When fall flowers fade, ornamental cabbages step into the limelight. They withstand mild frost without damage, hence are good temporary, cool season annuals to brighten winter containers or ornamental beds. Foliage comes in many attractive shapes from ruffled to lacey-leaved, with thick blue-green leaves surrounding centers of pink, red, purple, magenta or white. They get to be as tall as about fifteen inches and prefer moist well-drained soil. Because ornamental cabbages are grown only when the weather is cool, there are no problems with cabbage worm or other pests. To grow them from seed, sow in late July and avoid any water stress.
- Lewis Shell, Special to The Baltimore Sun