Louisiana Super Plant Redbor Kale

A true vegetable kale, plant Redbor kale behind snapdragons and other annuals so that you can harvest its lower leaves as it grows taller all the while admiring its colorful and frilly top.

LA Super Plant Redbor kale makes a dominant landscape presence when planted in groupings. (Photo by Allen Owings)

Redbor kale is the first edible Louisiana Super Plants selection. It is an incredible multiuse annual for the cool-season flower or vegetable garden. Although perfectly edible, it is so attractive it is being promoted as an ornamental for planting in flowerbeds.

Ornamental kales have been around for a long time. They are short plants that produce a rosette of frilly blue-green to blue-purple leaves. The colorful leaves that are produced in the center of the plants in shades of white, pink, red and purple are the main ornamental feature. Although ornamental kales are edible, they are primarily used in flowerbeds and other ornamental plantings and are rarely consumed.

The dramatic beauty of Redbor kale comes from its striking dark purple-red foliage. Adding to this is the interesting texture of the plant that is created by the finely curled and frilly foliage. The rich, dark color of the foliage is wonderful when used in flowerbeds as a foil with brightly colored flowers and it combines well with virtually any color scheme.

A fall planting will provide the most spectacular plants and the biggest bang for your buck. Like all kales, Redbor is extremely cold tolerant and will not be bothered by winter weather. Even temperatures in the mid to low teens will not affect it. It will grow in your gardens through the winter getting larger and more beautiful with each passing month. By spring, the plants will form large mounds about 2 feet tall and about a foot wide. By the end of its season, this robust kale will eventually grow to be about 30 inches tall.

Plant it in a well-prepared bed enriched with a generous addition of organic matter (compost, composted manure, soil conditioner, peat moss) and an application of general-purpose fertilizer. Given their eventual size, don’t plant them too close together. Plant so that the centers of the plants are about 12 to 16 inches apart. Fertilize again in February.
12/21/2011 1:23:03 AM
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