting next to your plants can also help you relax and to see the world from a different perspective.
Does cabbage grow on trees?
Cabbage doesn’t grow on trees but rather grows on plants that stay relatively small in the vertical but grow rather big in the horizontal.
Does cabbage grow from flowers?
Cabbage doesn’t grow from flowers. In fact, if you see flowers on your cabbage plants, your plants will no longer produce any cabbage heads.
Hence, compared to most other garden vegetables, you don’t want to see cabbage plants flower.
How many cabbage plants should you grow per pot?
You should only grow one cabbage plant per pot since cabbage plants can get quite big and will need lots of space to grow well.
You should also choose big pots so that your plants don’t have to compete for nutrients or sunlight with each other.
Which animals feed on cabbage?
Mice, rats, squirrels and rabbits are just some of the most common animals that will try to feed on cabbage if you grow it outdoors in your garden.
Hence, installing fences or other protective measures can make quite a lot of sense in this regard.
Will your pets eat cabbage plants?
Also your pet rabbits or guinea pigs may try to feed on cabbage plants.
Thus, make sure to keep away your pets from cabbage and other plants you may want to grow in your garden if you don’t want to wake up one day and your plants may be gone ;).
Is cabbage toxic for pets?
Cabbage is not toxic for most pets. However, you can never be entirely sure in this regard and you should therefore be rather careful and separate your pets from your plants to protect both your pets and your plants.
Why cabbage grows small?
Small cabbage yields are often a sign that you haven’t provided good growing conditions to your plants.
Hence, the next time you grow cabbage, make sure to provide more space to your plants and to also use high-quality soil.
You should also make sure to plant cabbage at the right time in spring so that your plants don’t start to flower but also don’t suffer frost.
What to grow with cabbage?
You should also make sure to get information on what to grow with cabbage.
You can get further information on what plants to grow with cabbage in my cabbage companion plant article.
Can you grow cabbage from cabbage?
It is not possible to grow cabbage from cabbage heads since cabbage heads don’t contain any seeds and it would also just be a big waste of food.
Hence, instead of trying to grow cabbage from cabbage, make sure to rely on seeds instead.
Can you grow cabbage without seeds?
You could also try to grow cabbage from seedlings from your garden center instead of seeds.
Not only will this save you some effort, but it can also save you many weeks and if it is already late in the season, it can make quite a lot of sense to rely on seedlings instead of seeds for growing cabbage.
Do you have to pollinate cabbage by hand?
No, you don’t have to pollinate cabbage by hand. In fact, you will not even see any cabbage flowers if you grow cabbage in the right manner and cabbage heads will also not develop from flowers.
How to grow big cabbage?
You just have to optimize growing conditions to maximize cabbage yields.
This means to make sure that you grow cabbage in high-quality soil and that you also water your plants on a regular basis.
Moreover, make sure to keep away pests and that you also treat plant diseases in the best possible manner so that your plants can get big and strong and provide satisfying yields.
Can you grow cabbage commercially?
You should not try to grow cabbage commercially since this would just require you to make large upfront investments and you would also need great connections to compete in this fierce market.
Hence, instead of growing cabbage commercially, you would be far better off by just growing cabbage for fun.
Can you grow cabbage from fresh seeds?
Since it is pretty difficult to save cabbage seeds, you should not rely on your own fresh seeds but rather get some quality seeds from an internet vendor or from your local garden center instead.
Can you grow cabbage from dried seeds?
Growing cabbage from dried seeds is perfectly fine. In fact, it is the most effective and convenient method to grow cabbage at home since you can just order cabbage seeds whenever you want to start a new growing project.
Can you grow cabbage from cuttings?
While growing cabbage from cuttings is possible, you still need a lot of experience for it and you should therefore rather grow cabbage from seeds or seedlings instead of trying to produce cuttings from your plants.
Should you use a cabbage growing kit for growing cabbage?
You could also use a cabbage growing kit.
However, in my opinion, you should rather invest your money in gardening equipment that is more durable and can also be used for many other plants instead of relying on the cheap equipment from those growing kits.
Does cabbage grow in the wild?
Some cabbage varieties also grow in the wild.
However, they will most often not produce big cabbage heads as you know it from the store but will rather develop lots of plant material instead.
Should you talk to your cabbage plants?
Talking to cabbage or other garden plants is just a big waste of your time and I highly recommend you just spend your time on things that could have a real impact on the growth behavior of your plants.
Should you plant cabbage at half moon or full moon?
It also doesn’t matter whether you grow cabbage at full moon, half moon or new moon.
Just do what’s best for your schedule and you will be perfectly fine as long as you follow all the advice in this article.
I hope this FAQ section has been helpful to you.
Make sure to also have a look at my cabbage grower’s guide to learn more about how to grow cabbage from seed to harvest step-by-step.
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.