Growing cabbage in containers

Gardening is an enjoyable activity you can do at home! You don’t need a big yard to plant and grow your cabbage. If you live in an apartment or have a small outdoor space that receives full sun for 6-8 hours per day, you can grow your cabbage in a container! Here’s how to plant your cabbage, in the ground, in a container or in a raised bed.


How to Plant Your Cabbage in the Ground

You’ll Need:

  • Cabbage plant
  • Spade or shovel
  • Compost
  • Watering can or garden hose with sprinkler nozzle
  • Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food or other plant food.

Step 1. Working together, adults and kids should pick a planting spot that receives full sun. As with any planting, choose a spot away from any buried cables, wires, or pipes. Allow 3 feet on all sides of your planting hole for your cabbage to grow.

Step 2. Use a spade or shovel to loosen the soil, then mix in a few shovels of compost to enrich the soil. Make a small hole with your hands or a trowel.

Step 3. If your cabbage comes in a biodegradable pot, drench it with water and carefully cut off the label. Tear off the bottom of the pot and gently tickle the roots to loosen them, then tear off the rim of the pot. Place your cabbage in the hole, pressing down a little to help the roots make contact with the soil. Plant it so an inch or two of the stem is buried.

Step 4. Fill in the hole around your plant, and press the soil firmly to remove air pockets.

Step 5. Gently water your plant using a watering can or a hose with sprinkler nozzle. Feed your plant according to fertilizer package instructions.

Step 6. Feed your plant according to fertilizer label instructions. Food plants are hungry!

How to Plant Your Cabbage in a Container

You’ll Need:

  • Cabbage plant
  • Garden trowel
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can or garden hose with sprinkler nozzle
  • Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food or other plant food.
  • Large (18-24 inch wide) container

Step 1. Choose a spot for your container that receives full sun (6-8 hours, per day). Place the container on your deck, patio, open porch, or driveway. Your container should be at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide, with good drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 2. Fill the container with premium quality potting soil. Using your hands or a trowel, dig a hole for the cabbage as deep as the pot the cabbage came in.

Step 3. Fill in the hole around your plant, and press the soil firmly around the base of the plant to remove any air pockets.

Step 4. Fill in the hole around your plant, and press the soil firmly to remove air pockets.

Step 5. Gently water your plant using a watering can or a hose with a sprinkler nozzle.

Step 6. Feed your plant according to fertilizer label instructions. Food plants are hungry!

Learn more about caring for vegetables in pots on the Bonnie Plants website.

You’ll Need:

  • Cabbage plant
  • Garden trowel
  • Raised bed soil
  • Watering can or garden hose with sprinkler nozzle
  • Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food or other plant food.

Raised bed

Step 1. Choose a spot for your raised bed that receives full sun (6-8 hours, per day).

Step 2. Fill the raised bed with raised bed soil. Using your hands or a trowel, dig a hole for the cabbage as deep as the pot the cabbage came in.

Step 3. Fill in the hole around your plant, and press the soil firmly around the base of the plant to remove any air pockets.

Step 4. Gently water your plant using a watering can or a hose with a sprinkler nozzle.

Step 5. Feed your plant according to fertilizer label instructions. Food plants are hungry!

Growing Chinese Cabbage In Your Home Garden

Easy tips for growing Chinese cabbage in backyard or container vegetable gardens.

Learn how to plant, grow, and care for bok choy when growing vegetables at home.

Design Your Own Vegetable Garden Layout Using our Free “Vegetable Garden Planner” Software!

There is nothing difficult about planting Chinese cabbage as long as the plants are not sown too early in the summer.

If the crop matures during hot weather, the plants will go to seed rather than form a head.

Put your crops in the ground in April for harvest by late June.

Or plant seeds from the middle of July to mid-August for harvesting through the fall.

Try to avoid growing cabbage during the peak of summer heat.

Chinese cabbage is a succulent football shaped vegetable that is not among the most well-known vegetables, but makes a nice variation when raising cabbages. They have a mild flavor, taste similar to lettuce, and are usually grown to be eaten raw rather than cooked. Recommended varieties for cabbage include: Springtime and Summertime.

Cabbage Space Saver in the Garden

Bok Choy is a space saver due to its tall slender shape.

It takes less space, and matures more quickly than regular cabbage plants.

It also can be harvested and eaten at any stage of the growth cycle. Chinese cabbage makes a great addition to any vegetable garden.

Soil Preparation for Growing Bok Choy

As with all the cabbage family plants, the success of growing Chinese cabbage depends on quality soil preparation. These vegetables require an enriched, moist garden bed that is high in organic matter and nearly neutral in pH. When preparing the soil, dig in at least two inches of compost and a dusting of ground limestone if possible.

Planting Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage can be planted 8″ apart if you want space for fully mature heads.

  • It can be planted as close as 2″ if you plan to thin by harvesting the small plants before they form mature heads.
  • Many vegetable gardeners plant the Chinese cabbage crop alongside a row of collards.

Drop a pinch of seeds at one foot spaces along the row. Later on, thin to the strongest plant at each space.

  • Compost the pulled seedlings because they will produce flower spikes rather than heads if they are transplanted.

Caring for Chinese Cabbage Plants

Every two to three weeks side dress the rows with a handful of 10-10-10 for every five foot section of row. Treat the plants with Bacillus thuringiensis at 7 to 10 day intervals throughout the growing season to ward off the threat of the cabbageworm caterpillar.

Vegetable Gardening Tips for Growing Chinese Cabbage

Several varieties of Chinese cabbage are becoming more popular. Many gourmet gardeners think of growing Chinese cabbage more along the guidelines as its close relative the mustard plant. Some of the cabbages produce heads resembling romaine lettuce more than the usual round dense cabbage head.

* During cooking, Chinese cabbages lack the familiar (not so pleasant) cabbage smell.

* The plants known as Chinese cabbage are not a single variety, which is why there are extra names such as celery cabbage, Chinese heading mustard, or chard.

Varieties of Chinese Cabbage Include:

Michili resembles romaine but has tender stalks like celery.


Pe-tsai is another in the celery/cabbage class that has a light green leaf and nearly white heart.

Wong Bok

Wong Bok has a head that is broad from the base and its leaves resemble a more compact chard.


Pac-Choy looks like mustard greens and forms no heart.

Several forms of Chinese cabbage have been grown for centuries, sometimes through the winter.

Although, members of the cabbage family, these cabbages are more delicately flavored than most coles.

For all Chinese cabbages, vegetable gardening experts recommend allowing 28 days between seeding indoors and spring transplanting to garden beds.

Allow 21 days from sowing to fall transplanting.

Chinese cabbage will be more tender and flavorful if grown quickly to maturity at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.

A tendency to transplant-shock in some varieties suggests some Chinese cabbages, such as the heading type, will mature faster when planted directly from seed.

Uses for Bok Choy in the Kitchen

Chinese cabbages are noted for their versatility in cooking. Coarse outer leaves can be used to blanket a steamed fish.

The stalks of some types can be used like celery and combine well with any mixed vegetable dish.

Tender inner leaves can be used either whole in salad or grated like ordinary slaw. Most of the plants can also be boiled whole like ordinary cabbage.

Back To Top

Growing Chinese Cabbage to Vegetable Gardening

You Might Also like to Read:

Growing Chinese Cabbage to Growing Cabbage

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Growing Chinese Cabbage.

How To Grow Chinese Cabbage – A Step by Step Guide:

Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) is an oriental vegetable that is mostly used in sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce. The Chinese cabbage leaves are tender like lettuce even though it is a cabbage. Unlike regular cabbage, the thick veins in the leaves are really sweet and tender. Growing Chinese cabbage is a very great addition to any vegetable garden.

Chinese cabbage sometimes referred to Napa cabbage as because it is believed to have originated near the Beijing region of China, is a large, puckered, tight-headed, fresh green with a flavor that is sweeter and milder than other traditional cabbage.

Chinese cabbage is also called as some other names such as Napa cabbage, Pak choi, Bok choy, Peking cabbage, Celery cabbage, flowering cabbage.

Varieties of Chinese cabbage:

Some of the varieties of Chinese cabbage are explained below;

The heading types of Chinese cabbage form heads that could be blocky to elongate in shape, depending on the variety. Elongated types include Rocket and Michili. Medium-shaped heads consist of Jade Pagoda, while blocky short-headed types include China Pride, Early Hybrid G, and WR60. Non-heading types contain Pak Choi varieties and are harvested for their white leaf stalks with bright green leaves.

Sunlight requirements:

Napa cabbage can grow in full sun or partial shade provided it gets at least 4 to 5 hours of suns each day and plenty of water.

Sunlight Requirement.

Soil requirements for plantation:

Since Chinese cabbage has a relatively long growing season, you will want to start with rich, well-amended soil. Begin by digging in several inches of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. Soil pH is not a big concern but aims for something from 6.5 to 7.0. A good Chinese cabbage crop needs this ideal garden soil.

It is not worth growing Chinese cabbage unless the plants absorb water and nutrients steadily during their growth. The first thing that you should keep in mind before growing this vegetable in your garden or greenhouse is the climate. Chinese cabbage doesn’t tolerate hot weather so if you want to obtain good results from production then you must start its cultivation before extreme hot weather. Cool temperature seems to be great for the production of cabbage. It grows well when it exposes to direct sunlight though it can tolerate shade as well. Plant Chinese cabbage carefully in well-worked, well-drained but moisture retentive soil rich in organic matter.

You may be interested in the How to Grow Moringa from Cuttings, Seeds.


Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage is propagated from the seed.

Land preparation:

The land must be clean cultivated eight weeks before planting and the ground must be plowed deeply, immediately before planting, with a disk harrow or other proper implement to a depth of 450 to 600 mm. The soil must be fumigated two weeks before planting time if necessary, to control nematodes.

How to Plant Chinese cabbage:

If you choose to plant in the spring, either direct sow or start seed indoors about four to six weeks before your last frost date. Hold off sowing outdoors until after your last frost date or be arranged with some type of row covers. Plant seed 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, spaced 6 inches apart. Thin and eat the thinned plants they are a couple of inches tall. If you are growing full-sized plants, thin to 12 to 18-inch spacing. Sow in spring through the soil is still cool. Plant again in late summer suited for harvesting in the fall.

Chinese cabbage is a very excellent crop for late summer when days are long and nights are warm. At other seasons it bolts readily and is satisfactory as mini leaves. Sow in very fertile soil and water carefully to ensure excellent growth and to suppress bolting. Sow thinly outdoors from June to August month, every three weeks for succession crops, 1cm (½in) deep in rows 38cm (15in) apart. Thin seedlings to 30cm or 12inches apart for large heads or to 15cm apart for ‘cut and come again’ salad leaves.

Best time for planting Chinese cabbage:

Chinese cabbage is a cool-season crop, and it will bolt and go to seed speedily in warm weather and long days. So you must consider growing Chinese cabbage during the colder months. Temperature ranging from 7 to 24° C is considered the best time for growing Chinese cabbage.


Seedlings are generally grown in trays which hold 100 plants and the individual cell-pack may have a diameter of only 15 mm and a depth of 10 mm. Transplant start when the seedlings are 15 cm tall.

Method of growing Chinese cabbage:

Now let us find out about How to grow Chinese cabbage, When considering planting Chinese cabbage, you have to remember that you can produce an early winter or mid-winter crop or a spring crop. Just don’t plant Chinese cabbage too late or it will send up flower stalks before making heads, which robs the plant of nutrients. One of the steps to grow Chinese cabbage is to prepare the soil carefully. Planting Chinese cabbage wants heavy soil that holds moisture. You do not want the soil too wet, though, because it can rot the plant. To keep your Chinese cabbage growing well during the season, you must fertilize the soil before planting. Also, make sure plants get enough water, but not too much, all over the season.

You may check this as well, Growing Jalapenos, Planting, Care.

Young Chinese Cabbage Plant.

Planting Chinese cabbage can be ready in late summer to fall that is August through October for early winter or mid-winter crop, or in winter (January) for a spring crop. It all depends on when you want your Chinese cabbage to be harvested. When you plant in winter, you want growing Chinese cabbage where it is protected from cold, ice and frost as it matures.

Growing Chinese cabbage is done best when the plants are ten inches apart. This result gives smaller heads which are great for home use. Also, you want two- to three-pound heads, so plant them in double rows to maintain the size of the heads smaller. If you plant Chinese cabbage from seed, be sure to put the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.6 to 1.2 cm.) deep and 3 inches (7.6 cm.) apart. When the growing Chinese cabbage is 4 inches to 5 inches (10-13 cm.) tall, you can thin the plants to about 10 inches (25 cm.) apart.

Chinese cabbage is fast growing and can be ready for cutting in as little as six or seven weeks. There are three main types of Chinese cabbage they are tall cylindrical, hearted or barrel-shaped and loose headed.


If you have prepared the soil perfectly by adding old compost and well-rotted aged manure, then you don’t have to give additional fertilizers for the plants. While using an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen (such as fish emulsion or soy meal) will help the plants to boost.


Keeping the soil moist constantly is important for proper growth of the Chinese cabbage plants. Regular watering helps the plant to stay tender.


Mulching not only helps to keep the soil moist but helps to control weeds from the garden. Mulching helps to keep the roots of the plants cool. Organic materials such as homemade compost, grass clippings, dry leaves or hay will be very good for using as mulch.

Caring for Chinese cabbage plants:

  • Easy to care for, Chinese cabbage is most vulnerable to early bolting, which would keep the head from shaping up well.
  • This plant’s roots run along in shallow ground, which means that the soil should be kept consistently moist to avoid drying out the plants.
  • Water regularly but in a light, drizzle to maintain moisture at a sufficient level.
  • Chinese cabbages do not need a lot of tending. They do want regular water, especially during hot spells.
  • If you amended your soil, you should not want supplemental fertilizer. However, if plants look like they need a boost, use a fertilizer high in nitrogen, like fish emulsion or soy meal.

You may be interested in reading Summer Gardening Ideas and Tips.

Harvesting Chinese cabbage plants:

Harvested Chinese Cabbage.

When you harvest the Chinese cabbage, be sure to pick Chinese cabbage growing from the first planting you started, if you have staggered plantings for continuous crops. Take the heads and fresh them of browning or bug damaged leaves on the outside and wrap them in plastic firmly so they keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Chinese cabbage is a great vegetable to include in all salads.

Generally, the Chinese cabbage becomes ready for harvesting after 70 to 80 days from planting (although exact time can vary depending on the variety).

Parasites and diseases that attack Chinese cabbage:

Cabbage fly

If Chinese cabbage is slow to grow and that its leaves start wilting, they are probably under attack by the cabbage fly.

  • Tunnels exit around the root crown.
  • The solution is to set up a larvae barrier around the plants.
Other diseases and parasites

Chinese cabbage plant can fall victim to downy mildew. Moisture is the first cause of downy mildew spread.

  • Avoid watering the leaves.
  • Don’t overcrowd plants so that air circulates well among the leaves.

Cleaning Chinese cabbage:

The Chinese cabbage leaves are washed to remove the soil immediately after harvesting for preparation for marketing.


Chinese cabbage will keep in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for about four weeks. Chinese cabbage can be blanched and frozen for three to four months.

Some facts about Chinese cabbage:

Facts of Chinese Cabbage.

  • Outside of Asia, this vegetable is also called Chinese cabbage. Regionally, it is also known as and celery cabbage. Chinese leaf is the same as Chinese cabbage. In the United Kingdom this vegetable is known as Chinese leaf, in New Zealand as Wong bok or won bok, and in the Philippines as wombok or peachy Baguio.
  • Chinese cabbage leaves can be steamed, boiled, quickly stir-fried, or eaten raw. Cooked leaves and stalks add excellent flavor to soups, stews, pasta dishes, and stir-fries. The Chinese cabbage leaves blend well in green salads, with lettuce, green peppers, celery, or tomatoes.
  • Napa cabbage is a kind of Chinese cabbage. This kind of Napa cabbage originating in the Beijing region of China, and is by and large used in East Asian cuisine.
  • Chinese cabbage plant is a hardy biennial grown as an annual. Chinese cabbage has broad, tender leaves, thick, and heavy midribs. Chinese cabbage has several varieties of some are loosehead and some are tight headed; plants produce from 15 to 18 inches tall.
  • Chinese cabbage contains sulfurous compounds, as well as a sugar known raffinose that when digested can cause gas and bloat.
  • Proponents of the Chinese cabbage soup diet say it’s a good way to quickly lose a few pounds. You can lose weight on the diet as it drastically limits calories.
  • Store whole heads of Chinese cabbage in a plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge for about a month.
  • Bok choy, which is actually named brassica Chinensis scientifically, falls under the classification of Chinese cabbage.
  • Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage is biennial. It can survive the winter under cover in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-7; though, it will quickly bolt to seed, in the spring.

Read: How to Grow Coriander on the Terrace.

Cabbage Container Care: Tips For Growing Cabbage In Pots

Growing vegetables in containers is a great alternative to planting them in beds in the ground. Whether you’re short on space, have poor soil, or can’t or don’t want to bed all the way down to the ground, containers can be just the thing you need. Keep reading to learn how to grow cabbage in containers.

Growing Cabbage in Pots

Can you grow cabbage in a pot? Of course, you can! Growing cabbage in containers is easy, as long as you don’t crowd them. Cabbage plants can get huge, growing as high as 4 feet (1.2 m) and nearly as wide. Limit your plants to one per 5-gallon container. Your container grown cabbage will still grow planted closer together, but the heads will be noticeably smaller.

Cabbage grows best when the daytime temperature is around 60 F. (15 C.) and, in most places, it can be grown as both a spring and fall crop. Start your seeds indoors 4 weeks before your last frost date in spring or 6-8 weeks before your first frost date in autumn. Transplant your seedlings into your large outdoor containers when they’re about a month old.

Care for Cabbages in Pots

Cabbage container care can be tricky. Cabbage needs steady, frequent watering to encourage healthy growth. Don’t overwater, though, or the heads may split! Give your plants a good drink 2 to 3 times a week.

Pests can be a real problem with cabbage, and while growing cabbage in containers gives you the great advantage of being able to use fresh, uncontaminated soil, even container grown cabbage isn’t completely safe.

Put fabric around your young plants to prevent cabbage worms and cabbage root maggots from laying their eggs in the soil. Wrap the base of your plants’ stalks with cardboard or tin foil to thwart cutworms.

If your container grown cabbage gets infected in any way, discard the soil at the end of the season. Don’t reuse it!

How to Grow and Care for Cabbage in Containers

Intro: Cabbage, which can grow from 2 to 4 feet tall, is a large plant that does well in containers. It is grown for its juvenile inner leaves that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is a low-calorie food and a good source of riboflavin and vitamin C. It needs a large container, especially if you want to include other plants in the pot. Cabbage is a good companion plant with celery, dill, garlic, mint, rosemary, onions, peas, potatoes and thyme.

Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Plant Type: Annual leafy green vegetable

Light: Part shade to full sun

Water: Keep the soil constantly moist but not soggy

Zone: This is a crop that grows best when daytime temperatures are usually about 60 degrees.

Fertilizer: Fertilize every week with a balanced fertilizer. It does best when given boron, calcium and magnesium.

Pests and Diseases: A lot of pests and diseases can ravage your cabbage plants. Pests include cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, midges, flies, aphids and many more. Diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Propagation: Propagate by seed. Seeds, which germinate within four to seven days, can be started indoors in April and transplanted after about a month of indoor growth.

Misc. Info: It takes about 95 days for cabbage to reach maturity. Harvest your cabbage when it is firm and before the heads split.


  • < Prev

Growing Cabbage Contained in Containers

Cabbages for Containing in Containers

When deciding on what types of cabbage to choose for your containers, consider the following varieties:

  • Savoy King and Savoy Queen produce crinkly green leaves.
  • Red Meteor and Ruby Ball are red heads.
  • Cheers and King Cole form smooth, green heads.
  • Chinese cabbage grows upright, providing a contrast with the round heads of other cabbages.

Containers for Containing Your Cabbage

Your cabbage needs a container that allows enough space for your cabbage to grow, that provides for good drainage, and that has never contained poisons or toxic or hazardous materials. Any container that is at least 12 inches deep and at least 18 inches wide or that allows 18 inches of space per cabbage provides your cabbage with ample space.

The container you choose should have at least one drainage hole in the bottom. If you want to use a container that doesn’t already have one or more holes, you can still use it as long as you can create holes for drainage. The larger the container, the more holes it should have. For example, if you want to plant your cabbage in a bucket, you should make holes in both the bottom and the sides.

You can get creative and use any container that fulfills these fairly simple requirements.

A Time to Sow

You can buy cabbage seedlings, or grow your own, and plant them two to three before the last frost date in your area, or you can plant your seeds directly in your pot two weeks before the last frost date in your area.

If you want to start your own seedlings for transplanting, you should start the seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. Placing your seeds under a grow light or a cool white florescent light encourages germination.

If you don’t know the last frost date in your area, contact your local extension service.

A Soil for Sowing

Cabbage draws a large supply of nutrients from the soil. Choose a loamy or sandy potting soil for vegetables or herbs and vegetables and a granulated, slow-release, organic fertilizer with a N-P-K (nitrogen-potassium-phosphate) ratio of 13-13-13 or 14-14-14. Following the directions on the fertilizer package, mix an appropriate amount of fertilizer with the soil.

For aeration and drainage, place two or three stones around the holes in the bottom of your pot, and then fill the pot with the mixture soil and fertilizer.

You should sow the seeds 2 inches apart and cover them with 1/2 inch of soil. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between each watering. Don’t allow the soil to become muddy, and don’t let water stand on the soil.

A Time for Transplanting

A week or two before you transplant your seedlings, begin hardening them, or acclimating them to the conditions outdoors. Your seedlings should have two or three pairs of leaves, and temperatures should remain steadily around 50°F (10°C). Mature cabbage, however, will grow well at temperatures between 39-75°F (4-24°C). They even survive light frosts.

On the first day, move your seedlings outside for two hours on a cloudy afternoon. The next day, leave them outside for four hours, giving them one hour of morning sunlight. On each successive day, extend the periods of time in the morning sun and the overall time outdoors until, finally, you begin leaving your cabbages outdoors overnight on nights when no hard frost is expected.

When you are ready to transplant your cabbages, dig a hole in your pot deep enough to cover the roots and two inches of the stem. Make sure that the lowest leaves are above the level of the soil.

If you are planting more than one cabbage in a container, leave 12 to 18 inches between them. The amount of space that you leave between your cabbages determines the size of the head.

Companions in the Container

If you would like to include other plants with your cabbage, try natural companion plants such as these:

  • Celery, dill, garlic, and onions enhance the flavor of your cabbage.
  • Marigolds, rosemary, tansy, and thyme repel cabbage pests like the imported white cabbage moth, cabbageworms, and cutworms.
  • Yarrow adds nutrients to the soil and also repels pests.

Cauliflower and broccoli are closely related to cabbage, and they attract the same pests. Also, like cabbage, they, too, draw large amounts of nutrients from the soil. So, these three vegetables should never share the same container.

A Time for Caring for Cabbage

Watering cabbage evenly helps the heads to fill out evenly, but overwatering results in growth spurts that causes the heads to split. Water your cabbage until you see water beginning to emerge from the drainage holes in the pot, and then check your cabbage daily by sticking your finger into the soil. When the top 1 inch of soil feels dry, water your cabbage again.

When the heads begin to form, feed your cabbage with an organic, water-soluble fertilizer with a 20-20-20 ratio, following the package directions.

Cabbage prefers full sun, but during periods of high heat, move your cabbage into a cooler, partly shaded area.

A Time to Reap

When the heads on your cabbage feel firm and solid when you squeeze them, they are ready to harvest. With a sharp knife, cut the cabbage from the stalk near the base of the head. If you leave the roots and outer leaves in the pot, new, smaller heads will form. Pinch off all but four of these, and let them grow until they are about the size of tennis balls before harvesting them.

After this second harvest, remove the stem and roots from the pot to avoid attracting pests or diseases.

Cabbage leaves can be stored in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about two weeks, but cabbage heads can be kept in root cellar conditions for up to three months.

As long as your cabbages are free of disease and pests, you can reuse the soil and the pot, but, again, to avoid attracting diseases or pests, you should rotate your plants and avoid using that pot for cabbage or its near relatives – kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli – for the next two years.


The following information is about Growing Cabbage In Pots.

Cabbage is a rich, nutritious vegetable, it is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamins and is very low in calories. Cabbage can be easily grown in container with minimum effort, it has many benefits, this is the best vegetable to grow in containers for the gardener who don’t have sunnier locations. Growing Cabbage In Pots just needs little digging or stooping. It is a cool-season vegetable like Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Kale, and Broccoli, and Cabbage is sensitive to hot weather. So, the ideal time to grow Cabbage is in early spring or early autumn that keep plants away from hot sun.

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable comes many colors like in green, red, white. The heads of the Cabbage can be green, purple or in white color. Green headed Cabbage with smooth leaves are more common, than the purple headed Cabbages. Cabbages are generally grown for their heavy heads, the leaf headed Cabbages produced in the first crop are used for culinary purpose. For growing Cabbages in containers, they just need rich, fertile potting soil, along with adequate irrigations and fertilization.

Cabbages are the rich in Vitamins K, C and B6 and dietary fiber. Cabbages have an amazing flavor and are used in all types of cuisines. Cabbages are temperature sensitive crop, grow only in cooler climates. They also need full sun and moisture to thrive. Cabbages are easily affected by diseases, cure the diseases with home remedies or organic pesticides instead of chemical pesticides.

  • Scientific Name for Cabbage: Brassica Oleracea.
  • Common Name of Cabbage: Cabbage.
  • Family of Cabbage: Cabbage belongs to the family of Brassicaceae.

Varieties of Cabbage for growing In Containers:

There are many varieties of Cabbages are available for container gardening. They are mainly based on the time of planting and spacing. To grow Cabbages in containers, choose some compact varieties, compact varieties grow well in containers. Basically, Cabbage is categorized into three types: they are Savoy, Purple, white, spring green and green Cabbage.

  • Savoy Cabbage: these Cabbages are also called curly Cabbages, Savoy Cabbages have curly leaves, with a mild flavor and tender texture. These Cabbages have ruffled, lacy, deeply ridged leaves, Savoy Cabbages are most beautiful Cabbages among all the varieties. The leaves of these Cabbages are more loosely tailored and packed very loose when compared to green or red Cabbage and uses of Savoy Cabbage is similar to other Cabbage varieties. Although its uses are similar. Early spring is the ideal time to start these Cabbages in containers, so that they can mature before the summer. And the harvesting period is around 70 days.
  • Spring green Cabbages: Spring Green Cabbages are also called loose headed Cabbages. The Ideal time for sowing seeds of Spring Cabbages is July and August, and moved to outdoors in September and October and it grows over the winter and can be harvested from late February or March.
  • Green Cabbages: Green Cabbages have pointed heads in dark green color. These are most commonly used Cabbages. The heads of green Cabbages are very heavy and the size ranges from softball to basketball. The leaves of this Cabbage are tightly packed and are moist. The green Cabbage seeds can sow anytime from mid-February to mid-April. Harvesting period will be 3 to 4 months.
  • Red Cabbages: Red Cabbages have purple, red colored heads surrounded with smooth leaves. these Cabbages are very rarely grown, these red Cabbages looks similar to green Cabbage except its color. And the heads of red Cabbage are a bit smaller than compared to heads of green Cabbages. Red Cabbage has tightly packed, moist leaves. Red Cabbage turns an odd blue color when cooked. The Sowing period for Red Cabbages is from February to mid-April and for transplanting from April to early June and the harvest can be done between August and November.
  • White Cabbages: These are also called Dutch Cabbages, have smooth pale green leaves. Early spring is the ideal time to start these Cabbages in containers, so that they can mature before the summer. And the harvesting period is around 70 days.
  • Napa Cabbage: Napa Cabbage is also called Chinese Cabbage or Celery Cabbage. Napa Cabbage doesn’t have a head like normal Cabbages; these Cabbages have long, light green leaves that form flower with white stalks. It looks similar to romaine lettuce and pale Swiss chard. These Chinese Cabbages have a mild flavor. Napa Cabbage harvesting period is 70 – 80 days. Idea time for sowing seeds is fall.
  • Compact varieties of savoy Cabbages for container gardening are: Savoy Express, Savoy Queen and Savoy King.
  • Compact variety green Cabbages for container gardening are: King Cole, Cheers, Gonzales, Rubicon and Kaitlin.
  • Compact variety red Cabbages for container gardening are: Rub Ball, Red Meteor and Red Express.

Steps for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

Suitable Containers for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbage plants grow well in container, if you choose a compact variety. Generally, a Cabbage grows up to 4 feet wide and height. Select the containers that can hold 5 gallons of soil, this gives enough space for plants to grow.
  • Choose the container with a 12 inches depth and 18 inches diameter, this container will be enough for growing one Cabbage plant.
  • Go for the wide containers made of plastic or wood. And the Container should have a good draining system. Make sure that the container has 2 to 3 draining holes.
  • Sterilize the container with antiseptic soap and warm water and dry it completely.
  • Cover the bottom of the container with small pebbles or gravels covering all the draining holes. This avoids water blocking and dripping of soil.

Best Soil for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbage needs well-drained, rich fertile soil with organic matter.
  • The pH levels of soil should be 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Use good quality commercial potting mix with plant based organic soil. If growing in winter season, potting soil with animal based organic soil is recommended.
  • Using garden soil is not recommended, as the soil may have fungus and bacteria which can cause diseases. so, it is recommended to use commercial potting mix.

Best Season for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • The ideal temperature for growing cabbage in pots should range from is 4-22 ºC.
  • Spring and fall are the ideal seasons for Growing Cabbage In Pots.
  • Early Autumn season can also be a good time to grow Cabbages.
  • Cabbages grow well in moderate climates, to protect the plants from summer temperatures, add a thick layer of mulch and increase the watering intervals to control the soil temperatures.

Propagation of Cabbage for Pot Growing:

Cabbage Seedlings.

  • You can grow Cabbage from both seeds and seedlings.
  • The seeds of Cabbage look similar to Mustard seeds, they will be in a dark red or brown color. You can purchase seeds for online stores or nurseries or garden stores. Choose the varieties that are suitable for your climate.
  • You can grow seedling at home in seed trays or can buy them from garden centers or nurseries.
  • While buying seedling or seeds, make a note of variety and growing requirements.

Growing Cabbage In Pots from Seeds:

  • For sowing Cabbage seeds, choose a wide tray. Now fill the tray with seed starting mix or potting soil enriched with compost in 2:3 ration or commercial potting mix rich in organic matter. Fill tray with 2 to 3 layers of potting mix loosely, don’t tap the soil. Using a seed starting mix is recommended as it fastens the germination process.
  • Now sprinkle the seeds on the soil and cover it very thin layer of potting soil.
  • Water the seeds firmly using watercans with fine hose, make the soil moist, not soggy or not too wet.
  • And cover tray with mulching sheet or platen cover, to maintain moisture levels and adequate temperature levels which fasten seed germination.
  • Move the tray to a location where it receives 2 or 3 hours of sunlight in a day.
  • Germination period of Cabbage seeds is up to 7 to 15 days. Germination period, mainly depends upon the climate and moisture levels, ideal temperature for seed germination should be around 20°C.
  • The seedling should be transplanted after 4 to 6 weeks of germination. For transplant the height of the seedling should be 3 to 4 inches with 3 to 4 sets of leaves.

Growing Cabbage In Pots from Transplants:

  • If planning to grow Cabbage from transplants from nurseries or seedlings grown at home in trays.
  • Select a suitable container that holes 4 to 5 gallons of potting soil, Fill the pot with potting mix loosely, don’t tap soil.
  • Dig 2 inches holes in the middle of the container and plant the seedling very carefully with harming young roots. And tap the soil around the stem so that the young plant stands firm.
  • Now water the plant with fine hose water can. Maintain the constant moisture levels in the soil.
  • Move the container to outdoors, where it gets at least six hours of sunlight. Cabbage plant thrives well in a good amount of sunlight, complete shade or partial shade will slow the growth of the plant.
  • After planting, Add a mild granular slow release organic fertilizer of N: P: K ration 12:12:12.
  • And cover the seedlings with horticultural fleece for a few weeks to save from diseases and pests.
  • The Container should be checked regularly to maintain moisture levels in potting soil. As the potting soil tends to dry out more quickly than the normal soil.
  • Just poke your finger 2 to 3 inches check moisture levels in the soil, water the plant if the soil is dry. Water the plants deeply, till water drains out of the draining holes once in a week.
  • Feed the plants with a liquid organic fertilizer once it starts forming heads.
  • Cabbage heads take 75-160 days to mature completely.

Water requirement for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbage is a warm season crop, and it requires moderate watering levels.
  • Water the plants only in early hours. Cabbage plants should water regularly.
  • A Cabbage plant needs 2-4 cm of water per week.
  • Don’t water Cabbage directly use water can or sprinkler to water the plants.

Sunlight requirement Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • A Cabbage plant needs good amount of sunlight for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Growing the Cabbage plants under partial sun or complete shade can reduce the growth of the plant.
  • Place the container in a location where it receives at least 5 to 6 hours or even more amount of sunlight per day.

Best location for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • A healthy growth of Cabbage plants needs direct sun, air and water resource.
  • Don’t place container in partial sun or shade, it can reduce the yield of the plant.
  • Best location for containers are the sunniest areas like balcony/backyards/terraces/window shelves/front yards.

Fertilizer for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbages are heavy feeders. They need constant fertilizing.
  • Feed the plants every week with a balanced organic fertilizer. Buy the fertilizer composed of boron, calcium and magnesium, which promotes the growth of heads.
  • During the Cabbage head formation period, fertilize the plants with water soluble or liquid organic fertilizer in N: P: K ration of 20:20:20. Apply the fertilizer as per the labeled instructions.
  • You also fertilize the plants with fish emulsion and natural composts or tea composts will increase the nutrient levels in the soil and fastens the growth of the plants.

Winter care for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

Winter Care for Cabbage.

  • Cabbages are moderate crops, but they tolerate frost for some short periods. Cabbage can resist to temperatures up to 4 degrees.
  • When the temperature goes below 4 degrees, cover the plants with garden cloches or plastic covers with some holes that provides air circulation and light penetration. And move the containers to indoors at night time when the temperature is too low.
  • During the day, move them to direct sun removing the covers.
  • During winter, the plants may not need much water, water them checking the moisture levels in the soil.

Splitting and Mulching In Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • The major problems that occur while growing Cabbage is splitting.
  • The heads of Cabbage split, before they mature completely. Splitting can be a big issue when head splits before it grows completely.
  • Cabbage with splits will have low taste and they are not good for storage.
  • The main reasons for splitting in Cabbage can be, over watering, heavy rains, drought, etc. this problem is very high in quick growing varieties and early season varieties.
  • To protect the Cabbage heads from splitting, provide mulch which controls splitting to some extent.
  • Mulch will retain moisture levels in the soil and controls the stress on the plants. And a proper irrigation will avoid head splits in Cabbage.
  • Head splitting in Cabbages will attract diseases or pests, so harvest them as soon as possible
  • In rainy season, cover the plants with garden cloches or plastic covers, which can reduce split heads to some extent during heavy rains.

Pests and Diseases of Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbages are more affected with diseases and pests, so select some disease resistant varieties to grow in containers.
  • If you observe any damage on foliage, it indicates the attack of pests.
  • Common pests that affect Cabbage are aphids, Cabbage worms, Cabbage Loopers, aphids and root maggots
  • To protect plants from these common pests, cover them with floating covers.
  • To control Aphids, just washed them out with a strong stream of water.
  • You can hand pick the pests like Cabbage worms and lopper.
  • To protect the plants from cutworms, wrap the plant stalks with a cardboard or tin foil.
  • Club root disease can be treated by Increasing the pH levels in the soil. You can adjust pH levels in the soil by adding lime.
  • Avoid foliage wetting to control purple blotch.
  • To control fungal, bacterial and viral diseases, use commercial potting soil can reduce fungal diseases.
  • Cold temperatures for long periods can cause Black speck disease, Increasing the potassium levels in the soil will control this disease.
  • Use horticultural, garlic or neem oil sprays to protect the plants from common pests.

Harvesting and Storing Methods for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Harvesting period of Cabbage is 95-150days. Heads of Cabbage take 7 to 8 weeks to mature.
  • Heads of container grown Cabbages will have small size compared to ground grown Cabbages
  • Cabbage can be harvested when heads matures, Cabbages sown in Spring are harvested in November month.
  • To check the maturity of Cabbage heads, just squeeze them, it they are hard and firm they are ready to harvest, if they are loose and weak, it shows they are not mature.
  • Harvest the Cabbage heads before they split or if you see any splitting.
  • Harvest the Cabbages using g sharp knife to harvest Cabbage head, sharp knife without damaging the plant.
  • While harvesting, cut the heads with 2 to 3 wrapper leaves to protect Cabbage from damage.
  • Cabbage can be stored fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature.
  • Cabbage when stored in the refrigerator stays fresh more two weeks.

Tips for Growing Cabbage In Pots:

  • Cabbage plant required more water and more feeds for a healthy growth.
  • Mulching is the process to retain moisture in the soil, and mulching can control head splitting.
  • The Cabbage plant container should not be placed near cauliflower, broccoli, kale plants.
  • To protect the Cabbage from diseases, use good quality commercial potting mix rich in organic matter.
  • Cabbage is best companion to celery, dill, mint, garlic, potatoes, peas, onions etc.
  • Feed the Cabbage plants with fertilizers rich in nitrogen during head formation.
  • Feed the Cabbage plants with fertilizers rich phosphorous and potassium for good foliage and leaf growth.
  • Temperature fluctuations can cause premature bolting in Cabbage plants.
  • Over watering and under watering can cause head splitting in Cabbages. Water the plant at moderate levels.
  • Mid- February to mid-April are ideal months to sow the seeds.
  • Stream of watering during the day, will flush out the insects or larva eggs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *