It’s hard to beat flowering cabbage and kale for outright drama in the fall garden.
Sometimes called “ornamental” cabbage and kale, these bold rosettes nearly steal the autumn show from brightly colored chrysanthemums and pansies.
Bring them into your garden individually or make a statement with mass plantings.
Here are five things to know about these beauties.
1. Which is which? Flowering cabbage and kale are similar in color, appearance and size, but the main difference is that cabbage leaves have smooth edges and kale leaves are frilly.
2. Create instant borders. Buy mature plants in fall and plant alongside potted mums for eye-catching color and texture.
3. Container-ready. Flowering cabbage and kale are made for containers. Plant alongside heuchera, pansies, fiery ornamental peppers and cordyline for fall.
4. They love chilly weather. The beautiful blues, purples, greens and whites of flowering kale and cabbage will anchor your garden once nighttime temperatures dip into the 50s. In milder climates, expect them to look good throughout the winter.
5. Edible or not? Yes, flowering specimens may be used, but are not bred for taste or texture. Clean, organically raised leaves can be used as a base on a plate to hold other foods.
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