Cabbage Growth Stages

Understanding the growth stages of a cabbage will help you be a better gardener. What is its life cycle?

Cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that can be cultivated in the spring and fall. However, remember that this plant does not tolerate excessive sun or heat, so plan accordingly.

The duration of a plant’s growth is determined by its variety. Under normal conditions, it may take 80 to 180 days to go from seeding to harvesting.

This vegetable is cheap, flexible, and is eaten worldwide. Cabbages can be braised, grilled, sautéed, and even pickled, but they are sometimes overlooked.

Cabbage, like all plants, starts as a seed and grows into an edible form. In this article, I’ll show you how to grow this delectable crop and regrow it so you can continue enjoying its plentiful supply.

Let’s start with the four basic stages of its development.

1. Germination 

Germination is the initial stage of cabbage development. Cabbage seeds will be placed in containers or garden soil and sprout or germinate between ten days and two weeks.

Certain conditions, including temperature, moisture, soil nutrients, and sunlight, must be met for germination to be successful. Choose a planting location that receives full daylight (6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine daily) to achieve the best results.

Cabbage is a heavy feeder; it rapidly depletes soil nutrients and requires a consistent water supply and nutrients throughout its growth. Prepare the soil by incorporating old manure and compost.

Seeds must be exposed to temperatures ranging from 65°F to 70°F for about a week to germinate.

Broccoli seeds on the palm of a person's hand

2. Seedling 

When a seed matures into a young plant, it enters the seedling stage. At this stage, the cabbage plant generates or develops young leaf-like structures (seed leaves), young root-like structures (radicles), and juvenile stem-like structures. These structures are collectively referred to as seedlings.

The cabbage plant relies on the nourishment provided by the seed during the seedling stage. The tiny embryonic leaves, shoots, and leaves are still not fully matured enough to create food on their own.

Young cabbage plant in a pot

3. Vegetative 

Following the germination and development of cabbage seeds into seedlings, the embryonic structures must stretch and elongate to perform complex physiological processes such as water and nutrient intake, photosynthesis, transpiration, and water and nutrient distribution throughout the plant.

This stage of growth is known as the vegetative stage. During the vegetative stage of cabbage, new embryonic seed leaves develop into true leaves, young embryonic radicles develop into true roots, and shoots develop into stems.

During this stage, the cabbage plant must synthesize its food by utilizing these leaves and roots, causing the entire plant to increase and lengthen.

Large cabbage leaves undergoing vegetation during summer

4. Flowering

The life cycle of cabbage comes to an end at this stage. After the structures have matured, the cabbage plant will begin to flower. Flowering is a reproductive technique used by higher plants. It is their method of ensuring their survival by creating seeds. 

The cabbage plants will die after producing seeds, signaling the end of the life cycle. 

farm plants under the sun on a garden
Alaine Connolly
Alaine has been working way too hard in horticulture since 1992, beautifying golf courses, resorts, and hotels. She is a part time landscape designer who works full time caring for a 28,000 square foot public garden. At home, she maintains her own 400 square feet plot. Alaine lives in northern Illinois - zone 5b.
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