All You Need To Know About Growing Cauliflower

You have various open questions about growing cauliflower at home? Good news!

This article is exactly for you since I answer all questions you might have about growing cauliflowers in the following chapters.

Table of Contents

Time & Duration

When to grow cauliflower from seed?

You should start planting cauliflower seeds between early spring and early summer.

This also greatly depends on the cauliflower variety you want to grow. If you want to grow a spring variety, plant cauliflowers in spring.

If you want to grow a summer variety, adjust your planting behavior accordingly.

Just avoid planting cauliflower during the off-season since you will just not get the same growth behavior and also your yields tend to be much smaller.

Does cauliflower grow year-round?

While you could try to grow cauliflower year-round, you will get much better results if you grow them between spring and summer instead of start growing them in fall or winter.

Prepare the soil!

Moreover, if you want to get multiple cauliflower yields per year, you will also have to sow seeds multiple times.

Hence, only grow cauliflower year-round if you have the time and also the knowledge for it since you may just get quite disappointed with the results during the off-season.

Does cauliflower grow fast?

Cauliflower doesn’t grow as fast as carrots or lettuce. However, it will also not take you as long as growing pumpkins or melons.

On average, you should estimate that it will take you around 4 months to grow cauliflower from sowing to harvest.

How long does it take to grow cauliflower?

While the average time for growing cauliflower from seed to harvest will be around 4 months, this also greatly depends on the growing conditions and on your level of expertise.

For instance, an experienced gardener will be able to grow cauliflower much faster than a beginner since the expert will know many secret tips a beginner will have no idea about.

Moreover, the expert will also be able to avoid many mistakes. Consequently, if you are still a beginner in growing cauliflower at home, don’t get discouraged if it takes you longer than 4 months.

This is perfectly normal and you should just enjoy the process rather than just the end result of your gardening project.

Does cauliflower grow back every year?

When you harvest your cauliflower heads, you will usually also remove the plant material. Hence, your cauliflowers will not grow back.

Instead, you will have to sow new seeds if you want to get cauliflower plants and harvests for future years yet to come.

How long do cauliflower plants live?

If you plant cauliflower seeds in spring, your plants will usually live until you harvest them during summer or fall.

However, if you don’t harvest cauliflower plants, they will just slowly decay in fall and will fully decay once the first strong winter frost hits.

Thus, cauliflower plants will live around half a year if there is no human harvesting intervention.

How long does it take until cauliflower flowers?

Cauliflower will usually flower between 2 and 3 months after sowing the seed.

However, this also greatly depends on the lighting conditions you provide to your plants.

Hence, make sure to optimize the growing conditions so that your cauliflowers can grow in an optimal manner and provide decent yields.

Can you grow cauliflower in fall?

While growing cauliflower in fall will be possible, I still don’t recommend it since you will just have to grow your cauliflowers indoors for many months since it will just get too cold outdoors.

Growing cauliflowers indoors is not the best idea since those plants will just take away lots of space from you and you will also not be able to provide as natural conditions to your plants as outdoors.

Hence, instead of starting to grow cauliflowers in fall, make sure to grow them in the main season instead to get the best results.

Can you grow cauliflower in winter?

Starting to grow cauliflower in winter is even worse than in fall since lighting conditions will be even more difficult and your plants will just not grow as well as during the main season between spring and summer.

Thus, never plant cauliflower in winter. Just wait until next spring to make your cauliflower gardening project a real success!

Location & Climate

Will cauliflower grow in shade?

Growing cauliflower in completely shady environments is usually not a good idea since your plants need a certain minimum level of sunlight to stay healthy and to grow fast in the long run.

Hence, instead of growing cauliflower in shade, make sure to provide a sunnier spot in your garden or on your balcony.

Will cauliflower grow in partial shade?

Growing cauliflower in partial shade is perfectly fine. In fact, a healthy mix between sun and shade is the optimal environment to grow cauliflowers in since your plants will get sufficient sunlight while they are still not exposed to excessive sunlight and radiation.

Does cauliflower grow best in full sun?

While it would also be possible to grow cauliflowers in full sun, your plants will likely not grow as well as in half-shady environments since they don’t like too much heat and radiation.

Consequently, instead of choosing a spot where your plants get no shade at all, make sure to choose a location in your garden or on your balcony where your plants get the best of both worlds.

Will cauliflower tolerate frost?

Cauliflower plants don’t like frost at all and will even decay if the level of frost is too severe.

Hence, always wait with growing cauliflower outdoors until you don’t expect spring frost anymore to make sure that your plants will not get affected by the cold in an adverse manner.

Do you have to protect cauliflower from the sun?

While your cauliflower plants are still small, it can make sense to protect them from the sun so that the leaves of your cauliflower plants don’t get sunburned.

Even once your plants get bigger, you should not grow them in full sun.

Just choose a partially shady spot to grow cauliflowers and your plants will be protected from excessive sun exposure in a completely natural manner.

How much space do you need to grow cauliflower?

Since cauliflower heads grow quite big, you should calculate at least 8 square feet per plant to grow cauliflower in a decent manner so that your plants don’t have to compete for sunlight or nutrients with each other.

Will cauliflower grow indoors?

While you could try to grow cauliflower indoors, there are several issues that come along with it.

First of all, you would not be able to provide as natural growing conditions as outdoors.

Second, your plants will also take away lots of living space from you.

Third, you will also have to clean your home more often.

As you can see, growing cauliflower indoors instead of outdoors should only be a means of last resort and should never be the norm since you will just run into all sorts of problems you have to deal with.

Can you grow cauliflower without a garden or balcony?

If you don’t have a balcony or a garden, you would have to grow cauliflower indoors.

However, as mentioned before, growing cauliflower indoors is not easy and you will have much more work.

Consequently, you may want to wait with growing cauliflower until you move to another place where you can grow cauliflowers outdoors.

Can you grow cauliflower in small flats?

While growing cauliflowers indoors is already a challenge, it becomes a real issue if you only have a small flat to live in since you will often need every inch of space for your personal belongings in such a case and your cauliflower plants would just take for too much space away from you.

Hence, I highly recommend you wait with growing cauliflowers until you move to a bigger place.

Can you grow cauliflower in an aquarium?

While you could use aquariums as sorts of pots and fill them with potting soil to grow cauliflowers in them, there is still the issue that water will not be able to run off properly and the roots of your plants may start to rot in the long run.

Thus, instead of growing cauliflower in aquariums, make sure to grow them in pots or in your garden where waterlogging will not become an issue so that your plants can grow in a healthier manner.

Can you grow cauliflower in a terrarium?

You should also not grow cauliflower in terrariums. It is just too complicated to make sure that excess water will run off and you will also be quite inflexible regarding where to put your terrarium.

Moreover, if your terrarium is big, you will also have a hard time moving it once it is filled with potting soil since your terrarium will become quite heavy.

Can you grow cauliflower in a bucket?

Instead of growing cauliflower in conventional pots, you could also use a bucket for it. Just make sure to drill some holes into the bottom of the buckets so that water can run off and fill your buckets with potting soil.

Now you will have a great alternative to using flower pots and can grow cauliflowers in a decent manner, at least if you choose buckets that are big enough so that your plants get enough space and nutrients to grow well.

Can you grow cauliflower in bags?

It is also possible to grow cauliflowers in fabric bags.

Just make sure to fill those bags with potting soil from the garden center and that you choose big bags so that your plants can grow in a decent manner.

Can you grow cauliflower in hanging baskets?

Growing cauliflower in hanging baskets is not a good idea since cauliflower plants and crops can get quite heavy and your hanging basket may not be able to hold the weight.

Also your plants may struggle to hold on to the crops and you should therefore just grow cauliflower in conventional pots instead of using hanging baskets.

Can you grow cauliflower in rainy climatic zones?

Growing cauliflower in rainy climatic zones is perfectly doable as long as your plants get at least a certain minimum level of sunlight.

If you live in such rainy regions, make sure to place your plants at one of the sunniest spots you can find to let them grow in a decent manner.

Can you grow cauliflower in tropical climatic zones?

Cauliflowers don’t like the heat and are also not used to excessive levels of moisture in the air.

Thus, growing cauliflower in tropical climates is pretty difficult and your plants will likely just not grow in a decent manner.

Can you grow cauliflower in regions with permafrost?

Growing cauliflower in regions with permafrost is only possible if you grow them in greenhouses or indoors.

Both options imply serious downsides and you should therefore just get cauliflowers from the store instead of growing them yourself if you live in one of those extremely cold climatic zones.

Does cauliflower grow on vines?

Cauliflower doesn’t grow on vines. Instead, cauliflower crops grow on plants that need lots of space in the horizontal.

If you haven’t seen a cauliflower plant before, make sure to check out one of the videos in this article to get a better idea of what cauliflower plants really look like.

Does cauliflower grow underground?

Cauliflowers don’t grow underground. Contrary to onions, garlic or potatoes, both the plant material as well as the crops grow above the soil surface.

What is the best orientation for growing cauliflower?

Since cauliflowers grow best in partially shady environments, you should grow them in east or west orientation.

If you want to provide more sun to your plants, you could also grow them in south orientation.

Just make sure to avoid planting cauliflower in north orientation since your plants would barely get any sunlight at all.

Can you grow cauliflower with indirect sunlight?

You can also try to grow cauliflower with indirect sunlight in sunrooms or in greenhouses.

However, in my opinion, cauliflowers grow best if you just grow them outdoors with direct sunlight since only then you will provide completely natural growing conditions to your plants.

Where do cauliflowers grow best?

Cauliflowers grow best with a healthy mix between sun and shade.

You should also make sure to grow them in your garden or in big pots so that your plants will get enough space and nutrients and will be able to grow in a decent manner and also provide nice yields.

Where to grow cauliflower in pots?

You should place your pots in a half-shady environment on your balcony or on your porch to provide cauliflower plants with a decent mix of sun and shade.

Only if your plants get enough of both worlds, they will grow in the best possible manner.

Where to grow cauliflower indoors?

If you want to grow cauliflower indoors, you should choose a sunny room and you should also make sure that you open a window so that your plants get enough fresh air.

Can you grow cauliflower in water?

It is not possible to grow cauliflower in pure water. Instead, make sure to grow cauliflower in decent potting soil so that your plants get sufficient nutrients to grow in a decent manner and to provide satisfying yields.

Can you grow cauliflower with LED lights?

You could also try to grow cauliflowers indoors with the help of LED lights or other forms of artificial lighting.

However, from my experience, this is just a waste of energy and money and I highly recommend you just grow cauliflowers outdoors where they get enough natural sunlight instead.

Can you grow cauliflower in dark rooms?

Growing cauliflower in dark rooms is not a good idea at all since your plants will just not be able to grow in a decent manner and will likely decay sooner or later.

Therefore, instead of growing cauliflower in dark rooms, make sure to provide them with a good mix between sunlight and shade.

Soil Requirements

Can you reuse soil for growing cauliflower the next year?

You can reuse the soil for your gardening projects multiple times.

Just make sure to loosen the soil after each year and that you also add some fertilizer to keep the soil rich in nutrients so that cauliflowers and other plants can grow well.

Does cauliflower grow well in waterlogged soil?

Cauliflower plants don’t like waterlogged soil at all and may even decay under such conditions since the roots of your plants may start to rot in the long run.

Hence, always make sure that water will be able to run off properly to avoid any issues in this regard.

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

Cauliflower plants grow best in acidic to neutral soil with an optimal soil pH between 6.3 and 7.

However, you should not worry about technicalities. Just get a decent soil mix from the garden center and you will be good to go.

Will cauliflower grow in sandy soil?

While it is possible to grow cauliflower in sandy soil, you should make sure that the fraction of sand in the soil mix is not too big and you should rather rely on a balanced soil mix instead to provide optimal growing conditions to your plants.

Will cauliflower grow in clay soil?

Clay soil is not the perfect medium to grow cauliflower since it is just too solid and not loose enough.

Consequently, water will not be able to run off properly and water puddles may form under the soil surface.

Hence, instead of relying on clay soil, make sure to choose a looser soil mix instead.

Will cauliflower grow in compost?

Since compost is loose enough and also rich in nutrients, it is perfect to grow cauliflower.

You could also mix compost and potting soil from the garden center and you will also have a healthy soil mix that your plants will greatly appreciate.

Plant Care

Does cauliflower need a lot of water?

While cauliflower plants are still small and young, you will not have to provide your plants with lots of water.

However, once cauliflowers get bigger, you will have to water them quite a lot to make sure that your plants get enough energy to grow well.

Do you have to water cauliflower on a regular basis?

Whether you have to water cauliflower on a regular basis greatly depends on the climatic conditions you live in.

If you live in a rainy region and grow cauliflower in your garden, you will barely have to water your plants at all since your plants will just get sufficient rainwater.

However, if you live in rather dry climatic zones, you will have to water your plants on a regular basis so that they don’t dry up.

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

You should just use unfiltered water to grow cauliflower since it is more natural and you will also not have to take the effort to filter lots of water.

Instead, you can use your time on more important things to make sure that your plants get everything they need to grow well.

Should you use rainwater to water cauliflower?

Relying on rainwater to water cauliflower is perfectly fine.

Just make sure to install a big rainwater tank so that you can collect lots of rainwater during periods of heavy rain so that you have enough in store for periods where it barely rains at all.

When to stake cauliflower plants?

Since cauliflower plants don’t grow big in the vertical but rather spread in the horizontal, there is no need to stake cauliflower plants at all. Instead, just let them grow and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.

What to tie cauliflower with?

If you want to tie cauliflower plants for some reason, you could just place some small sticks next to each plant and tie your plants with cord to those sticks.

What to do when cauliflower leaves turn yellow?

Yellow cauliflower leaves are usually a sign of incorrect watering behavior.

Hence, if you see yellow leaves on your plants, make sure to adjust your watering schedule and see what happens.

If the problem doesn’t go away, make sure to add some fertilizer and see if the leaves of your plants turn back to a healthy green.

How to protect cauliflower against wind?

Even though there is no real need to protect cauliflower against wind, you could still tie your plants with cord to sticks so that they become more resistant against wind and other harsh conditions outdoors.

How to protect cauliflower against heavy rain?

There is no need to protect cauliflower from heavy rain. Just let your plants grow and let nature do its work and you will be surprised of how well your plants will grow and how resistant they really are.

How to protect cauliflower against hail?

If you grow cauliflower in pots, just move those pots to protected areas around your home.

If you grow cauliflower in your garden or in any immobile spot, make sure to cover your plants with foliage from the garden center to protect them from hail damage.

Should you pinch out cauliflower?

There is no need to pinch cauliflower plants. In fact, you would do more harm than good by removing precious plant material and you should therefore just let your plants grow in a natural manner.

Where to pinch cauliflower?

If you feel the need for pinching out cauliflowers for some reason, you should pinch them outside your home to avoid a mess and also to avoid that you introduce certain pests inside your four walls.

Can you grow cauliflower without fertilizer?

If you provide high-quality soil to your cauliflower plants right from the beginning, there will be no need to add additional fertilizer.

However, if you only use low-quality soil, you might have to use some fertilizer to make sure that your plants get enough nutrients.

Should you cover cauliflower plants to protect them against frost?

Covering your plants for a longer period of time is never a good idea since you will just confuse them since lighting conditions are altered.

Hence, you should not cover your plants to protect them from frost but you should rather wait with growing cauliflower outdoors until you don’t expect frost anymore so that there will be no need to cover your plants.

How to get rid of moss when growing cauliflower?

Moss on the soil surface is often an indicator that the soil is too moist.

Consequently, make sure to water your plants less often if you see moss near cauliflower plants.

Pests & Diseases

Can you grow cauliflower without using pesticides?

The better the growing conditions you provide to your cauliflower plants, the more resistant they will get to pests and the less likely it will be that you will have to use pesticides.

Hence, make sure to provide the best conditions possible to your plants to minimize the risk of pest infestations.

Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for cauliflower plants?

If pest infestations are too severe, you may not have a choice other than to use pesticides to assure the survival of your plants.

In such a case, you should rely on natural substances instead of chemical pesticides to minimize the adverse impact on our environment and to make your growing project as organic as possible at the same time.

What are the most common cauliflower pests?

Flea beetles, cabbage worms, slugs and aphids are just some of the pests you will have to deal with when growing cauliflower at home.

Hence, make sure to get some knowledge regarding how to deal with these pests in an effective manner to protect your plants as best as possible.

How to protect cauliflower against pests?

If you really want to get a profound understanding of how to get rid of all common garden pests, make sure to check out how to control cauliflower pests and diseases and also my pest prevention guides.

Growing Difficulty

Are cauliflowers good plants to grow for children?

Cauliflowers are not the best plants to grow with children since it will take you quite long to grow cauliflower from seed to harvest and your kids may just lose interest in it pretty soon.

Hence, instead of growing cauliflower with your kids, you may rather go for something quicker, e.g. growing carrots, lettuce, etc.

Are cauliflowers good plants for a school project?

You could also turn growing cauliflower into a nice school project.

In fact, school kids could learn a lot about how our food is produced and they will also really enjoy the progress your cauliflower plants will make every day.

Just make sure that you start your school project early in spring so that school kids will see the results of their labor in time before summer break.

Is growing cauliflower difficult?

While growing cauliflower is not extremely difficult, it is still more demanding than growing tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers.

Thus, make sure to check out all the advice in this article carefully so that you can avoid the most common mistakes in this regard.

Harvest

What color do ripe cauliflowers have?

Most cauliflower varieties will produce big white crops.

Hence, you can harvest those crops when they reach a similar size as you know it from the grocery store.

Can you save seeds from cauliflower?

You could also try to save seeds from cauliflower plants.

You just have to wait until seed pots are fully mature.

At this point in time, just collect and open those seed pots and you will be able to save many seeds for future growing projects.

Can cauliflower get overripe?

Yes, cauliflowers can get overripe and may even start to rot if you don’t harvest them in time.

Consequently, make sure to harvest them as soon as they reach the desired size and color to get the best out of your growing project both in terms of nutrients and in flavor.

What parts of a cauliflower plant can you eat?

While most people only eat cauliflower crops, you could also eat cauliflower leaves.

In fact, they are perfectly edible and you can just use those leaves for nice salads or pesto.

Additional Questions

Is growing cauliflower expensive?

Growing cauliflower at home is virtually free.

All you need to get is some cauliflower seeds and you will be good to go if you have a garden.

If not, you may also have to get some pots and some potting soil.

However, basic gardening equipment is usually not that expensive and almost everyone will be able to afford it.

Is growing cauliflower fun?

I personally really love growing cauliflower and other garden plants at home.

In fact, it can be quite interesting to see your plants grow and your plants can also provide you with a relaxing atmosphere.

Does cauliflower grow on trees?

Cauliflowers don’t grow on trees. Instead, they grow on plants that need lots of space to spread in the horizontal and if you have never seen cauliflower plants before, you should definitely check out one of the videos in this article to see how cauliflowers really look like.

Does cauliflower grow from flowers?

While cauliflower plants flower, cauliflower heads are not directly produced from flowers but will form even though there might not be any flowers on your plants at all.

Consequently, you should only worry about flowers on your plants if you care about saving seeds.

How many cauliflower plants should you grow per pot?

Since cauliflower plants need a lot of space in the horizontal and cauliflower heads can get quite big, you should only grow one cauliflower plant per pot and you should also use big pots to assure decent nutrient supply for your plants.

Which animals feed on cauliflower?

Squirrels and mice are just a few examples of the animals that will try to feed on your plants.

In fact, there are many more hungry animals out there that you have to keep away from your plants by installing a fence or by taking other measures.

Will your pets eat cauliflower plants?

If you keep rabbits or other rodents, chances are that these pets will try to feed on your cauliflower plants sooner or later.

Hence, make sure to protect your plants by separating them from your pets.

Is cauliflower toxic for pets?

While cauliflower is not known to be toxic for most pets, you should still keep your pets away from your garden plants to avoid any issues in this regard and to be on the safe side.

Why cauliflower grows small?

If cauliflower grows small, this is usually a sign that your plants haven’t gotten sufficient nutrients.

Hence, make sure to use better soil next year and that you also add some fertilizer so that you get bigger crops.

What to grow with cauliflower?

You should also check out my article regarding the best cauliflower companion plants to learn more about what to grow with cauliflower.

Can you grow cauliflower from cauliflower?

Growing cauliflower from cauliflower heads will usually not work and it would also be a huge waste of food.

Instead, you should just get some seeds from the garden center and plant those seeds once the time has come.

Can you grow cauliflower without seeds?

If you don’t want to grow cauliflower from seed, you could also just get some seedlings from the garden center.

Not only will this save you some effort, but also some time which can be valuable if it is already late in the year and you would not be able to grow cauliflower from seed to harvest anymore in time.

Do you have to pollinate cauliflower by hand?

No, there is no need to pollinate cauliflower by hand. Instead, just let your plants grow without your intervention and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.

How to grow big cauliflowers?

The bigger cauliflowers should get, the better you have to care for your plants.

In general, you can expect to get really decent yields if you provide enough space to your plants, if you add some fertilizer and if you water your plants on a regular basis.

You should also make sure to keep away pests as best as possible and that you grow cauliflower in half-shady spots so that they can grow in the best possible manner.

Can you grow cauliflower commercially?

Growing cauliflower commercially is almost impossible since few big companies share the majority of the market and you would also have to invest lots of money for equipment, machines and farmland.

Hence, instead of growing cauliflower commercially, you would be far better off by just growing cauliflower at home for fun.

Can you grow cauliflower from fresh seeds?

You can grow cauliflower from fresh seeds. In fact, those seeds will often even have a better germination rate compared to dried seeds you can get from the garden center.

Can you grow cauliflower from dried seeds?

Instead of using fresh seeds, you can also just get some dried seeds from an internet vendor or you could also dry your own cauliflower seeds you have saved from your plants.

Can you grow cauliflower from rotten fruits?

Growing cauliflower from rotten fruits is not recommendable.

Instead, you should just grow cauliflower seedlings from seeds since it will just be much easier and also much more hygienic.

Can you grow cauliflower from cuttings?

Instead of growing cauliflower from seed, you could also try to produce cauliflower cuttings.

However, please note that this will often be much more difficult and if you are still a beginner, you may want to rely on seeds instead of producing your own cuttings instead.

Should you use a cauliflower growing kit for growing cauliflower?

While you could rely on cauliflower growing kits, I highly recommend you just get some basic equipment that you can use for multiple other growing projects since it will just be more economical and eco-friendly in the long run.

Does cauliflower grow in the wild?

Some cauliflower varieties also grow in the wild. Hence, the next time you go for a nice walk through nature, make sure to keep your eyes open and you may be able to spot one of those plants, even though it will often look quite different and will also not produce as big crops as you know from the store.

Should you talk to your cauliflower plants?

Talking to cauliflowers and other plants is just a huge waste of time in my opinion and you should rather use this time to optimize growing conditions for your plants to assure the best possible outcome.

Should you plant cauliflower at half moon or full moon?

It doesn’t matter whether you plant cauliflowers at full moon or half moon.

Just do what’s best for you and your plants from a rational perspective and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.

Now that you hopefully found the answer you were looking for, you should also have a look at my cauliflower grower’s guide to learn how to grow cauliflower from seed to harvest step-by-step.

Sources

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

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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