We grow more of this delicious, sweet perennial green than any other! In looking for a perennial substitute for purple cabbage, the Purple Leaf Tree Collard rose to the challenge. It's truly one of the most versatile and delicious perennial foods on the planet. In our garden, it cranks out delicious greens year-round. In the summer they are a beautiful, rich green color and when the weather gets cold, the leaves turn a brilliant dark purple color and sweeten in taste. Why grow just one when you can so easily grow a Purple Leaf Tree Collard forest? :) (Brassica oleracea)
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love the Purple Leaf Tree Collard...
1) SWEET - The purple color of the leaves is a sign of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that gives this perennial veggie its delicious, sweet taste.
2) PRODUCTIVE- It's hard to top the productivity of this amazing plant. We've literally planted a mini purple collard forest that we harvest from year-round. We eat more of this perennial veggie than any other.
3) PEST-RESISTANT - This plant is extremely pest-resistant and fuss-free. You can plant it with confidence and enjoy greens for decades to come.
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Purple Leaf Tree Collards:
|MOISTURE||AVERAGE TO LOW WATER
|GROWING ZONES||PERENNIAL OUTDOORS ZONES 8-10, CUTTINGS CAN BE OVERWINTERED INDOORS EVERYWHERE ELSE (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)|
|SIZE||8 FEET TALL & 3 FEET WIDE IF STAKED, OTHERWISE WILL RAMBLE ALONG THE GROUND|
How to root cuttings: We like to root cuttings in 4" or 1 gallon pots. Fill with moistened potting soil. Simply bury the cutting halfway in the soil. Tamp around the cutting to secure. Water occasionally to keep the soil moist. That's it! They root super easily and you should see new leaves start popping in 4-8 weeks. We root outside year-round in zone 9 and above. If you're colder than this, keep your potted cutting on a window sill until Spring. Let us know if you need any support. We're here for you!
From rooted plant: We trim all of the leaves except for the top leaf for shipping to prevent dehydration. Once you plant into moist soil, it will spring to life for you and immediately start growing leaves. It's best not to let your plant flower as it's getting settled into its new home. Trim off any flowers for the first few months. It will seem to grow slowly for the first couple months as the roots settle in, and then it will boom with growth!
You can choose how you'd like to grow this generous plant. You can either stake them up with a bamboo pole or a t-post, or you can allow them to ramble along the ground. They are also happy to be pruned, so you can keep them at whatever height works best for your garden. All brassicas love extra calcium. We grind up our used egg shells and work them into the soil around all of our perennial kales and collards.
How to keep your Perma Purple Cabbage going indefinitely: If your weather is expected to drop below 20 degrees, take a few cuttings, trim off all the leaves except for the top leaf, and stick into a pot with moist soil and keep on a sunny windowsill until it warms up. This will ensure that you'll have an endless supply of this amazing plant for years to come.
Here's an easy way to deal with pests on these plants:
How to Harvest & Use It
The biggest tip we can give you is to harvest them OFTEN! :) Harvest the largest, outer leaves. Only harvest about 1/3 of the total leaves a time. You can prune them back any time of the year. The bottom leaves of the plant will always be the darkest purple.