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How To Grow Cabbage In Pots

by a Friendly Gardener
Slicing purple cabbage

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that is widely used in a variety of delicious dishes around the globe. It is quite versatile and makes a healthy addition to plant and non-plant-based meals.

If you want to grow this vegetable at home, read on to find out how to grow cabbage in pots in just a few steps.


When Is the Best Time to Grow Cabbages?

Cabbages thrive in cool weather. They can withstand a large range of temperatures, making them capable of flourishing in hardiness zones 2 to 11.

The best time to grow them depends upon your location. They can withstand frost but do not favor heat. Since those of you in the northern regions can harvest them in spring, you should plant the seeds at least four weeks before the last frost.

Gardeners living in the south have to harvest it during the fall therefore, they should plant the seeds at least six weeks before the first frost.

However, if you are the lucky gardener residing in the temperate zone, you can plant them either in fall or spring.

Since cabbages tolerate a range of temperatures, you do not need to be precise. They are able to grow in the range of 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should know that they grow best in daytime temperatures of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


How Long Till Harvest?

Green cabbage growing

Cabbages grown from seeds take longer to mature than expected. They can take anywhere between 80 and 180 days to hit the harvest date. However, if you are using seedlings, you can expect maturity in a lesser time.

Cabbage is ready for harvest once it reaches a usable size. If you pick a cabbage before it reaches maturity, you are likely to find the flavor and texture subpar.


Varieties of Cabbage

Bok choy in a field

While there are over 400 varieties of cabbage available, just a few are capable of growing in containers or pots. Depending on your choice of cultivar, the growth time will also vary.

These are a few compact cabbage varieties that are container friendly.


  • Savoy cabbage or curly cabbage is one such variety. You will find varieties of Savoy Ace and Savoy King suitable for growing in a pot.
  • Green cabbage varieties such as Stovehead, Jersey Wakefield, Green Boy, Acre Flat, Blue Boy, Ribbon Golden, etc., are compact and suited for containers.
  • Red cabbage, with its smooth, purplish head, has compact varieties, such as Ruby Perfection, Red Ribbon, Red Ball, and Red Acre.


How to Grow Cabbages at Home in Pots?

Growing cabbages at home in pots is an easy feat. You have to keep a few key things in mind for a healthy plant and a successful harvest.

Brown clay pot

Choose the Container

Choosing the appropriate container or pot is the first essential step toward growing cabbage. You need to make sure you have a sizable pot.

Choose a pot that has a width and depth of at least 12 inches. You can only stick one cabbage plant per pot. If you want to plant a group, you will require a much larger and wider pot. Also, make sure the chosen pot has sufficient drainage.


Prepare the Soil

Cabbages thrive in moist soil. You will require a water-retaining substrate that drains well like loam soil. Additionally, you will have to make the soil nutrient-rich by adding organic compost. You can prepare the soil months in advance so that the compost infuses properly with the soil.

While cabbages grow in soils of any pH level, they flourish in soils with slight acidity. However, make sure not to use highly acidic or alkaline soil. Maintain soil pH levels between 6.5 and 6.8 for best results.


Plant the Seeds

This question has likely crossed your mind, ‘How to grow cabbage from seeds in pots?’

Based on your zone, you can plant cabbage seeds as per the schedule mentioned above. Select the best time and plant it indoors. If you prefer to germinate your seeds on a separate tray, you can. However, it will be easier to just plop the seeds into the soil to get the germination process started.

Move the pot to a nice sunny spot. Cabbage requires adequate sunlight to grow. You can place the pot in partial shade if the sunlight is too intense. However, make sure you are not placing it in full shade. The ideal temperature for germination ranges between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Based on the stage of growth, sunlight requirements will vary. Seeds require at least 3 hours of full sunlight to germinate, whereas seedlings need to get up to 6 hours of sun daily.

Once the growth kick starts and leaves begin to appear, the plant will need a minimum of eight hours of sunlight to thrive.


Plant the Seedlings

Seedlings are easier to plant. Since they have already crossed the germination stage, they are ready for growth.

Create a crater in the prepared soil of about two inches and simply transplant the young plant into your pot. Make sure to handle it with the utmost care.

Cover the hole with soil and water it before placing it in a sunny area.


Water the Cabbage

You have to be careful with your watering schedule. Cabbages require moist soil and not water-logged soil. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are providing adequate water depending on the weather.

Do not let the soil dry out. If the top layer of the soil feels dry, it is time to moisten the soil. A good estimate is to provide up to 1.5 inches of water every week. You can break this up into three water sessions.

You can also improve moisture retention by covering the soil with mulch.

Similarly, do not overwater the plant. This will cause diseases like root rot to set in. Also, avoid watering the leaves as this can result in purple blotch.


Protection Against Pests and Diseases

One of the benefits of growing cabbage in a pot is that it is less likely to be affected by pests or diseases. This does not mean it is fully protected. You will have to keep an eye on your plant and treat it accordingly at the first sign of trouble to ensure a successful and healthy harvest.


The Final Word

Woman holding purple cabbage

Growing cabbage in a pot at home is a simple feat. Follow the proper schedule and plant the seeds accordingly to enjoy a beautiful, leafy harvest.

Harvested cabbages last for a long time in cold environments. If you have not already diced up the vegetable to make delicious meals, you can store them in a root cellar if you have one.

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