Cabbages don’t need a lot of space to grow, so you can easily grow them in containers for a nutritious and yummy, fibrous green leafy vegetable for your kitchen.
Cabbages are well suited for growing in containers, so even amateurs or beginner gardeners will have no problem with growing cabbage in containers indoors.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know for growing cabbage from seed in containers.
Choosing the Right Kind of Cabbage
The following types of cabbage can be grown in containers:
- Green Cabbage: These are the dark green cabbages that are used most widely in households. They have pointed heads and are frequently used in salads.
- Savoy Cabbage: Commonly known as curly cabbage, this type of cabbage has very tender, curly leaves and a mild flavor.
- Red Cabbage: Red cabbage is a vivid purplish-red color and has very smooth leaves. There are plenty of varieties of red cabbage that can be grown in containers. Growing red cabbage in containers is the same as growing green or savoy cabbage in containers.
Picking a Container
The container you choose must be at least 10 to 12 inches wide and have about the same depth to make it suitable for growing cabbage. We don’t suggest that you plant more than one head of cabbage in a container.
Otherwise, it gets very crowded and the size of the cabbages gets a lot smaller. The container should have proper drainage. If you want to grow multiple cabbages in one container, go for a much wider one.
Planting Cabbage Seeds
Cabbage can be grown from either cuttings or seeds. You can get seeds from any gardening center or nursery.
Get a wide container with a draining hole and fill it with a regular potting mix. You can also use a good seed starting mix to increase the chances of germination.
Spread out the seeds on the top and add another thin layer of soil. Use the same potting mix you used to fill the container.
Give the seeds water but don’t make the soil soggy. Put the container in a spot where it can receive 2 to 3 hours of sunlight every day. In 1-2 weeks, the seeds should have germinated.
A month or 1 ½ months after germination, the seedlings should be about 4 inches tall. You can transplant them to a different pot now.
If you have any cuttings or seedlings of cabbage, you can use them to grow a new plant too. Get a pot with a draining hole and fill it with quick-draining soil.
Make a little hole in the soil and place the cabbage seedling in the hole. Pat down the rest of the soil to make sure it stays in place. Place the pot in a place where it can receive 4 to 6 hours of sunlight every day.
The cabbage should be ready to harvest in 2 to 4 months’ time.
Requirements of Cabbage Plants
Here are the basic requirements of cabbage plants:
Soil is an important factor in growing cabbage. You need a light, good-quality potting mix. If it contains a lot of humus and has a clayey consistency, it will help the cabbage grow better.
The soil needs to stay moist, so pick a medium that can hold moisture without causing waterlogging. Adding coco peat or peat moss is a good idea as it will let the water drain but the medium will stay moist.
Never letting the soil dry out completely is a good rule of thumb to follow. You can stick your finger in the soil to check if it needs water. If the top 1 inch of the soil is dry, you need to water the plant again.
Overwatering or underwatering will slow down its growth, so you need to get the watering schedule just right. It can be a little difficult to get it right, but you will start understanding the needs of the plant within a few weeks.
Underwatering can also make the cabbage heads split, so make sure you give the plant enough water.
Apply a liquid fertilizer every month to enhance the growth of the cabbage plant. Balanced fertilizers work well and a 10-5-5 fertilizer is also a good alternative. Some people have also had a lot of success with fish emulsion.
If you don’t want to use chemical fertilizer, you can also try composting tea. It has a lot of nutrients that help the growth of the plant.
Mulching is great for growing vegetables because it helps the soil retain moisture and balances the temperature of the soil. If the plant is underwatered or experiencing drought, it prevents splitting too.
Cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, root maggots, and aphids are all common pests that come sniffing after cabbage plants. Pest control is especially important for cabbage as it is being grown for consumption.
If you spot any critters on the plant, use a forceful water stream to drive them away. Keep the pots free of debris and be careful not to overwater the plant.
When the cabbage is fully mature, it is time to harvest it! Take a sterilized, sharp knife and cut off the cabbage head. Be very careful to prevent damage to the roots of the plant. Cut at least 1 inch above the root system.
Whip up a yummy salad or use it in other recipes immediately. You can store it for 1 or 2 days before using it. If you want to keep it for a longer time, store it in the refrigerator.
Cabbages don’t take up too much space and they can be grown indoors too because they don’t need long hours of sunlight to grow, which makes them the ideal vegetable to grow for people who have small gardening spaces.
Growing in a pot doesn’t affect the growth of the cabbage and it is not a very time-consuming job either. Just take care of the basic watering and fertilization needs and you won’t have to spend any extra time taking care of the plant.