Sometimes within the group of horticultural plants we can find a great variety that, in addition to being edible, have a certain ornamental value. One of them is what is known as purple cauliflowerwhich is really spectacular.
Would you like to know how it is grown? Well then we are going to tell you all about her .
Origin and characteristics
Purple cauliflower, also called red cabbage, red cabbage, purple cabbage or purple cabbage, is a variety of cabbage whose scientific name is Brassica oleracea var. capital f. rubra which is characterized by the purple color of its leaveswhich is due to the fact that it has anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a pigment that depends above all on the acidity (pH) of a soil: the lower its pH, that is, the more acidic the earth, the redder the leaves.
Plant it’s annualthat is, it takes only one year to germinate, grow, mature and flower with seeds. For this reason, it is important to know when to sow it because it will depend on whether or not we get high-quality crops.
What are their cares?
If you dare to have this extraordinary plant in your garden, we recommend providing it with the following care:
The cultivation must be outside, in full sun. It is very, very important that you give it the more hours of direct light, the better, since this way it will have good growth and better development.
It must be fertile, and have good drainage.
We will prepare the ground before proceeding to sowing / planting. To do this, we will remove the stones and herbs that may be there, we will put a layer of about five or ten centimeters of organic fertilizer (guano is highly recommended (you can get it here!) due to its high nutrient content), we mix it well and finally install the drip irrigation system.
Purple cauliflower can be grown in large pots, as long as it is at least 40-45cm in diameter. If you have one like that, We will fill it with the following mixture: 60% mulch + 30% perlite + 10% blond peat to provide that acid point that will make the leaves a striking purple color.
The frequency of irrigation will vary greatly depending on the climate and conditions of the area, but in general it is necessary to water every 2 or 3 days, preventing the soil from drying out completely. Even so, in case of doubt we will check the humidity before, either by inserting a thin wooden stick (when removing it if it comes out with a lot of soil attached we will not water) or with a digital humidity meter.
Once a month it will be necessary to pay it with ecological fertilizers. With this we will get it to grow even better but also to be less vulnerable to pests and diseases. Therefore, we will not hesitate to add cow manure, guano, or others that we can see in the link.
It multiplies by seeds in spring. You have to follow this step by step:
- First, a seedling tray is filled with universal growing medium mixed with 30% perlite.
- Then, it is watered conscientiously, and a maximum of two seeds are placed in each alveolus.
- They are then covered with a thin layer of substrate and watered again, this time with a sprayer.
- Finally, the tray is placed outside, in full sun.
If all goes well, they will germinate in 2-3 days.
Another option, although less recommended, is to sow them directly in the garden, but in this case you have to control them more, avoid losing them. Also, it is somewhat more difficult to control humidity.
Plagues and diseases
It can be affected by:
- Aphids: they are parasites of about 0,5 cm green or brown that feed on the sap of the leaves. They are controlled with blue sticky traps.
- Cabbage caterpillar: it is a lepidopteran insect whose larvae feed on the leaves. We can eliminate it with diatomaceous earth, the dose being about 35g per liter of water.
- Cabbage weevil: It is an insect similar to a beetle but smaller and plump that also feeds on the aerial part of the plant. It is eliminated with an anti-weevil insecticide.
- Cabbage hernia: is caused by Plasmodiophora brassicaewhich produces hernias in the roots preventing the plants from growing. In the end, it can kill them. The best treatment is prevention, disinfecting the ground before planting anything, for example with the solarization.
Planting or transplanting time
Purple cauliflower it is planted in the garden when it is of an easily manipulable size (about 5-10cm). If it is potted, it must be transplanted as soon as roots grow out of the drainage holes.
It does not resist cold or frost.
What uses does it have?
Cooked with potatoes or with applesauce. Also in salads, or as a sauce.
It is used to know what pH a soil or a water sample has. The way to proceed is as follows:
- In a pot, boil purple cauliflower leaves.
- In a container, the substance of which we want to know the pH is poured, and then 5ml of cooking water is added.
- Finally, it is observed what color it takes.
- Pink or reddish: it is acidic. Its pH is less than 7.
- Light blue: identifies the bases. The pH is greater than 7.
- Light purple: it is neutral. The pH equals 7.
What did you think of the purple cauliflower?