Purple Sprouting Broccoli

purple sprouting broccoli
At last – the purple sprouting broccoli is ready. I thought I would die waiting for it. I mean, it’s only taken a full year to mature, quite a reasonable time to wait for meal that took us all of 30 seconds to eat. Crikey! It’s a good job we’re not broccoli farmers, we’d be out of business in a season. I do know that calabrese takes around 3 months to mature (which cunningly is what the ‘actual’ broccoli farmers grow – see, they’re clever). But apparently it doesn’t taste as good as purple sprouting broccoli which, by the way, tastes amazing. So I’ll be growing it again this year, and I’ll be waiting another 12 months to harvest it and eat it all over again.

27 Comments on “Purple Sprouting Broccoli

  1. Hi There,

    This is just my second year of growing my own, previously, always bought from Garden Centers.

    I’ve been keeping a diary but have decided this year to have a blog.

    Came on line to check out Garden blogs to see what they’re like and came across yours. Really enjoyed it and will be returning.

    Happy Gardening, Margaret.

  2. Purple sprouting is definitely nicer than calabrese. I have yet to have success growing my own, I always seem to leave it too late sowing the seeds, hopefully this year will be different and I’ll be enjoying it next spring.

  3. Hooray! I am STILL waiting for mine. I planted some veggies on a friends plot last year and that’s how I got hooked. I’ve since taken on my own allotment and given back most of this little spot, all except the purple sprouting bit. I intended to share it with them but now I’ll be away for 3 weeks they might end up with the lot!

  4. Can I ask how many you planted, and was it enough? I am just about to sow the seed for next year but have no concept of how much to do.

  5. I was very encoraged by your entry…..my broccoli is taking forever to “flower”, but now I will just be patient!!!!

  6. Hi Lisa – Thanks for commenting. I have three full grown plants and it’s plenty for two people. I think I originally had around 6 plants but gave the rest away.

  7. Still waiting for the purple sprouting broccoli – looks like it is a late variety! Still, got 2 plants and should get a couple of meals I hope out of them. Hope it is worth it.

  8. Talking to my dad(73 and the first year he hasn’t grown veg) about purple sprouting broccoli and he says that if you can get it white sb is sweeter than purple!!

  9. How do I stop the white Cabbage Butterflies and caterpillars from eating my Purple and White Sprouting Broccoli Plants? I am new to growing my own Vegetables and lost a lot of my Broccoli crop last year which was my first year of growing

  10. Can you freeze any surplus purple sprouting broccoli? I have been growing it for a couple of years now and I think it’s delicious. Your site is great and I will be visiting again soon.


  11. Hello everyone; Can someone please advise me on growing broccoli. I attempted growing some last year from seed but they simply produced a abundance of leaves and no florets/spears. I have again grown some this year, about 6 plants, from seed, planted around May. They have grown pretty big, approx 3′, again produce lots of large leaves, look very healthy but it is now August and still no florets. Am I supposed to be picking the leaves off or doing something to encourage floret growth? Please help as I could not cope with another crop of large leaves.

  12. Purple Sprouting Broccoli planted this year shouldn’t produce any florets until Spring 2008 so you will need some patience while they overwinter. Unless you are talking about normal calabrese type broccoli which is different.

    The only thing I know to do with caterpillars, other than spraying with nasty chemicals, is to pull them off and squash them/throw them over the hedge according to your conscience. Wasps feed them to their young so think twice about getting rid of any wasps nests. I feel much friendlier to wasps since I saw them attacking the caterpillars in my garden.

    You can buy parasitic wasp larvae so that might be worth looking into. Probably quite expensive though.

  13. We planted out some purple sprouting brocolli last year, and it is just starting to flower and get little florets by the start of the leaves and at the end. They are looking a bit yellow towards the bases of the plants and a bit straggly. Is this normal or do I need to do anything with them. We have about 3 plants all planted quite close to each other, do they need separating?

  14. the leaves are very tasty in soups and stews so do not despair if you don’t get any florets

  15. Can you freeze purple sprouting broccoli? If so how please? Planted about six plants and have surplus. To encoraget the plant to sprout, you need to cut the the first broccoli sprout and the rest just come. You must keep cutting once each sprout developes to encourage more. Hope that makes sense. Please could I have an answer about freezing.

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  19. Hi,

    This is the first time ive grown purple sprouting broccoli. And ive never cooked it before either, so Im not sure when to cut it. The heads have grown all over, but they are only about 1cm diameter heads. How big before I cut them off, but not too late so they flower? How far down the stem do you cut them off? Im very much a novice.


  20. purple sprouting brocolli,one of my favourites,its easy to grow,its very pricey in tescos,£1.59 for a small bunch.But the biggest plus as far as Im concerned, is because it matures in march, it has no bugs hiding in its foliage,like the summer varieties

  21. Hi all new to this and need a bit of advice on when is the best time to crop my purple broccoli , plants are abought 18″ tall?help plse

  22. Hi, just wanted to share our PSB experience, as having waited a full year and wondered why so much of our garden had been taken over, and what we were going to get for it, the purple buds suddenly appeared. The first crop gave a ‘it was worth it’ smile, and we got 5 weeks or so of cropping until the pressure to bolt was too strong. We’re now enjoying the beautiful foliage and yellow flowers, absolutely gorgeous!!

  23. Have planted some purple sprouted broccoli (transfered outside in May,) but it is already showing very small flower heads which are starting to flower. Surely this is too early, I thought they had to overwinter.

  24. mine is the same I already have flower headsa on the plants and only plant them this year

  25. So has mine, the plants are about 3 feet tall and have a central stem with one purple floret on eact plant so far. It is only the beginning of June so why so early and more importantly what do I do now? Do I have to cut the middle floret out or do I just leave them? I am Confused, please help!

  26. Very helpful tips here. I thought my purple sprouting broccoli was meant to flower in December but now I’ll stop fretting over it. Should I stake it up and does it need a feed?