The Best Cabbage Varieties for Container Gardening

Cabbage is one of the hardiest cool-season vegetables. With its brilliant, long-lasting color, cabbage provides a handsome addition to the landscape. Their textured leaves and gem-like colors provide delicious staples for winter meals like soups and stir-fries. Ornamental cabbage varieties nestled along cool-season flowers like violas and pansies are a favorite for front porch containers.

Ornamental Cabbage

Ornamental cabbage is a cool-season annual that brightens up any container with its textured foliage. They hold their color through spring and are ideal for growing in containers to display on a porch or garden walkway. Their flat leaves are broad with edging that is typically contrasting in color. They do well nestled among other cool-season flowers like pansies, which have similar growing needs and bright, bold colors. The colors of ornamental cabbage range from whites and reds to purples and pinks. Often, the foliage is fringed in green and white. These textured beauties grow up to 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide, making for a full container. Ornamental cabbage is edible but bitter, and sometimes used to garnish plates.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that does well in containers because of its tight forming head. Savoy cabbage can be spaced closely together to create an edible container tucked among the garden. The textured leaves of the savoy are curly and green and require full to partial sun to thrive. The savoy cabbage requires rich, moist soils and does well in compost-laden containers where rich nutrients circulate around the soil to create a healthy cabbage. Light frosting does not hurt the Savoy cabbage. In fact, this hardy vegetable retains its brilliant color all winter long.

Napa Cabbage

Also called Chinese cabbage, Napa cabbage does not have the typical appearance of round cabbages. Napa cabbage has long, light green leaves with white, thick stalks. Its upright, elongated shape resembles romaine lettuce with its crinkled leaves. Because of its upright form, Napa cabbages can be tucked into garden containers for an attractive and lush looking design. The peppery flavor of this delicious edible is ideal in salads, and the staple in Napa coleslaw.

Bok Choy

Bok choy, a member of the cabbage family, has blue-green leaves growing out of one central, white stalk. The loosely-clustered leaves of bok choy are not compact like the typical cabbages that are cylindrical shaped. Because of their small size, bok choy is perfect for growing in containers. They don't require a lot of room to grow, and can be tucked inside a large planter to produce a plethora of delicious leaves all winter long.

Keywords: cabbage varieties, container gardening, ornamental cabbage, frilly savoy cabbage, Napa cabbage, bok choy leaves

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.