Container Growing Broccoli: Tips On Growing Broccoli In Pots

(Image credit: Olga Gillmeister)

Container growing is a great way to get fresh vegetables even if your soil is poor in quality or downright nonexistent. Broccoli is very well suited to container life and is a cool-weather crop that you can plant in late summer or autumn and still get to eat. Keep reading to learn how to grow broccoli in containers.

Can You Grow Broccoli in Pots?

Broccoli is perfectly happy to be grown in pots. It does get very widespread, however, so plant only one per 5-gallon (19 L.) container. You can fit two to three plants in a 15-gallon (57 L.) container. If you’re planting in autumn, start your seeds about one month before the first average frost. Either plant them directly in your container or start them indoors-- broccoli seeds germinate at 75 to 80 degrees F. (23-27 C.) and may not sprout outdoors if temperatures are still too high. If you’ve started them indoors, harden off your seedlings by setting them outside a few hours per day for two weeks before moving them outside permanently. Even after germination, growing broccoli in pots requires paying attention to temperature. Containers, especially black ones, can heat up a lot in the sun, and you don’t want your broccoli container to go past 80 degrees F. (27 C.). Avoid black containers, if at all possible, and try to position your plants so the broccoli is in partial shade and the container is in full shade.

How to Grow Broccoli in Containers

Broccoli container care is a little intensive as vegetables go. Feed your plants frequently with nitrogen-rich fertilizer and water them regularly. Pests can be a problem, such as:

If you’re planting more than one container growing broccoli, space them 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm.) apart to prevent complete infestation. Cutworms can be deterred by wrapping the flower head in a cone of wax paper.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.