January King Cabbage Plants – Growing January King Winter Cabbage

Purple-Green January King Cabbage
January King
(Image credit: stargatechris)

If you want to plant vegetables that survive the winter chill, take a lingering look at January King winter cabbage. This beautiful semi-savoy cabbage has been a garden classic for hundreds of years in England and is a favorite in this country as well.

January King cabbage plants survive winter’s worst, including hard freezes and snowfall, to provide purple cabbage heads in January. Read on for information on growing January King and tips for cabbage uses.

January King Winter Cabbage

When you are growing January King cabbage plants, you are growing the best cabbage in its class. These vigorous heirloom plants produce gorgeous cabbage heads with pale green inner leaves and outer leaves in deep purple tinged slightly with green.

The cabbages weigh around 3 to 5 pounds (1-2 kg.) and are well filled, slightly flattened globes. Expect a harvest in January or February. In some years, the harvest extends into March.

Fans call these plants indestructible because the cabbages survive anything winter can throw at them. They sail through temperatures approaching zero, don’t blink at a hard freeze, and offer a delightfully strong cabbage flavor.

Growing January King Cabbages

If you want to start growing these cabbages, you’ll need to act quickly. The cabbages need almost twice the grow time in winter as in summer, some 200 days from planting to maturity.

This may make you wonder just when to plant January King cabbage? July is probably the best month for planting. While growing this variety will occupy chunks of your garden for quite a few months, many gardeners find it well worth the effort to pick fresh cabbage from the garden in January.

January King Cabbage Uses

The uses for this cabbage variety are virtually unlimited. This is a culinary cabbage with a wonderfully powerful flavor. It works well in thick soups, perfect for eating in January and February. They also do well in casseroles and any dish that calls for cabbage. If you like stuffed cabbage, this is definitely the one for you. It’s also great raw in cold slaws.

You can also collect seeds from January King cabbage. Just wait until the seed stalks are dry, then collect and place them on a tarp. Walk all over them to thresh out the seeds.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.