As Spring turns to Summer you may find your kale plant
showing some symptoms that it’s not doing too well
The increased temperature and age of the kale plant can lead to
quite a few issues.
The most common problem is bolting. Bolting is when the
plant starts its reproductive cycle, making flowers and then
seeds. This take the place of the new kale growth, which means
no more fresh kale leaves – unless we do something about it!
Can it be saved?
You may think you have no choice but to remove your kale
plant, and either switch to summer crops or plant new Kale
starts, but you do have another option! Most kale plants can
actually withstand being cut back, and will grow new shoots off
of the main stalk.
What do I do?
The process is very simple. Once you’ve determined your Kale
plant needs a fresh start, take a look at the stalk. It should have
small buds or leaves coming from some of the nodes along the
This is where the new growth will come from. Simply cut the
kale plant ABOVE one of these nodes (at a 45? angle so water
runs off easily) and the plant will redirect its energy to the new
But it’s growing differently now…
Now that it’s lost it’s main head, the kale will try to grow multiple
new heads off of it’s stalk. The more heads, the smaller the
individual leaves will be, so you get to choose: you can pull off
all but one of the new heads, leading the plant to produce
bigger leaves just like it was before, or you can leave multiple
heads, and harvest “baby kale” leaves.
Giving your Kale plant a second life is easier than pulling it out
and planting a new one. It also saves you time and money, plus
your more likely to get lots of baby kale – a specialty that is
marked up in stores and restaurants. This method can also help
Kale plants that are infested with aphids, or other problems that
require a fresh start.