Heat Up Your Garden With Colorful Kale

Ornamental kale makes cool-season gardens more colorful.
Related To:
gby1309_1e_ornamental_kale

gby1309_1e_ornamental_kale

There was a time when master gardener Paul James wasn't all that keen on ornamental kale.

"To me, it just looked like cabbage, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not necessarily the look I wanted in my ornamental beds," he says.

But all that has changed, because ornamental kale is now available in a whole range of new colors, shapes and textures. These cool-season cuties can dress up a garden in ways that no other plant can.

Of course, you can still get the old standbys like these green and purple varieties, but there's so much more to choose from.

'Snow Prince', for example, features long, deeply cut leaves and a center that turns purple. 'Purple Peacock' has unusual foliage and features interesting, contrasting colors. 'Red Bull' has wrinkled magenta leaves that get even more magenta as temperatures drop. 'Tuscan Black' is a rather strange but appealing beauty featuring really unusual textures.

All kales require cool weather for optimum growth, which is why they're ordinarily sold in late summer to late fall. They also like moist, rich soil, and at least a few hours of sunlight a day. Beyond that, they're pretty easy to grow whether in the ground or in containers, and they can handle temperatures down in the 20s. If that weren't enough, kales combine well with other fall favorites including mums and pansies.

"So you see," says James, "ornamental kales aren't what they used to be. These days they're different, bold, and exciting or - said another way - kales are cool."

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden to Table: Kale

Loaded with nutrients, including beta carotene and vitamin C, kale is good…and good for you.

Kudos for Kale: Why You Need it in Your Garden

This delicious, trendy and healthful green is a must for any vegetable garden.

Guide to Growing Kale

Discover why this nutrient-dense vegetable will make a bountiful addition to your garden area.

A Love Letter to Lacinato Kale

This hearty garden green has won one gardener's heart.

Kale Yes! One Leafy Green's Many Merits

A doctor and chef team up to bring out the sexy side of kale.

How to Sow and Plant Leafy Crops

Lush, leafy vegetables flourish in pots and their decorative colors and shapes add drama to both garden and plate.

Decorate Your Garden With Ornamental Trees

Learn how to choose a tree that will last, and delight, for years.

Grow Your Own Salad Garden

Learn how to grow crisp greens and veggies for homemade salads.

Chocolate Kale Fudge Pop

Don’t give these fiber-rich frozen treats the cold shoulder.

Dig In: Kale Mayonnaise

Toast the health benefits of kale with this great bread spread.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Flip or Flop

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

8:30am | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10am | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop

11am | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30am | 10:30c

Flipping Texas

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Property Brothers

8pm | 7c

Log Cabin Living

11:30pm | 10:30c

Log Cabin Living

2:30am | 1:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.