Growing Brussel Sprout Plants



Updated on 2/20/2024
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
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The temperature must be low for Brussel sprout plants to flourish. They are a crop with a sluggish growth rate but a long bearing period, and they do best in colder climates and the early spring or late autumn.

The temperature must be low for brussel sprout plants to flourish. The "fog belt" of the Pacific Northwest has the best environment for growing them, but you may successfully cultivate them in almost any section of the nation. Planting Brussels sprouts in the early spring or mid to late summer will result in a crop maturing in the autumn. Brussels sprouts are a crop that grows slowly and produces a lengthy harvest. Conditions of coolness, even a slight frost, are optimal for the maturation of the tiny heads. Planting in the spring is also acceptable in more temperate locations. Be mindful that sprouts that mature in hot or dry conditions will be on the brittle side and have a harsh taste. In addition to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, other members of the cole crop family (Brassica oleracea) include kale, collards, and kohlrabi. Brussels sprouts are a member of this family.

A Concise Guide To The Cultivation Of Brussels Sprouts

Growing Brussels Sprouts

Growing Brussels Sprouts

  • It is best to plant Brussels sprouts when the temperatures are still relatively moderate, such as in early spring or early autumn.
  • Because Brussels sprouts require ample space to grow, it is best to plant them in a bright, well-drained corner with a pH of at least 6.8. They should also receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and be planted in moist, well-drained soil.
  • Before planting, the native soil should be improved by adding a few inches of compost or any other kind of organic matter that is rich.
  • Regularly check the moisture content of the soil, and provide plants with 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.
  • Using plant food with a continuous release will result in a bountiful harvest if you feed Brussels sprouts regularly.
  • Mulching the soil with a three-inch thick layer of mulch will assist in preventing weeds from growing in the soil and keep the soil moist.
  • When the heads are still green and sturdy, harvest them. They should have a diameter of between 1 and 2 inches.

The Ground, The Plants, And Their Care

Brussel sprout plants need at least six hours of sunlight daily to flourish. The more sunlight they get, the better they will be able to grow. To succeed, they will need soils that contain a lot of organic matter, are well-drained, and have adequate moisture.
It is important for vegetables to achieve their full potential and for the risk of clubroot disease to be reduced by having a soil pH of about 6.8. This places it at the higher end of the acceptable range. Has the soil been analyzed so you know precisely what its pH is? You may have a soil test done via your local Cooperative Extension office, or you can get a test kit from a garden shop with a good selection of gardening supplies. The findings of the soil test should serve as a reference for applying fertilizer and lime to the plant. In the absence of a soil test, either work a large quantity of nitrogen-rich amendments into the soil (such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure) or combine aged compost that has been supplemented with nitrogen. Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics®All Purpose In-Ground Soil Use Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics®All Purpose In-Ground Soil to enrich your native soil with nutrients and enhance its structure. However, if you want the most satisfactory outcomes from your garden, you shouldn't stop at only the soil. Growing plants require a consistent supply of high-quality nutrition, so it is important to fertilize them regularly with a continuous-release fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules. This fertilizer nourishes your plants and provides food for the beneficial microbes in the soil. Always be sure you follow the guidelines on the label.

Additionally, Brussels sprouts have a higher boron need than most other vegetables. Boron is a nutrient for plants that are required in very trace amounts by all plant species; without it, Brussels sprouts would have hollow stems and tiny buds. Alternatively, suppose you notice that your plants have been showing any of these symptoms. In that case, it is possible to add boron to the soil by first dissolving one level tablespoon of borax (such as 20 Mule Team, which can be acquired in your local grocery store) in more than five quarts of water and then spreading this solution evenly across a fifty square foot bed. Mixing too much can only lead to problems down the road, so you should not give in to the temptation to incorporate more. Additionally, do not apply until your plants have shown the signs of the deficiency that were just described.

Skipping the seed starting process in favor of beginning your garden with robust and robust Bonnie Plants® will give you the most excellent chance of having a successful garden. Position the young plants at the distances between them specified on the label. Because Brussels sprouts mature into huge plants, they must be spaced around 18 to 24 inches apart when grown in a row or bed. If the seeds are planted in rows, provide 30 inches of space between each row so you have room to move. It is important not to allow seedlings to dry out or get stunted while in their pack for too long. Start sowing straight immediately.

After planting, give the soil enough water to ensure it gets off to a healthy start, and then cover it with mulch to prevent evaporation and maintain soil temperature. The plants need to be watered consistently, and you should give them 1 to 1.5 inches of additional water each week if there is not enough rain.


Harlequin bugs, cabbage loopers, diamondback moths, imported cabbageworms, cutworms, cabbage maggots, thrips, and webworms are some of the insects that prey on Brussels sprouts. Other pests include harlequin bugs and diamondback moths. Aphids are pests that are notoriously difficult to manage. Powdery mildew and rust are two more diseases that may be problematic for plants.

The Gathering And the Storing

brussels sprouts harvest

brussels sprouts harvest

The plant's base is where sprouts begin to grow initially, and over many weeks, they work their way up toward the crown. When ready to harvest, Brussels sprouts have small heads that are compact, green, and measure between one and two inches in diameter. To remove sprouts, twist them until they separate from the plant and pull them off. When you take off the lower sprouts, you may also take off any leaves that have turned yellow; the plant will continue to grow higher, generating additional leaves and sprouts. The plant can tolerate cold and will continue to produce fruit until a deep freeze. When mild frosts follow bright days at night, the sprouts produced are of the highest possible quality. You may fool the sprouts into developing all at once as winter approaches if you cut off the top of the plant around three weeks before you want to harvest them. This will cause the sprouts to mature all at once. A mature plant in good condition may produce up to three pounds of sprouts. They come swiftly at first, but their rate will eventually slow as the temperature drops. Once a sprout has been plucked, there will be no further growth in that location. The benefits of full-grown sprouts in the Southern Hemisphere include being resistant to the effects of cold weather while still growing in the ground during the winter since as long as they are planted in the fall, they will be resistant to cold weather during the winter. It is common practice for gardeners in colder areas to bury Brussel sprout plants up to their tops in hay or leaves in the late autumn and then harvest the sprouts individually as required during the winter.

brussels sprouts storage

brussels sprouts storage

Place sprouts that have not been cleaned and are still fresh in plastic bags and place them in the refrigerator. It should be noted, however, that the newer the sprouts are, the better they will taste, so be sure not to keep them in the refrigerator for longer than a day or two. And you shouldn't throw away the leaves! They taste fantastic when prepared in the same manner as collard greens.

The transplants for Brussel sprout plants appear similar to cabbage, a close cousin of Brussels sprouts. Large leaves develop on the plant's stems as the plant continues to climb higher.

On the plant's central stalk, buds begin to develop initiatives around the base and continue to do so up to the top of the plant.

Removing the leaves makes it possible to access the sprouts ready to be harvested more efficiently.

The growth rate of the sprouts may be sped up if the top of the plant is removed when it has reached its maximum size and the sprouts are already in full bloom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where on the plant should I look for the sprouts to begin appearing?

The sprouts are carried both vertically and horizontally along the stem.

How can I ensure that each of my sprouts develops at the same rate?

If you prune the plant such that the top six inches are trimmed off, then all of the products will be available to harvest in three to six weeks.

Why do my sprouts create loose heads rather than compact ones?

When hot weather causes the development of sprouts (as might occur in the spring or during warm autumn), the sprouts often do not form compact heads.

How can I tell when the sprouts are ready to be picked?

When sprouts have a diameter of between one and two inches and are firm, like little cabbages, they are ready to be harvested. Some gardeners cut the top of the plant off to encourage all of the sprouts to grow at around the same time, and this causes the ones towards the bottom of the plant to mature first.

Why do my sprouts have such a sour taste?

When sprouts are allowed to grow in hot weather or when kept on the plant for an excessive amount of time, they have an unpleasant bitter flavor.