A-2291.4 | 25 Seeds |
90-110 Days To Maturity from Transplant
Extend the flower production season with ornamental kale. This Crane Feather series is consistent, uniform, and provides a range of rich colors and textures for autumn bouquets. Crane Feather Queen Red has bright magenta centers surrounded by green outer leaves. Also known as flowering kale and ornamental cabbage. Ht. 24-35".
25 Seeds per Package.
How To Grow Ornamental Kale From Seeds
- Fill clean seed-starting flats with moistened, sterile seed-starting mix when evening temperatures are still around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and it is at least 75 days before temperatures are regularly below 50 F. This will generally be around mid-August, but gauge by your specific climate or microclimate.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and lightly cover with the seed-starting mix. They can be kept outdoors as long as the temperatures are warm and you keep them moist. Ornamental kale seeds should germinate within 10 days at a temperature of 70 F.
- Transplant the strongest, most attractive seedlings to 4-inch pots filled with potting soil about a month after they germinate. Water well. Use a potting soil with plant food already added to the mix, or fertilize with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.
- Clear weeds and summer annuals from an area of well-drained soil, this can be from early October through November depending on your location. The plants don't begin to show their true colors until temperatures cool and full color can take up to a month to develop.
- Dig holes equal to the root ball of each plant in full sun in their final location as evening temperatures drop toward 60 F. Space the holes six inches apart. While standard ornamental kale needs 10 to 12 inches between plants to reach it peak.
- Add a scant handful of slow-release fertilizer to the bottom of each hole and pop a small plant in each hole. Firm up the soil and water well. Keep the plants moist as they establish in their new location.
- Remove lower leaves of ornamental kale with your fingers, beginning when the plants are 6 inches tall, continuing as they grow until they have a red to deep pink center with one outer layer of green to pink-streaked green leaves and a 10-inch stem. It may take up to four weeks for color to fully develop.
- Insert stakes and loosely tie stems to supports once they reach 10 to 12 inches. Sunset has rosettes from 3 to 7 inches across and may grow to 24 inches tall, so though stems are fairly sturdy, supports keep the top-heavy plant from flopping over.
- Fertilize once a month with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. While established practice is to cease fertilizing once the plant begins to color, as it may keep color from developing correctly, this may not be the case. Research conducted for growers by North Carolina State University showed that the plants can suffer from nutrient deficiencies when fertilizer is discontinued and show no difference in color development when the plant has regular feedings.
- WARNING TIP: Plants can fail to color or fade when temperatures are too warm. According to the University of California-Davis Extension, flowering can continue all winter as long as daytime temperatures are generally above 40 F and rarely reach 80 F. The plants can take a brief freeze down to 20 F.