Brussels Sprouts

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (Unharvested)


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Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and an excellent source of protein and vitamins. They have a long growing season, and are generally more successful when grown for a fall harvest, as they only increase in flavor after a light frost or two.


  • Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost.
  • While starting seeds indoors is recommended, you may also direct sow seeds 4 months before the first fall frost. You may also have luck finding seedlings at a nursery.
  • Raised beds are especially recommended for cold season vegetables, especially when seasons are changing and temps are not consistent.
  • Work fertilizer into soil a few days before planting or transplanting.
  • Plant transplant seedlings 12-24 inches apart.
  • If direct sowing seeds, plant ½ inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. Thin plants to 12-24 inches apart when they reach 6 inches tall.
  • Water well at time of planting/transplanting.


  • Fertilize three weeks after transplanting.
  • Mulch to retain moisture and keep the soil temperature cool.
  • Do not cultivate, roots are shallow and susceptible to damage.



  • Harvest sprouts from the bottom of the stalk when they reach about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Do not wash the sprouts before storing them, only right before use.
  • Keep in plastic for up to 5 days, in the refrigerator.
  • Protect the plant by mulching with straw or providing a cover if you plan to harvest into the winter.

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Brussel Sprouts

I planted three Brussel sprout plants in mid May this year. This is the first time I've tried planting Brussel sprouts. It is now mid June, and the plants look extremely healthy. The stalks look to be about 3/4" in diameter, and about 3-4 inches tall, but so far only leaves are growing out from the stalks. We had a mild/wet spring in NW Ohio, but has been extremely hot lately. Is there anything I need to be doing now to promote the sprouts?

sprouts have sprouted

See the CARE guidance above, Joe. Sprouts like cool conditions; that’s why it’s wise to mulch at the stem. (They almost seem to slow or stop growing when it gets hot, although that might be my imagination at play.) As noted above, too, fertilize. A balanced formula is sufficient, just don’t over do the nitrogen. Sprouts need the better part of the season to come to full maturity and a sweetened by a touch of frost. Water them when the ground dries our, but beyond that, just wait and watch. Good luck!

Planted too close, leave or move?

I realize I planted my five sprouts wayyyy too close to one another, probably about 4 inches apart. They've been growing for almost 2 months, and look to be on good track. Is it better to leave them alone and hope for the best, or risk moving them?


You might want to just cut some off at the soil line (thinning out your plantings)–do not pull the plants up, as they may disturb the roots of the plants you are keeping.You could keep them all, but they likely would not yield as well as ones that have more room to grow, or be as vigorous in the long run.

Brussel Sprouts bolting/flowering early before growing sprouts

HI, I live in Northern California in the Sierra Nevadas in the Tahoe National Forest area at about 2000 ft. elevation. I planted a dozen brussel sprouts as starts that I bought back in late Sept/ early Oct. 2016 and they have been slow to get going through the very rainy, cold winter season. I fed the soil with Borax (Boron) which I diluted a tablespoon of the powder with a gallon of water when I first planted them. I mixed dried chicken manure with the soil and covered the soil around them with straw. Some of the plants leaves have turned red or yellow at the bottom of the stalks and then about half of them just started to bolt and flower before they had a chance to get tall enough to start growing sprouts. What could I have done wrong or what could I have done or do differently? Please help.


Sometimes young brussels sprout plants will bolt if they are exposed to cold temperatures over a few weeks, such as below 40F. To avoid this, you can select slow-bolting types, or plant when the weather is warmer. You might also have your soil tested to see if it has too little, or too much, of a needed nutrient. Hope this helps!

Still hoping for Brussel Sprouts

I planted my brussel sprouts seeds in September of last year (ideal planting time for my area per the low desert planting guide). The plants sprouted within 4 days and grew throughout the winter (we had a wet but mild winter). It's been 5 1/2 months, the leaves are green and hearty, however, there is still no stalk growing. Given the length of time it's been, do you think there is a chance we will get sprouts this spring? It's going to be getting hot here soon (up in the 80s this week). :-)

brussels but no sprouts...

This is a puzzle, Suzanne. Do you mean there is no stalk? Or there are no sprouts on the stem? Brussels sprouts like—no, love—rich, composted soil that contains aged cow manure. While we can not be certain that’s what has stunted the plants’ growth, soil is the source of many problems. Spread some compost/manure soil mix around, and scratch the soil a bit to “open” it (be careful not to disrupt roots). Then water as needed to soak the soil mix so it will soak into the ground.

While these plants prefer cooler conditions, we grow them here in New Hampshire through some pretty hot spells, so you may be ok. Let us know how it goes.

Planted late last year, still keepin' on.

I stubbornly planted my brussel sprouts this past May (in Portland, Oregon) where I should have planted them in February. As such, of the two plants I grew from seed, one survived. Said plant grew very slowly and resiliently through Summer, then Fall and on through this Winter. It is now a modest 6" tall, never produced more than a few leaves and has more life than ever, with the cold upon us.

My question is: Is my plant going to produce sprouts this year, even though I started it last year?

worth a try

I’m not sure if your plant will produce sprouts. It has certainly been a trouper, though! The shorter days may have something to do with its very slow growth. Perhaps it might perk up toward springtime, provided that temperatures do not dip much below 20F in the meantime, and other environmental conditions are optimum. Normal planting time for fall/winter harvest in your area is about August, for November through January harvest, depending on cultivar, timing, etc. Keep an eye out for signs of bolting (which can happen in late winter for summer-planted sprouts).

brussel sprouts

This my first year growing brussel sprouts, my plants are about 4 feet high with lots of little sprouts on them. I saw a video that said to trim the bottom big leaves off, which I did. Now I just don't know when I can harvest them. Also I heard they will come up again next year is that true.

harvesting brussels sprouts

You can harvest the brussels sprouts when they are between 1 and 2 inches in diameter and still firm - do not wait until leaves yellow. The sprouts on the lower part of the plant will mature first. Brussels sprouts are biennials, meaning that they will flower and set seed the next year and then the plants will die. Most gardeners treat this crop as an annual, unless they are saving seed the second year.

Brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts
after the plants get growing and the sprouts start to develop I have been told to remove the leaves so the sprouts will develop, is this true? I have tried to grow these before with no luck, The sprouts start to develop but never look like store bought, no small heads, just leaves....

leaves and heads

The sprouts will grow on their own, without leaf removal, but for larger sprouts, it helps to remove some of the leaves. When a leaf below a sprout begins to turn yellow, you can remove it to give the sprout more room to grow, as well as exposing it to more sunlight. It also helps the plant to focus its energy on developing the sprout rather than maintaining a decaying leaf. Trim the leaf back to about 1 inch from the main stem.
Some gardeners do this earlier on, when the lower sprouts are just begin to develop, or when they are about half the size that they’d like them to be. Often, one would work on the lower third of the plant first, then as the middle third of sprouts develop to the proper size, those leaves would be trimmed as well. One should leave the top third or so leaves on the plant, so that it can make food for itself.

If plants form sprouts that are loose, not compact, it might be due to high temperatures at the time the heads develop (temperatures should be below 75F or so). Next time, time your crop so that it starts to form heads during cooler weather of autumn. Keep up with the fertilizer/compost, too, and keep soil evenly moist. Mulch will help.

brussel sprouts

I have six plants that are growing beautifully. they are 18 to 24" tall. when do I start pruning leaves ?

brussel sprout problem

I planted brussel sprouts for the first time in my garden this year they are growing beautifully but the large leaves are starting to get lots of holes in them like something eating on it, but i cant see anything on them. What would u reccomend to stop this from happening? Thank u very much for your time. Im in northeastern alabama if that helps.

holes in leaves

Brussels sprouts have a lot of the same pests that cabbage does. If the holes are tiny, but lots of them, these might be from flea beetles; see for more about control. If the holes are large and ragged, they might be from cabbage loopers or imported cabbageworms.
For cabbageworm control, please see: 
For cabbage looper control, options include handpicking or using BTK or garlic oil.

First time grower

I've never done sprouts until this year. But my plants seem to be growing well. They are about a foot tall with the main stalk being about on in in diameter. But they have lots of the round leaves all the way up the stalk.
Should I be cutting those off or leave them there. I live in Illinois.
So summer temperatures can very so much. So I just want the plants to do the best as possible. I plants jade cross "e" variety.

Flowering Brussel sprout plants

We had a mild winter and our Brussels sprout plants are still producing sprouts and have lovely yellowish flowers on the top of the stalk. Can or should we let them grow for another season? and will they produce another lovely crop for us? we have three plants with flowers

Brussels sprouts are biennial

Brussels sprouts are biennial and they grow their sprouts in the first year. The sprouts form flowers in their second year and become unpalatable. So most gardeners plant Brussels sprouts as “annuals” and pull them out.

We started Brussels sprouts

We started Brussels sprouts from seeds indoors and they are growing fine but we noticed one of the plants has leaves turning slightly yellow and starting to curl. We aren't sure what to do or what caused that.

yellow leaves

Andrea, there could be a few reasons foro this: Did you use clean containers and starting growing medium? Disease in either could be the culprit. Are the seedlings crowded in the container? Lack of or poor circulation could be the problem. Is soil too wet? Seedlings may be drowning. In anycase, remove the failling seedling.

I just found this plant in my yard! HELP!

2 years ago we planted random plants in a planter and thought everything died. Today I happened upon 1 huge plant with maybe 3 or 4 other stalks with big heads on them. I removed the sprouts and pruned the leaves. My husband staked the plant upward. I removed as many weeds as possible. Do I have hope for this plant? I'm not a gardener and don't know what to do or expect. I left the big heads on each stalk. I live in Houston, Texas. I wish I could attach pictures!

mystery plant

Michelle, It is impossible to know what this might be without seeing it, and even then we might only be able to guess. Send a picture to us at and we’ll try. But please understand that we can’t promise an answer. (As far as that goes, you could take a pic to a local nursery or garden supply and ask the folks there, too.)


Bad Green Thumb

I'm a novice at this!
I didn't cover my Brussels sprouts through the winter months and the first sign of spring is upon us. They are dried up now and not sure if they are salvageable. Any recommendations?
Thanks, and I've learned a lot from these posts.

old sprouts

Chris, brussels sprouts are annuals, so they are not going to “come back,” if that’s what you’re asking.

Your best bet is to pull the stalks and discard (compost) them, and plant a new crop this year—but ideally not in the same place. Sprouts are heavy feeders that benefit from even simple rotation.

Brussel sprouts

Should you break off the leaves during the summer in order to train the energy of the plant towards sprout growth or should the leaves be allowed to continue to grow?

Some growers remove the 

Some growers remove the  lower 6 to 8 leaves as the sprouts develop. But do leave several of the largest, healthiest upper leaves intact to continue feeding the plant.

Frozen Drooping Leaves

My plants have Frozen Drooping Leaves for the 3rd time, I've been covering them after the 2nd time with no droop upon uncovering at sun rise but the weather people expected no frost or such chill so I didn't cover them last night, is this Frozen Drooping Leaves state not good? They perked up the first 2 times, I expect they will again but not sure yet, I live in Southern Maine, I will be covering them every night from now on if they survive this 3rd freezing thanks to the weather report being wrong, thinking on packing in hay but how do they get the sun they need doing so?

Has anyone ever tried to grow

Has anyone ever tried to grow a sprout of a brussel sprout plant.I cut one off put it into dirt and waiting to see what happens.

I planted Brussel Sprouts

I planted Brussel Sprouts again this year, but have yet to get any from the plant. I didn't get any last year either. They look good and green and leaves are nice but I am not getting any sprouts - I see they are fall plants but how long should I wait to see if I get them?

Hi we grew these for the

Hi we grew these for the first time this year and i have a few questions, Is there a certain way to pick them off stlak or just pluck them, are they supposed to stink so bad , and can i wash then freeze them or do they need blanching? thanks

Brussels sprouts taste best

Brussels sprouts taste best if harvested after frost. To pick them just give them a twist and pop them off the stalk. They should be blanched in boiling water 3-5 minutes depending on the size. If your brussels sprouts smell bad, something is wrong! Are they cracked, moldy, or squishy? I would not advise eating anything that smells bad!

"Stinky sprouts"

Sprouts do smell. I've NEVER had sprouts that didn't smell. Lol.
An avid sprout eater may think they don't smell, but they do have a unique smell.

I am growing brussel sprouts

I am growing brussel sprouts in florida and at present they are about 2 feet tall.
There's roughly 15 rows of sprouts that should be full compact sprouts, but the sprout leaves are smaller and are opening up.

That's bad enough, but the strangest thing is this... the plant leaves on the very top 5 or 6 rows of the plant are curling or wrapping around each other and not growing outward.
It's like the new green growth on top of the plant is trying to become one big sprout!

In dire need of help!!!

John (novice gardener)

Brussels sprouts like cool

Brussels sprouts like cool weather. In Florida, it is best to plant them outdoors from October through December. In warm weather, the sprout heads will form loosely, as you are experiencing. It also sounds like your plants are beginning to bolt (flower), which occurs in warmer weather. The top of the plant will elongate and form flowers. This can affect the quality of your sprouts. You can try to delay this a little by removing the top part of the plant where the flowers are forming, to encourage the lower sprouts to mature. Some say that applying a little nitrogen might also help to delay bolting.

I planted brussel sprout

I planted brussel sprout plants in April. I see little sprouts but the plants themselves are short. Aren't they supposed to grow tall? They look like cabbage.except there are sprouts. Should I be doing something to make them grow tall? I am in se wis.

Brussels sprouts that are

Brussels sprouts that are stunted in a flat (as seedlings) may very well be stunted as they mature. Stunting also results from drought, weed competition, disease (such as fulsarium wilt; are leaves yellowing?) and/or insect damage. Also, these plants thrive best in cooler temps. Summer conditions may contribute to stunting their growth. We hope this helps!



1st time growing brussel

1st time growing brussel sprouts and they look amazing! Close to 4 ' tall with lots of sprouts. Some sprouts in the middle of the plant are 1+" in diameter but the sprouts below are still small. Can I start picking from the middle of plant and hope the bottom sprouts will catch up?

It's certainly worth a try!

It's certainly worth a try! Harvest the lower sprouts before the nearby leaves turn yellow. Hopefully, those sprouts will increase to 1 inch before then.

Thanks for the quick

Thanks for the quick response. I'll keep you posted!

I am growing Brussels Sprouts

I am growing Brussels Sprouts in June in the Southeast. They are 4-feet tall now. Can I cut the stalk about 6 inches above the ground? Will they keep on growing through the winter?  Thanks.

Hi, Phillip, Do you mean cut

Hi, Phillip,
Do you mean cut the stalks off? If you separate the stalks from the root, the plants will stop growing. If the sprouts are large enough (even pea size), you could eat them after cutting.
Sprouts are cool weather crops and would do better if begun in the late summer early fall, and continued through winter. They can take a frost, even a snow, if that's the weather where you are. So you could try again later in the year.
Read other comments below about growing brussel sprouts in the South and southern climes.

Hello, I planted my brussels


I planted my brussels sprouts seedlings outside in late April..they are doing great and getting tall and leafy. How long will it take for the stalk to form in the center where the sprouts will be? Is there something I should do to promote this growth?


I am new to gardening, this

I am new to gardening, this year I have a beautiful garden growing. I planted Brussels sprouts and they look great so far but my brother is telling me to pull off the bottom leaves and only leave the top, or the won't produce. Is this true??

The sprouts will grow on

The sprouts will grow on their own, without leaf removal, but for larger sprouts, it helps to remove some of the leaves. When a leaf below a sprout begins to turn yellow, you can remove it to give the sprout more room to grow, as well as exposing it to more sunlight. It also helps the plant to focus its energy on developing the sprout rather than maintaining a decaying leaf. Trim the leaf back to about 1 inch from the main stem.
Some gardeners do this earlier on, when the lower sprouts are just begin to develop, or when they are about half the size that they'd like them to be. Often, one would work on the lower third of the plant first, then as the middle third of sprouts develop to the proper size, those leaves would be trimmed as well. One should leave the top third or so leaves on the plant, so that it can make food for itself.
You might like to read this page from the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension for more information:

I had a great Brussels sprout

I had a great Brussels sprout last fall. This spring 1-2 new 4-5 inch plants are growing from the base of some of the old "dead" stems. If I allow them to grow, you think these new plants will produce sprouts or just go to seed?

Brussels sprouts are biennial

Brussels sprouts are biennial and they grow their sprouts in the first year. Once picked, the sprouts do not grow back.The sprouts form flowers in their second year and become unpalatable. So most gardeners plant Brussels sprouts as "annuals" and pull them out.

Why are my Brussel sprouts

Why are my Brussel sprouts opening up??

If your Brussels sprouts are

If your Brussels sprouts are opening, your soil may be too loose and infertile. This plant likes heavy soil, even on the tight side.
It's best to mix in lots of well-rotted compost in autumn to give the soil time to settle and firm up.
The other reason sprouts can open up:  the weather got too warm. They are cool-season veggies.

If you plant in spring once

If you plant in spring once the frost date has come, they're going to have to grow through the summer. So how can they NOT get too hot? I live in zone 5, btw.

It really depends where you

It really depends where you live.  Many southern gardeners find that Brussels sprouts grow better in the fall than late spring/summer because it gets too hot there. We think they taste great in the fall after a nice fall frost.

Hi, I planted cabbage from

Hi, I planted cabbage from seed last year and they never seemed to look especially healthy, I'm just tidying up and sorting my veg patch again but the cabbage (and sprout) plants are looking really good! We have had e winter and most of the frost now. I'm wondering if I should just leave them in the ground and see what happens this year? What do you think? Thank you very much :-)

It sounds like you might be

It sounds like you might be growing a winter cabbage variety, which can sometimes overwinter (depending on climate, cultivar, etc.). Depending on cultivar, planting date, and your climate, these might be ready for harvest in late fall, winter, or early spring. If you have already harvested the head on each plant, it is possible that you might get a few sprouts growing along the stem, but likely not another main head. The sprouts will grow into tiny heads (about 2 to 4 inches wide), which you can harvest. If no main head has formed yet, and you have the space in the garden for the experiment, leave the plants be and see if each produces a cabbage. Protect the plants from any frosts/freezes in the meantime, just in case.

Wow thank you for such a

Wow thank you for such a quick response! Ok the experiment is on! Very detailed advice as well thank you :-)

Hello How many kilograms

How many kilograms sprouts can be produced in each hectare at suitable conditions?

I have a unique question to

I have a unique question to this thread and unusual experience this year. I am glad to see that they are biennial. In the fall my sprouts didn't form tight most likely due to very hot and dry weather. I was able to harvest some throughout our un-winter. Now (Feb.21 - with 7th week of 40's degree nights and near 60's days.), each sprout has sprouted and becoming a branch with beautiful lush leaves. Can I eat these - taste like broccoli? There must be a reason why people eat the sprouts and don't eat the branches. Or is it because of the very long growth plant cycle and they never usually get this far before a killing frost or two? Should I trim the branches? When is best? This is a really weird winter here, daffodils have been in full bloom for a week. Trees are flowering. Bees are out.

Hi Lori, Yes, your warm

Hi Lori,
Yes, your warm weather has caused the plants to keep growing and not producing tight sprouts. You can eat the tender stems and leaves. Some people don't care for the taste of the leaves. If you leave your plants growing they will eventually bolt and produce flowers and seed heads. You can save the seeds when dry and scatter them on the soil for new plants.

It got down to 16 degrees

It got down to 16 degrees last night and my brussels sprouts
plants froze. Can I still prepare them for freezing or are they ruined?

If you can't cook the the

If you can't cook the the sprouts right away place the frozen sprouts in freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Do not thaw them.

The same thing has happened

The same thing has happened to me! I'm harvesting the frozen sprouts today. They are popping off of the stalks easily. I'm going to throw them in the freezer and cook a few with dinner. I am hoping they will be okay as they are beautiful. I didn't expect these early winter temperatures!

Last season ours froze, we

Last season ours froze, we brought right in and kept em. Also cooked spme, they were fine.

I have been patiently waiting

I have been patiently waiting to be able to pick my brussle sprouts. But now it snowed the first time this year. It was my first garden and they looked great but the sprouts were only the size of a pea. Should I give up on them? Can I dig them up and bring them inside?

Hi Ricky, You may have

Hi Ricky,
You may have planted the brussels sprouts too late in the season. They need a long growing season. Your sprouts will not grow much bigger with the cold weather arriving. You can harvest the entire stalk and cook the sprouts and leaves. Or you can leave the stalks in the garden. They will not do well indoors.

I grew 4 Brussel sprout

I grew 4 Brussel sprout plants this year, harvested enough for my satisfaction. After they were done, I knocked the stalks down and composted them. About 3 weeks ago I noticed 4 young plants emerging in the same spot as the previous plants. What can I do to prevent this? It's not a big deal for me, but it's already November and last night we had a good frost. I plan on clipping the young leaves and putting them into a soup recipe. Let me know what everyone thinks!

Had you cut the plants to the

Had you cut the plants to the ground and they sprouted from the base of the stalks, or are these volunteer seedlings? Brussels sprouts are biennial and will, especially with some winter protection (depending on where you live), overwinter to sprout again early next season and flower that second year.
If these seedlings sprouted from the old stalks, you can try overwintering them (protect them with mulch etc.) and let them grow in late winter/early spring for one more harvest before they bloom.
Or, you can remove the entire plants (roots and all) if you don't want them to grow back.
Or, perhaps next time delay when you knock down the stalks (which perhaps was encouraging new growth, especially if you had some warmer weather meantime)--wait until after several hard frosts; some plants can be harvested into December.
Or, plant later, if possible, so that you can harvest them after a few frosts; it is thought that the flavor improves after the brussels sprouts have experienced a frost.
Anyone else have ideas?

Last year I planted tiny

Last year I planted tiny Brussels Sprouts plants that I purchased at a nursery. The plants thrived, but were attacked by aphids. It was so severe that I cut the plants literally to the ground, intending to just have the roots decompose in the soil as compost. Much to my surprise, the plants sprouted back up and are now producing a gorgeous crop! Once I harvest, can I cut to the ground again and have any chance of a repeat performance?

Hello, I live in milwaukee

Hello, I live in milwaukee WI. I planted my brussel sprouts in May it's now end October. I have huge stalks, but no sprouts. I'm getting ready for a nasty winter and wondering if I should dig them up or will they maybe produce sprouts next year? Can I leave the stalks in the ground? And if so should I trim the leaves or cover the plants? Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks in advance.

I live in Madison, WI. Last

I live in Madison, WI. Last year I had 2 purple Brussels sprouts that didn't produce, and I left them in the garden. I didn't mulch because I wasn't trying to overwinter them (I was just lazy about clearing the garden). We had an unusually rough winter, and they both survived. This year I got my Brussels sprouts. If you mulch, there's a chance they will come back and produce next year.

I live in northern Minnesota

I live in northern Minnesota and have been growing brussel sprouts in raised beds for 3 yrs.I collect rain water from the gutters and use it for all of my raised beds.All of my plants benefit from the rain water as it is all natural. Our city water almost kills everything I used to water with it. My brussel sprouts have done the best this yr as I learned to get them as plants and get them in the ground on the day of purchase as soon as they come out in our local garden center.They love the cool soil here and are provided with partial shade during hot days in our back yard.The last 2 yrs we have had cool summers with plenty of rain in the spring.I had to haul water from my reserve tanks daily during dry spell but the results have been amazing. It is mid,October and we have had 2 light freezes in the mid 20's over night.Our sprouts range from baby pea size to a little over 1 in across. I removed leaves from the bottom of the plant as it developed pea sized sprouts thruout the summer leaving at least 15 to 20 leaves at the top. where the leaves where removed the sprouts grew the best.I have shared the excess sprouts with other gardeners and will have enough to freeze about 8 quart bags for the winter

Hi Y'all. I'm a British "ex

Hi Y'all.
I'm a British "ex pat" and live on the North German Coast about 100km North of Hamburg. I am trying to grow Sprouts this Year for the first time. I started them from Seed and they took an eternity to germinate. However, they are doing well in the Garden and look very healthy. It's now the end of August and absolutely no sign of the Sprouts developing. Our Soil is very sandy but well manured. I hope to be able to harvest for Christmas (although they are easy to buy in the Shops). Am I going to see any results ?

The lower trunk of my brussel

The lower trunk of my brussel sprout plants are brown and rough almost like tree bark, the top part of the plant looks normal. What could be causing this? I live in MN and planted them in late May.

Could this just be age? The

Could this just be age? The lower part of the main stem is older. If the brussels sprouts themselves are OK, it should be fine. Brussels sprouts are susceptible to boron deficiency, which can cause corky stems, but if your plant looks healthy otherwise, including the leaves, it probably isn't this. Clubroot can cause swellings on the roots underground, but you don't see this aboveground--just eventually that the plant wilts or leaves yellow.

I am going to experiment and

I am going to experiment and grow brusselsprouts hydroponically. Do you have any recommendations to making sure I have the right nutrients?

Brussels sprouts are "heavy

Brussels sprouts are "heavy feeders," meaning that they need a lot of fertilizer in soil. What exactly that means in a hydroponic system is not so clear cut. We can not find much about growing b-sprouts in water. This is our best advice:
• Watch this video by a fellow who has an impressive set up and talks about what he used last year, including on his b-sprouts: . You might contact him and see how his did.
• In this video, the gardener speaks specifically of his (remarkable) success with particular fertilizers on lettuce; if you contact him, he may have advice on growing sprouts and the sources he cites may have more:
Good luck wiht this. Let us know how your garden grows!

When do I take the lower

When do I take the lower leaves of my Brussel Sprouts & should I cut top off to encourage harvesting

Hi, Don, commercial growers

Hi, Don, commercial growers often remove the leaves the hasten the harvest, but it seems a bit of a gamble in the home gardens (where you're bound to have only a few precious plants). Some gardeners remove the bottom 6 to 8 leaves as the sprouts develop, and then take 2 or 3 more weeks in succeeding weeks—but not so often as to strip the plant. Keep a few large leaves on/near the top of the plant; these will continue to feed the plant.
That said, if you do not pull off the bottom leaves early on, definitely remove them—and harvest the sprouts—when the leaves turn yellow.

We have tried to grow sprouts

We have tried to grow sprouts before we live in pa and plant 1st week of June first year nothing pulled it out this year same in June they are bushy ferterlized well watered temps are75 to90 will I get anything in these conditions never grew before any tips can I leave plant in will it grow back next year, site a raised bed hope someone can help

It will take a little while

It will take a little while for the plants to start growing the stem. Usually you will see the little sprouts start forming at the bottom of the stem about 50 days after planting.

Hi, i planted our brussel

Hi, i planted our brussel sprouts in may and heres the middle of June.The plants look healty and bushy but no sprouts yet and its in the mid 80s will it be too hot for them ?If not when should we something? Thanks Bruce.

Hi, Bruce: See the Reply

Hi, Bruce: See the Reply below ... sounds like you're a little premature in your concern, as b-sprouts usually need at least 100 days to grow. While you're at it, though, consider planting a second crop to mature in the fall. Sprouts power to you!

Thanks for the come back guys

Thanks for the come back guys on the brussel sprouts.I keep seeing these little moths flying around them and now i am seeing holes in the leaves .Should i dust them? Thanks Bruce.

I live on the Texas coast and

I live on the Texas coast and planted Brussel Sprouts last fall in a raised garden. It is now June and the plants are 3 plus feet tall, look very healthy, but the sprouts are the size of marbles and don't appear to be getting any larger. I have grown them before in Colorado with great success. Any idea why I have only miniature sprouts? I thought everything was bigger in Texas...grin.

Hi, C.J.: Haha! Actually, a

Hi, C.J.: Haha! Actually, a friend from Oklahoma once told us that the biggest thing in Texas was lack of gardening knowledge, but of course we didn't believe him! Seriously, though -- and assuming that your raised garden is carefully prepared and not too acidic (below 6) -- this sounds like a temperature challenge. As you know, the growing season for b-sprouts is about 90-100 days, and they are a cool-season crop that does best when they mature in cooler temps. Your "cool" season, such as it is (not like Colorado, is it? -- which may explain something right there), should be in December-January, so back up your planting time from there. You can indeed grow good b-sprouts in South Texas -- just research a variety that is "warm"-friendly, make sure your soil is alkaline, and stay on top of watering. Then we're talkin' big, Texas-style!

I live in south west

I live in south west michigan. Can I plant my brussel sprout seeds directly in my raised be now (first week in June) or should I wait until late summer?

Hi, Cheryl Ann: Sure can!

Hi, Cheryl Ann: Sure can! There are tools right here to help you figure that out. Above, under Planting, you'll see that you can direct-sow 4 months before the first frost. If you click on Gardening, then Frost Dates calculator, you can plug in your zip code to get the date for your area. We used Three Rivers and got October 5, 4 months from ... well, today! Another way to do it is to go to Gardening, then Best Planting Dates, then plug in your zip code (although the software should just carry it over from your previous inquiry), then see brussels sprouts. For Three Rivers, this tool gives April 1 to mid-May as the best direct-sow times, so you are right in the tail end of the direct-sow season for bsprouts -- just in time! These tools are free and apply to many veggies and fruit, so help yourself -- and share knowledge of them with your friends!

Hi, I bought some Brussel

Hi, I bought some Brussel Sprouts at Walmart in the garden section. I planted them in May. They still look the same way as I bought them. Just the head of leaves no stem is growing?? Is that normal.. When will it start growing ? I live In Canada. Thanks

Hi Tanya, It will take a

Hi Tanya,
It will take a little while for the plants to start growing the stem. Usually you will see the little sprouts start forming at the bottom of the stem about 50 days after planting.

I planted brussels sprouts

I planted brussels sprouts last year. They only grew about a foot and produced no sprouts, but this spring they are now 4-5 ft tall and covered with yellow flowers. Will they get any sprouts this year? I did not cut off flowers. Did I make a mistake? They were beautiful in the garden.

If this is the second year

If this is the second year for the brussels sprout they will flower and produce seed as they are biennials. Sometimes bolting (flowering) also occurs in spring and early summer when cool-season vegetables are subjected to warmer temperatures and longer days. You will probably not get any sprouts this year.

I have already planted my

I have already planted my brussel sprout seeds we are in the last 2 weeks of April is this okay. This is the first time I have ever tried growing the....Michigan gardener

It may help you to explore

It may help you to explore our Best Planting Dates for Veggies page which is customized to your location:

I just bough my brussel

I just bough my brussel sprouts plants its now mid April, my plants are small I notice you said they do not like temperatures over 70 degrees, should I be growing these at another time. I see everyone purchasing them so sure what to do. I have never grown them and need some advice.

I'm not sure when you planted

I'm not sure when you planted them, but it's early yet. It's best to plant Brussels sprouts in early spring as they like cool weather. Did you add some fertilizer? They are heavy feeders so that would help. 

Our Brussels sprouts are

Our Brussels sprouts are almost three years old(no sprouts yet). They have what appear to be suckers(new plants growing from a parent's root zone). Do Brussels sprout have suckers?

Brussels sprouts are slow

Brussels sprouts are slow growers, but three years is inordinately long. The suckers may be the plant's way of self-sustaining.
The best recommendation is to start fresh this season. Sprouts are heavy feeders, so plant them in rich composted and well drained soil. Amend the soil before planting to a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Water often to maintain consistent moisture.

I have a brussel sprout that

I have a brussel sprout that grew over the winter and still looks pretty good. I live in Texas by the Oklahoma border, and I am getting ready to plant my garden again this year. I don't want to waste any space, so I am wondering if I should pull up last year's brussel sprout plant, or leave it. Will it continue to produce in year 2?

In places with mild winters,

In places with mild winters, Brussels sprouts can be grown through winter for harvest in early spring. 
As biennials, they will produce yellow flowers and seedpods in Year 2. You could dry the seedpods and save the largest seeds to replant. Under dry storage, the seeds can last up to 3 years.

Do I need to prune off the

Do I need to prune off the leaves on my Brussels sprouts to aid in development of rhe small heads

After planting our garden

After planting our garden which includes brussel sprouts (which I love), we carefully fenced it off because we have chickens, well somehow they found a way to get in and completely nibbled off all the leaves including the center of all our brussel sprouts, swiss chard and broccoli, but left the stems. They look like little skeletons! My question is, will they grow back and produce since they are just wintering over and are not fully developed.

No, they won't grow back.

No, they won't grow back. Plant some more and you'll have to fence in your garden!

Just an update on the garden.

Just an update on the garden. The brussel sprouts I had to pull up, but the broccoli and swiss chard I left. They grew back healthy and produced a large amount. Especially the swiss chard. As for the chickens getting in the garden. They dug a hole under the fence to get in. We had to surround the fence line with rocks. It's a good thing they don't have hands.

sounds like it's time to

sounds like it's time to barbecue some chicken

I live in West Tennessee,and

I live in West Tennessee,and have raised Brussels Sprouts where I lived before,but now I live on a wooded lot. There is a small area where I plant Tomatoes,Potatoes,and cucumbers. I also sometime plant Sweet Potatoes. My question is: how much sunlight do Brussels Sprouts require?

Brussels sprouts need a

Brussels sprouts need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily, more is better. Good luck!!

Please e-mail me as soon as

Please e-mail me as soon as you can. I bought brussel sprouts on the stalk. I've taken a few off to steam, but need to know how to store the rest., take them off the stalk, leave them on the stalk. Please help, and THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Usually, one harvests the

Usually, one harvests the sprouts as they grow on the stalk from the bottom up. To pick them, you can either twist them off, or better yet get a sharp knife and cut them off. Put them in a plastic bag in the the crisper part of your fridge and they'll keep for 5 to 10 days. Don't wash until you plan to use.

from Iowa I grew my brussel

from Iowa I grew my brussel sprots from seed, planted first part of June in ground, plants are about 3 feet tall with some good size sprouts on lower stem but the leaves have not turned brown, it is now first of Nov. do I go ahead and start picking from lower stem we have had a few heavy frost already?

Hi, John. At three feet tall,

Hi, John. At three feet tall, it should be time to harvest the Brussels Sprouts heads from the lower stem. The sprouts mature best in light frosty weather, ideally sunny days with frosts at night.
Though Brussels Sprouts love light frost, they can not withstand a hard freeze and need to be harvested before a freeze. As winter nears, you can fool the sprouts into maturing all at once by cutting off the top of the plant about 3 weeks before you want to harvest.

I had great luck growing

I had great luck growing broccoli here in Md, my 1st year as a gardener some time ago. I am interested in trying a fall crop of Broccoli and Brussel sprouts. My soil is somewhat naturally acid but amending an area for the Brussels to get it on the neutral side may be asking alot, any suggestions for a small raised bed (5x12)garden.

Brussels sprouts do not like

Brussels sprouts do not like acidic soil. Before deciding to raise or lower your soil's pH, you should first conduct a soil test. This is required to guide all of your planting. Contact your local county Extension office as they often conduct free soil tests or can point you in the right direction. They'll probably recommend that you add lime to your soil. In the meantime, if you want to go for fall planting ,we'd just add plenty of organic matter and most veggies should do fine. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans and onions will all grow in acidic soil.

my brussel sprouts are leafy

my brussel sprouts are leafy and loose. not solid as they should be. like they arent forming completely. what do i need to do to get them to grow right?

This is a common problem if

This is a common problem if the sprouts develop in hot weather. It might just be too warm in your areal; they do not like temps above 70 degrees. We are not sure where you live but you may need to plant them later in the summer/early fall or earlier in the spring.

Can you freeze brusell

Can you freeze
brusell spouts?

Yes, you can certainly freeze

Yes, you can certainly freeze Brussels sprouts. Just take off some of the courser outer leaves, wash, blanch (in boiling water) for a few minutes depending on size of head, then immediately emerge in cold water to stop the cooking. Dry, seal in baggies that leave no room for air, and put in freezer!

this is my first year of

this is my first year of having a garden and I have big brussel sprouts. When you talk about harvesting do you cut the entire plant or can you cut a few sprouts at a time?
and it seems that I have some in the middle that are larger than ones closer to the ground

I have what I think are

I have what I think are brussel spouts growing in my garden (at least I planted from seed what I thought are Brussels). I have several very good looking plants but they aren't growing upward stalk style....instead vine like and have little curly tentacles that grab to hold onto whatever is close. Beautiful big leaves that look cabbage like but again very tender looking not at all like what I see in pictures. Any idea what these plants might be or are the very young plants and do I need to stake them to keep stanble.

Interesting! We've never seen

Interesting! We've never seen this and can only advise that Brussels sprouts grow well when it's cool and are not typically grown this time of year. We're not sure where you live, but folks generally put in transplants around late March or April for spring crops and in late August or September for fall crops. 

It sounds like cucumbers to

It sounds like cucumbers to me. Their vines grab on to everything.

You definitely have cucumbers

You definitely have cucumbers growing it is best if you try and put up a fence 5 to 6 feet tall as the vines will climb the fence and you will have lots of cucumbers growing off the vines

Our Brussels sprouts have a

Our Brussels sprouts have a large green bush almost like a collard plant. There are little sprouts above the leaf. Should I take the leaf off or allow the sprout to grow with the leaf.

We generally do not remove

We generally do not remove leaves because they create the energy for the plant. However, as you harvest the maturing sprouts--which should happen from the bottom of the plant to the top of the plant--you can remove the leaves along the way. The leaves are edible, too! If you get tiny bunches of leaves that look as if they're going to sprout but do not, it may be getting too warm and your plant may be getting ready to go to seed.

I want to know if brussel

I want to know if brussel sprouts come back after winter? I have some new growth. Some looks like it is flowering and some look like baby plants.

Brussels sprouts are a

Brussels sprouts are a biennial (treated as an annual); the plant requires parts of two growing seasons with a cool rest period (winter) in between in order to produce seed. It is possible that yours did not have a long enough growing season last year to allow the sprouts to develop so, after resting in the winter, the plant is entering its second year of growth.

Brussel sprouts

I live in Southern MN. Could I plant my seeds directly in the ground soon and have a harvest by the first fall frost? (that's if it doesnt snow again)

According to your MN

According to your MN cooperative extension: "For fall crops, start seeds in June for Brussels sprouts. Cole crops are generally transplanted for a summer crop. Start seeds indoors in early April or 4-6 weeks before transplanting. "


when do they plant collards in in georgia

Collards like cool weather so

Collards like cool weather so early spring plantings are best.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

brussel sprouts

We have beautiful brussel sptout plants big and healthy but no sprouts. What can we do to make them produce sprouts?

Brussels sprouts tips

If you had big plants but no sprouts, did you notice any green worms? The cabbage worms or cabbage loopers? Use BT and floating row covers all season to get ahead of them. Otherwise, was it cool enough during the full 100-day growing period? And did you water a lot?

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