Kale Plants

Any Hope For This Plant? It Has Leaves.

Zone zone 6 | Krystal Kissell added on November 26, 2019 | Answered

Hi, I attached a photo of one of my potted kale plants from summer. For a while they were beautiful and gave a nice harvest for maybe 2 months. But after that, some tiny gray worms ate them up, I couldn’t get rid of them so finally had to give up on the kale. (Oddly enough the worms didn’t bother the swiss chard.) I cut them down and was going to throw the contents of the pots out. I did throw out some of it, but then thought again about trying to overwinter at least a couple of them. I have been told that cutting them down this way is sure death for kale. And yet, years ago, when my mother and I grew kale out in the garden (and I don’t know how we did it without bugs ruining them) we would just cut them to the ground in fall, but by spring they would start to sprout up again, something like what you see in this photo. I remember they lasted thru another summer, but were finished by fall. The two plants I brought inside already have small leaves. Could there possibly be any hope that these would grow up and produce at least one more year? - Thank You

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 28, 2019

Kale is considered a short-lived Biennial. This means that it will grow, vegetatively, for the first year, then attempt to flower the second year. If done correctly, kale will be very prolific, and will be cut down and disposed of. Attempting to let the second years growth come out will give you a few, less than ideal quality sprouts, but it is only attempting to finish the reproduction cycle.

For the home gardener, it can be a fun project to let it continue, though simply planting new seeds will grant you with more to snack on much faster.

What you can do is plant some new seeds, and keep the one you have, both. Put them side by side under a small LED fixture. (Walmart household LED will be more than enough, since Kale doesn't really require much of anything to flourish, after all it can be considered a weed!)

What you will notice is that you will be able to harvest much more from a new start than you will trying to eat from second year's Kale growth.

So in short, while you can harvest some more kale, it will not be worth it when you can just start a new one that will be much more productive.

This article will help you to grow Kale: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/kale/growing-kale-in-pots.htm

These articles will help you with insect control:



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