Backyard Gardening – How to Grow Ornamental Kale

Backyard Gardening - How to Grow Ornamental Kale

Would you like to have color in your garden year round?

There is one thing missing from your fall garden. Sure your chrysanthemums are lovely and your pansies are delightful. However, no fall garden is complete without ornamental kale.

I’m sure many of you have heard of growing and eating kale for your health, but have you heard of growing kale because it’s actually really pretty?

While you can eat ornamental kale if you wish, we wouldn’t recommend it. These kinds of kale are grown for their texture and not their flavor according to recommends the ornamental kale cultivar Sunset because of a few reasons,

  • It can reach about 25 inches tall
  • Blooms with a deep pink and green outer leaves that are sometimes streaked with pink,
  • During the fall, garden centers everywhere have ornamental kale seedlings and plants are available to purchase.

How to Plant Ornamental Kale – 3 Options

Option 1 – Starting for Seed

If you are planting seedlings make sure to plant them in flats or cell packs before you transplant them in to your garden or larger pots. Make sure you seed them about 3-4 month prior to needing your full size plant. According to About Gardening move the plant into the pot or garden as soon as you see leaves appear.

Option 2 – Buying the Plant

Purchase one of the bigger plants with short stems and has a little bit of color to it. Plant the ornamental kale in an area of your garden with full sun and rich soil.

Option 3 – Sow Directly into Soil

You can even sow the seedlings directly into the soil. Be careful not to cover the seeds with too much soil because they need the light to germinate. You should see the sprouts about 2 weeks after planting. Take the time to thin the plants so there is a gap of 18-24 inches between.

Quick Tip

  • Besides seeding for transplant, make sure to plant when the temperatures are in the 70s most likely in Mid-August or early September.


Ornamental kale doesn’t need much more after it’s started growing. Make sure that when watering, you allow of the plant to dry out in between watering.

What is your favorite fall flower? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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