Brassica Oleracea Series #3 Cauliflowers from Shoots



Note: This writeup focus on growing behaviours of difference cauliflower cultivars in same settings, compare and contrast the different cultivars. This post is purely based on growers' observations, your results may vary. No part of this can be reused without written permission from the blog writer.

Once the first generation cauliflower (from seeds) are ready for harvest, cut off their crowns as shown in picture above.

Choose a few healthy plants, removed the lower leaves, leave only 3 to 5 leaves and fertilise them lightly to let the young shoots sprout/grow. 

Matured cauliflower plants are prone to aphids once they aged, so do check carefully and regularly. Unhealthy plants will not have strong offshoots and may cause trouble for the rest of your garden.

Seedlings from Parents

#Seedings #InitialGrowing #Cisbay #AGNLite  

The photo above shows the young shoots which appear 2-3 weeks after you cut off the crown. You can then remove all the old leaves and let the young shoots grow as shown in the picture below. Left picture showing the sprouted seedlings on the main stem with some old leaves intact. Right picture shows with all the old stem/leaves removed/cutoff. The sprouts are about one week old.

They should be ready to be detached and transplanted 10 to 14 days after they have sprouted or 4-5 weeks after crown removal.

You can then detach them and put them into planter for it to grow. Water well for first 1-2 weeks. Roots should form well in 1 to 2 weeks. Picture below shows the well rooted shoots.

We removed from the pot just to show you how fast they can progress from the detached shoots (no roots). Look at the amount of roots just in 10 days. Pretty amazing right?

The Journey of Growth

We tried a few cultivars and these are their progress at different stage of their growth. To be honest, the growth rate is pretty similar across all. The crown forming results however vary quite a fair bit.

#BanLeeHuat #KnowYouGreenHarmony

The picture above shows Ban lee Huat Summer day on top two rows (6 weeks) and Known You Green Harmony on bottom 2 rows (5 weeks).

Ban Lee Huat Summer day has the first sign of crown forming at 7.5 weeks from shoot.  Known You Green Harmony shows their crowns at around 7 weeks. They were planted a week later but seem eager to catch up. Can you spot the crown(s)?

No doubt, they form crowns about 3 to 4 weeks faster as compared to those grown from seeds. However, the good news stop there. The final  crown size is disappointing. On average across all cultivars, the best weight we can achieve only average at 150g vs the classic 300g to 500g when growing from seeds.

Summer days developed well into a round crown for almost 90% of the shoots. However, the weight is disappointing. They average at 150g.

Known You Green Harmony however decided that they are real free spirited plants from generation 2 onwards. The crowns ranged from nice shape from the left (average also about 150g) to just a few scattered branches in white or green in picture in the center and right.

#ChaiTaiCauliflower #Greenworld307

Both Chia Tai Cauliflowers and Green World 307 formed their crowns around 7.5 yo 8 weeks from shoots. Green world 307 in top 2 rows looked stronger compare to Chai Tai cauliflower in bottom 2 rows.  Picture below showed them at week 5 from shoots.

Green World 307 at full harvest as shown below. Average crown weights 150g.

Chai Tai Cauliflower at full harvest has similar weight and looks similar too.

The Challenges

#SmallHeads #MaturedTooFast #LowYield

Compare to growing using seeds, the crowns are all relatively smaller. On average about 40 to 50% the size of those grow from seeds.

Besides, they tend to developed into odd shape crowns and we spotted crown burned for some shoots ( about 15%), with all planting parameters equal.

Above the picture of one shoot with crown split and crown burned despite giving it good care like normal.

Forward Looking


Growing from seeds is definitely the way to go if you are looking at good crown size and even growth. Moreover, seeds are in fact relatively cheap compare to all other growing factors ( rent, manpower cost and time) hence for growers who wish to have predictable optimal outcomes, cultivating from seeds is still the preferred method.

Growing from shoots however is definitely fun for home growers. You can keep growing without having to buy seeds and it is in a way sustainable like growing from heirloom seeds. But we only managed to grow from offshoot from 2 generations down and hence do not have enough statistic to determine their growth rate and yield thereafter.

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