Alphabetical Plant Listing

Brassica oleracea Capitata Group (Cabbage)

Cabbage, Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Dutch Cabbage, White Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. capitata


Packed with nutrients, Cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata Group) is a cool-season biennial vegetable grown as an annual for its nutritious and tasty, edible leaves. Easy to grow, Cabbage comes in various shapes and colors for harvesting all year round. Cabbage has a breadth of culinary uses and healing properties and has been grown worldwide for thousands of years.

  • Cabbage belongs to the Brassicaceae or cabbage family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, kale, collards, and horseradish.
  • Cabbage is considered to be descended from the wild Cabbage, Brassica oleracea, a species of Brassica native to coastal southern and western Europe.
  • Cabbage plants grow best in cool weather and tolerate frost.
  • Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable - Its flowers have four petals and resemble a Greek cross.
  • Cabbage belongs to the Capitata Group, which includes several types of Cabbage, primarily those with green leaves, red leaves, and wrinkled leaves (Savoy).
  • Cabbage provides many health benefits. Add it to your diet and enjoy it in salads or coleslaw and a variety of delicious dishes, including sauerkraut.
  • Cabbage has been used for stomach pain, excess stomach acid, and stomach and intestinal ulcers, as well as preventing osteoporosis and stomach, colon, and lung cancer.

Main Types of Cabbages

  • Green Cabbage
    Green Cabbage is one of the most common Cabbage varieties.
    Mild in taste, Green Cabbage is usually round or oval with thick, tightly packed leaves. The inner leaves are soft and light green, while the outer leaves are thick and dark green.
    Green Cabbage is rich in vitamin C and can boost the immune system.
    Green Cabbage also contains significant amounts of vitamin K, calcium, iron, and magnesium and has a relatively high fiber content.
    Green Cabbage is typically eaten raw in salads and is a popular ingredient in coleslaw recipes. This is also one of the best cabbage varieties for stews, soups, and cabbage rolls. It can also be fermented to make sauerkraut.
     
  • Red or Purple Cabbage
    Slightly peppery in taste, Red Cabbage heads are purple-reddish and denser but smaller than their green cousins.
    This variety of Cabbage gets its color from the flavonoid anthocyanin, a powerful compound that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
    Compared to Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage has a much higher nutritional content and is packed with flavonoids, vitamins, and antioxidants, which boost your health.
    Red Cabbage contains 10 times more vitamin A, twice more iron, and 37% more vitamin C than Green Cabbage.
    However, Red Cabbage contains slightly less vitamin K than Green Cabbage.
    Red Cabbage is also an excellent source of potassium, which helps reduce high blood pressure levels.
    Red Cabbage can be consumed both raw and cooked. Use this cabbage variety for a fresh summer salad, or add it alongside Green Cabbage in your coleslaw.
     
  • Savoy – Curly Cabbage
    Named for the Savoy region of France, Savoy Cabbage produces loose, spherical heads made of crinkly, ruffled, emerald green leaves.
    Savoy Cabbage is milder, sweeter, and earthier in flavor.
    Like other Cabbage types, Savoy Cabbage contains fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B6, folate, potassium, manganese, thiamin, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
    Although raw Savoy Cabbage is not as crunchy as Green Cabbage, it maintains a firm texture when cooked, which is desired in some recipes. Savoy Cabbage can also be roasted, sautéed, or braised.
     
  • White or Dutch Cabbage
    Prized for its high quality and versatility, Dutch Cabbage has pale-colored, tightly packed leaves. Sunlight usually turns the outer leaves pale green leaving the inner leaves white. Dutch Cabbage is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins (C, K), and potassium. Dutch Cabbage can be steamed or used in stir-fries.

Cabbage Health Benefits

  • While Cabbage makes a flavorful addition to various dishes, it can also provide some health benefits.
  • Cabbage is low in calories but is packed with nutrients - perfect for people who want to lose weight.
  • Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. Also, it contains folate, potassium, and magnesium, as well as small amounts of vitamin A, iron, and riboflavin.
  • Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting. Vitamin C serves many important roles in the body (it helps make collagen, boosts your immune system, and absorbs iron from plant-based foods).
  • In addition, Cabbage is high in fiber which helps reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.
  • Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds, which fight harmful free radicals and inflammation.
  • Fermented Cabbage (sauerkraut) is even healthier, as it produces natural probiotics that nourish the bacteria that help your body fight germs, digest food, and control anxiety.
  • Some studies suggest that Cabbage could help prevent certain types of cancer.
  • A diet high in Cabbage was found to lower the chances of type 2 diabetes in a recent study.
  • People with thyroid issues may want to talk to their doctor before eating Cabbage.

Growing Cabbage

  • Cabbage grows up to 12-24 in. tall (30-60 cm) and 12-30 in. wide (30-75 cm), depending on the variety.
  • Cabbage performs best in full sun in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
  • Prepare the soil in advance by adding well-rotted manure or garden compost.
  • Depending on the variety, Cabbages take 60-100 days to harvest.
  • Cabbage plants are particular about temperature. The optimum temperature is around 60°F (15°C).
  • Cabbage will tolerate a low temperature of 45°F (7°C) and grow poorly above 75°F (24°C). A temperature higher than 75°F (24°C) can induce bolting.
  • You can grow Cabbage from seed or purchase the plant from a nursery to get a jump on the season.
  • Sowings of spring, summer and winter varieties can provide Cabbages throughout the year.
  • For a summer harvest, sow seed indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost date or outdoors about 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.
  • For a fall harvest, direct sow seeds outdoors (or plant transplants) in mid-to-late summer.
  • Plant seedlings about 12-24 inches apart (30-60 cm) in rows that are 24 inches apart (60 cm).
  • Mulch to retain moisture, protect the shallow roots, and control weeds.
  • Cabbages are heavy feeders susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, including boron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Fertilize 2 weeks after transplanting with a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer.
  • Three weeks later, add a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • When harvesting, remove firm cabbages by cutting at the base of the heads.
  • To avoid diseases and pests that persist in the soil, do not plant cabbages where members of the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, or kale) have grown for at least 3 years.
  • Cabbage is susceptible to various pests. Keep an eye out for Cabbageworms, Cabbage aphids, Cabbage loopers, Cabbage root maggots, Cabbage root flies, Cabbage whitefly, cutworms, diamondback moth, slugs and snails, flea beetles, stinkbugs, thrips, nematodes.
  • Cabbage is susceptible to various diseases, including Alternaria, black rot, clubroot, downy mildew, foot and root rot, leaf spot, and white blister.
  • Cabbage is propagated by seed.

Cabbage: Companion Planting

Companion planting allows gardeners to mask the smell of Cabbage by planting it among strongly scented herbs and flowers.

  • Excellent companion plants for Cabbage are Agastache, Beets, Borage, Calendula, Celery, Chamomile, Chinese Cabbage, Collards Dill, Garlic, Lavender, Mustard, Nasturtium, Onions, Oregano, Potatoes, Rosemary, Sage, Southernwood, Sweet Alyssum, Tansy, Thyme, Wormwood.
  • Borage is said to deter tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and is also one of the best plants for attracting bees and wasps.
  • Nasturtiums deter insect pests such as the infamous beetles and aphids.
  • Garlic planted near Cabbage repels insects with its odor.
  • Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. If allowed to flower, it will also attract many beneficial insects - And the flowers are lovely.
  • Chamomile has a strong aromatic scent and is an excellent companion plant for Cabbage as it can improve their vigor and flavor. Another benefit is that the plant is host to hoverflies and wasps.
  • Celery and dill improve Cabbage’s health and growth.
  • The strong scent of lavender will mask the smell of Cabbage and confuse pests like aphids.
  • Aromatic plants, including dill, sage, peppermint, and rosemary, help repel Cabbage flies.
  • Interspersing Clover with Cabbages can decrease the prevalence of cabbage worms and cabbage aphids by increasing the population of predatory ground beetles.
  • Tansy deters cabbage worms and cutworms, and thyme deters cabbage worms.
  • Hyssop, celery, thyme, southernwood, and wormwood help repel the white cabbage butterfly.
  • Onions are beneficial because they will repel rabbits from your cabbage plants.
  • Planting sweet alyssum and dill will attract hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps, which will help control the aphids and cabbage worms.
  • Calendula is a trap crop that will attract any aphids the beneficial insects miss and give the pests a more enticing meal than the brassicas and lettuce.
  • Do not plant Cabbage near Corn, Eggplants, Grapes, Lettuce, Peppers, Pole Beans, Rue, Strawberries, or Tomatoes.

Buy Brassica oleracea Capitata Group (Cabbage)

Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained

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