Learn How to Grow Purple Broccoli + Best Purple Broccoli Varieties in this detailed guide for a bountiful harvest.
In this guide, you will learn how to grow Purple Broccoli along with its best varieties that will add a delightful touch to your garden and culinary creations.
Learn How to Grow Broccoli in Pots here
What is Purple Broccoli
Purple Broccoli, also known as purple sprouting broccoli, is a unique and colorful variety of broccoli (Brassica oleracea). It is closely related to the more common green broccoli but has distinct purple or deep violet-colored florets, stems, and leaves.
It has vibrant purple hues throughout its edible parts, including the florets, stems, and leaves. The color intensifies as Purple Broccoli matures. The florets are smaller and more delicate compared to regular broccoli.
This veggie has a flavor similar to green broccoli but with slight differences. It is generally described as earthy, slightly sweet, and nutty. The taste can vary depending on the specific variety and growing conditions.
Purple Broccoli is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, folate, and antioxidants. The purple color is attributed to anthocyanins, which are beneficial antioxidants that have been associated with various health benefits.
You can use Purple Broccoli in various culinary preparations. The florets and tender stems can be steamed, sautéed, roasted, or added to stir-fries, soups, or salads. It retains its vibrant purple color when cooked, making it visually appealing in dishes.
Learn Growing Romanesco Broccoli here
How to Grow Purple Broccoli
Here are quick and expert tips on how to grow Purple Broccoli:
1. Climate and Timing
- Purple Broccoli is a cool-season crop, so it thrives in regions with mild winters and moderate temperatures.
- Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date or directly sow seeds in the garden 4-6 weeks before the last frost date.
2. Soil Preparation
Choose a well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility and structure.
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- Transplant Purple Broccoli seedlings outdoors once they have 4-6 true leaves and the danger of frost has passed.
- Space plants about 18-24 inches apart in rows or raised beds.
4. Sunlight and Water
- Place Purple Broccoli in a location that receives full sun for at least 5-6 hours a day.
- Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply and regularly, especially during dry periods.
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- Prior to planting, incorporate a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil.
- Side-dress with compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the growing season to promote healthy growth.
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6. Mulching and Weed Control
Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain even soil temperature.
7. Pest and Disease Management
- Monitor for common pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and slugs. Use organic methods such as handpicking or insecticidal soap if necessary.
- Rotate crops annually and practice good garden hygiene to reduce the risk of diseases like clubroot and downy mildew.
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- Harvest the main Purple Broccoli central head when it is fully developed but before it starts to flower.
- Cut the stem 6-8 inches below the head to encourage the production of smaller side shoots.
- Side shoots can be harvested as they mature for an extended harvest period.
9. Storage and Uses
- Purple Broccoli is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Cook the florets and tender stems by steaming, roasting, sautéing, or adding them to various dishes.
Learn How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts here
Can You Grow Purple Broccoli in Pots
Yes, you can grow Purple Broccoli in pots or containers.
- Container Size: Choose a container that is at least 12-16 inches deep and has a diameter of 18-24 inches. This size provides enough space for the roots to develop and allows Purple Broccoli to grow to its full size.
- Material and Drainage: Use a container made of a sturdy material like plastic, ceramic, or terracotta. Ensure the container has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
Check 30 Types of Broccoli Varieties here
Best Purple Broccoli Varieties
- Red Arrow’: This Purple Broccoli variety produces deep purple heads and abundant side shoots. It has a sweet and nutty flavor.
- ‘Early Purple Sprouting’: It is an early-maturing variety, known for its vibrant purple florets and tender stems. It has a delicate flavor and can be harvested from late winter to early spring.
- ‘Santee’: This Purple Broccoli stands out for its striking dark purple heads and abundant side shoots. It has a sweet and mild flavor.
- ‘Purple Peacock’: It features beautiful purple florets that are slightly larger than other varieties. It has a milder taste and excellent culinary qualities.
- ‘Red Spear’: This Purple Broccoli is a hybrid variety with attractive deep purple florets and robust growth. It produces abundant side shoots and has a slightly stronger flavor.
- ‘Rubine’: This variety has stunning deep purple heads and tender stems. It offers a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor.
- ‘Early Purple Sprouting Bari’: This Purple Broccoli is an early-maturing variety with deep purple florets. It is known for its excellent taste and high yields.