Ornamental kale, known for its colourful leaves, ranging from white to pink to purple, is the perfect cool season annual to add colour and interest to the autumn and winter garden. March is a great time to start planting out seedlings in the garden. Remember, their colorful pigmentation doesn’t develop until after frost or prolonged cold weather. These plants look especially good in mass plantings, where their colour really stands out. Since they are low growers, you’ll often see them as edging plants, where their purplish hues blend in well with other autumn colours. If you only want to plant 1 or 2 plants, they look better in containers than they do scattered throughout a garden.
- Grow ornamental kale in full sun about 25cm to 35cm apart in rich, organic soil. Plant them so that their base foliage is at ground level, planting the stems and root balls deeper than you would for other types of plants.
- Fertilize your ornamental kale during their growing season, starting at planting time re-applying monthly until your plants reach their mature size.
- They like to dry out slightly between watering, but stress if left dry for prolonged periods.