How to cut back ornamental purple cabbage plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Ornamental cabbage, also called flowering cabbage, comes in a variety of colours, from purple, red, pink and white. They come alive in the fall while the rest of your garden is dying back, adding much needed fall colour. Ornamental purple cabbage is the same species as normal cabbage and kale. While ornamental purple cabbage is edible it is often too bitter. If you cut back the ornamental cabbage during the summer or fall it will grow back, as long as your don't remove the plant's crown.

Check your ornamental cabbage during the late summer months for wilting or bolting, when the cabbage goes to flower. Water the cabbage well if there are signs of wilting.

Cut off any flower stalks from the ornamental purple cabbage as they occur. Cut the flower stalks back to the base of the cabbage.

Cut the leaves off of the ornamental purple cabbage once the outer leaves start to show signs of age. Cut them off at the base of the cabbage.

Cut the entire cabbage back to the ground if you want to harvest it for use. Cut all the leaves from the purple ornamental cabbage, but leave the root crown, the base of the plant, in the ground. The cabbage will regrow.


Ornamental cabbage is edible, but bitter.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
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About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.