Ornamental cabbage is an unpretentious beautiful plant that can become a true decoration of a summer cottage in the fall until the very frost and snow.
This interesting plant has many varieties. She has many varieties, differing in their color and shape of the inflorescences.
In our article, you will find out the origin and features of this beautiful and unpretentious plant. We will tell you how to grow and propagate ornamental cabbage, how to care for it. You can also watch a helpful video.
What is this “flower” and why is it used in landscape design?
Ornamental cabbage has the Latin name Brassica oleracea var. acephala... It is also often called kale and brassica. This biennial herb is a versatile vegetable because it is an edible product and a great art object that adorns flower beds during that cold season, when almost all flowers have faded.
In the first year of its life cycle, a rosette of leaves grows in cabbage. The next year, the plant produces a peduncle, later, fruits in the form of seeds are formed. The cabbage flowers themselves are large, collected in a cluster consisting of many flowers, with standing stamens and sepals.
The corolla is pale yellow or white. The stem of plants is usually short, the root system is pivotal. The leaves are more often collected in a rosette, like a flower. Such varieties are called cabbage, or rosette. Palm varieties have large curly leaves hanging from a long stem.
Depending on the variety, the color of the leaves is diverse: various shades of white, green, lilac, pink, purple, red, which can change during the season. The shape of the leaves can be smooth, wavy or corrugated, dissected or curly along the edge of the leaf.
By the beginning of autumn, brassica leaves acquire their exotic look.: The height of different hybrids is from 20 cm to 130 cm, and the diameter is up to 90 cm.
Ornamental cabbage can easily become a decoration of a flower bed or a summer cottage both by itself and as part of a floral composition with other plants. Given the fact that there are a large number of varieties of brassica in terms of size, shape and color of leaves, a composition in the garden, composed only of all kinds of representatives of this species, can create the effect of having many flowers.
Brassica can be used to create bouquets. In this case, you should sweeten the water a little, and the bouquet will stand for a whole month.
In the center of the flower beds, tall curly palm varieties of ornamental cabbage, surrounded by rosette plants, look very beautiful. Original patterns can be made from cabbage of different colors, but the same size. Low varieties of cabbage are great for creating a border..
Attention: For four whole dank months, an amazing flower bed of ornamental cabbage will invariably delight its owners and attract the admiring glances of others.
We recommend watching a video about the features of ornamental cabbage:
Photo of cabbage in landscape design
This is how cabbage compositions look in landscape design:
History of the origin of brassica
The progenitor of modern ornamental cabbage is a wild cabbage with smooth and curly leaves., known in Greece since the 4th century BC. e. The ancient Romans highly valued cabbage as an excellent remedy.
Over time, more and more different shapes and colors of cabbage began to appear in Europe. The Japanese were the first to pay attention to the decorative properties of cabbage. They began to select new varieties of brassica to decorate their gardens. Nowadays, interest in the aesthetic properties of ornamental cabbage is growing everywhere.
Distinctive features from other species
Ornamental cabbage is a member of the Cabbage family formerly called Cruciferous, type of curly cabbage. It has a lot in common with other types of cabbage, but there are also differences:
- only ornamental cabbage is bred mainly to decorate summer cottages and flower beds;
- unlike other species, such cabbage is resistant to cold and even not very severe frosts;
- only ornamental cabbage with blossoming leaves looks like a rose queen of flowers;
- other varieties always have a certain color - green, red, purple, but only a decorative variety can have an unlimited number of colors;
- it has curly leaves, and kale and savoy cabbage, too, but the rest have smooth leaves.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of brassica can be considered:
- aesthetics and decorativeness;
- the length of the season;
- a huge number of different types;
- resistance to cold, even to frost down to -12 ° С;
- growing with seeds or seedlings;
- unpretentious cultivation;
- disease resistance;
- the ability to transplant;
- versatility in use as an edible vegetable and ornamental plant for decoration.
The disadvantages of the plant can be considered:
- coarser leaves compared to white cabbage;
- the leaves are slightly bitter until they are frozen;
- thorough care;
- before the cold weather does not look too beautiful.
Can I eat?
If you are wondering whether you can eat this vegetable or not, then know that ornamental cabbage is eaten... It is put in salads or stewed with potatoes, especially if the leaves are young, canned for the winter. Such a blank can look extremely impressive, as the leaves retain their shape and color.
Before cooking cabbage, it should be frozen and then thawed. This procedure beats off the bitterness. You can let her feed your livestock.
What are the best varieties called and what do they look like?
- Kai and Gerda - a relatively new variety of cabbage, reaching 50 cm in height, consists of emerald and purple leaves.
- Crane - an absolutely incredible hybrid 60 cm high with the color of the rosettes in the summer, at first emerald in color, and then, as the smooth leaves unfold, bright tricolors, similar to roses.
- Tokyo - rosette plants 35 cm high, with dark green outer leaves and white, pink and red inner leaves, slightly wavy and corrugated along the edge.
- Sunrise - a tall plant up to 90 cm in need of support, with one or more rosettes of the "rose" type of very delicate creamy-white-pink flowers and smooth edges.
- Bohemia - a plant with spreading open rosettes up to 40 cm in height and a diameter of wavy, curly or carved leaves up to 55 cm, changing their color from gray-green extreme to purple in the center.
- Nagoya - a hybrid up to 60 cm high, with corrugated leaves, green at the edges and white or pink in the middle.
- Peacock tail - a low culture up to 30 cm, most often having the color of carved leaves from purple on the outside to crimson inside or from green to white.
- Kamome ed - a low-growing plant 15-25 cm high with bright openwork leaves, dark green on the outside and dark red inside the rosette, the color of which increases even more in warmth.
Look further at the photo of the "flower" with the names of its varieties:
When to sow seeds and how to grow a vegetable from seedlings?
When planting seeds, it must be borne in mind that healthy and strong seedlings can only be with the correct observance of all the necessary conditions... Consider the features of planting and care in the open field and at home.
Planting and care in the open field
Seed material can be purchased at a price of 12 rubles per 0.1 gram to 245 rubles per 100 seeds, you can buy 7-60 seeds from 14 rubles on the sites: semenapost.ru, abekker.ru, semena-tut.ru, 1semena.ru, ncsemena.ru and others. Delivery in Moscow and St. Petersburg is usually carried out by courier, in the regions of Russia - by Russian Post.
- Boarding time: May, the threat of frost must be ruled out.
- Pick-up location: a sunny spot to keep the plants bright.
- The soil: sandy loam or loamy.
- Landing: 1 seed is placed in the holes to a depth of 1.5 cm, the distance between the seeds is 3 cm, the seeds are covered with loosened earth.
- Temperature: minimum - 8-10 ° С, maximum - 14-18 ° С, most optimal - 10-14 ° С.
- Watering: After planting, the seeds are watered abundantly.
- Top dressing: when planting, humus and wood ash or mineral fertilizer are added to the holes, as the cabbage grows, organic fertilizers or nitrogen fertilizers can be added.
- Other vegetable care measures: when the cotyledons unfold, sprouts with clods of earth are planted at a distance of 6 cm from each other, weeding, loosening and hilling are carried out three times per season.
- Harvesting: if you use cabbage for food, then the youngest leaves are harvested as they ripen, around the second half of summer and early autumn; Usually, ornamental cabbage is removed before severe frosts on a dry day with a knife and a shovel.
Growing at home
Seed material can be purchased at a price from 12 rubles per 0.1 gram to 245 rubles per 100 seeds, you can buy 7-60 seeds from 14 rubles on the websites: semenapost.ru, abekker.ru, semena-tut.ru, 1semena.ru , ncsemena.ru and others. Delivery in Moscow and St. Petersburg is usually carried out by courier, in the regions of Russia - by Russian Post.
- Boarding time - March, early April.
- Pick-up location: loggia or the coolest place in the apartment, well lit.
- The soil: mix turf and river sand in equal proportions, add ash, it is better to use cups or pots.
- Landing: into moist soil to a depth of 1 cm.
- Temperature: minimum - 8-10 ° С, maximum - 14-16 ° С, most optimal - 12-14 ° С.
- Watering: Moderate, but do not dry out.
- Top dressing: when planting, wood ash or mineral fertilizer is added to the holes.
- Other vegetable care measures: picking, adding soil, additional lighting with a lamp.
- Harvesting: for food, young leaves are harvested in the summer; if the main goal is decorative, then until severe frosts; when picking cabbage, they use a knife and a shovel.
We recommend watching a video about the features of growing ornamental cabbage from seeds:
Advice: In order to see the flowering of brassica next year and get seeds, before the onset of frost, you should dig out rosettes with roots, wrap the roots with plastic wrap, and hang the cabbage with leaves down in a cool basement.
In the spring, when it gets warmer, plant the cabbage in the thawed soil. At the end of summer, a flower stalk will appear and then - seeds that can be planted for the next season.
Diseases and pests
If individual plants are affected by black leg or root rot, then they must be removed, and the rest should be sprayed with Fitosporin, following the instructions. If the plants are attacked by slugs, lovers of any cabbage, it is necessary to spray with insecticides, for example, the Slime Eater. In this case, it is worth loosening the soil and mulching with coniferous sawdust. For cruciferous fleas, a mixture of ash in half with tobacco dust or spraying with Komandor insecticide will help.
Prevention of various problems
With competent and timely preventive measures, problems with diseases and pests can be avoided. To do this, you should regularly spud the cabbage, weed it, add a mixture of river sand and wood ash to its base. After rains, you can spray with a superphosphate solution at the rate of 100 g per 10 liters of water.
Ornamental cabbage is an unusual and strikingly beautiful plant, quite unpretentious, which even a novice gardener can grow. It can be eaten. But the main thing is that she is not afraid of cold weather and only prettier from them.
A huge number of varieties with leaves of incredible colors and shapes allows you to create countless exotic compositions in flower beds and gardens, decorating them from autumn to winter frost, and therefore the popularity of this species among flower growers is growing all over the world.