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Ornamental cabbage is only conditionally hardy. It can tolerate sub-zero temperatures, but the thermometer must not drop below minus 8 degrees. Since it is grown as an annual plant, overwintering is only worthwhile if you want to get seeds from the flowers.

Ornamental cabbage tolerates temperatures down to -8°C

Ornamental cabbage comes from Japan

The edible ornamental cabbage originally comes from Japan, where it was specially bred for its colored leaves. The plant is therefore used to cool temperatures. Like all cabbage varieties, it is an annual and is not usually overwintered.

In contrast to most other ornamental plants, ornamental cabbage is not cared for because of its flowers, but because of its red, yellow and green-white leaves, which become a colorful focal point in the garden or on the terrace in autumn and winter.

The flower develops in the following spring. It is worthwhile bringing the ornamental cabbage, which is not completely hardy, through the winter because the yellow flowers form a very nice contrast to the leaves. If you want to multiply ornamental cabbage yourself, you must either overwinter the plant in a pot in the greenhouse or protect it from frost outdoors.

How to overwinter ornamental cabbage

  • Cover ornamental cabbage in open ground
  • Place the ornamental cabbage in the bucket in a bright but frost-free place
  • preferably overwinter in a cool greenhouse

If you want to overwinter ornamental cabbage outdoors, you should give preference to red species, as they are most likely to tolerate cold temperatures.

Yellow and white-leaved ornamental cabbage is better cared for in a bucket. The plant can easily be placed in a cool conservatory over the winter.

In spring, bring the pot back outside and wait for the flowers to bloom. When the ornamental cabbage has faded, collect seeds for propagation. The plant is then pulled up and disposed of.

Don't forget to water in mild winters

The ornamental cabbage also survives a mild winter outdoors. It just mustn't get colder than minus 8 degrees. To be on the safe side, you should wrap the plant in foil if the weather forecast predicts sharply falling temperatures.

You must not forget to water ornamental cabbage in a mild winter. Otherwise the leaves will dry out and the cabbage will die.


Ornamental cabbage, like all types of cabbage, is incompatible with itself. Therefore, look for a new place to plant out every year or replace the potting soil completely.

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