Growing Brussel sprouts in containers is quite easy and worth the effort. It allows you to have a fresh homegrown vegetable that is delicious and does not take much effort to plant and maintain.Growing Brussel Sprouts in Containers

Read through this article as it lists the exact steps that you need to follow to make your Brussel sprout container garden.

A Complete Growing Guide for Brussel Sprouts

1. Choosing the Right Brussel Sprout Plant VarietiesChoosing the Right Brussel Sprout Plant Varieties

Important considerations
  • Local temperature
  • Local climate
  • Adaptability
  • Heirloom sprouts
  • Hybrid sprouts
Common heirloom varieties
  • Long Island Improved
  • Groninger
  • Catskill
Common hybrid varieties
  • Hestia Hybrid
  • Mighty Hybrid
  • Octia Hybrid

As with every plant that you want to add to your garden, the first step is always to choose the best variety. Brussel sprout varieties are primarily categorized into two groups: heirloom and hybrid plants.

Heirloom varieties are old naturally occurring varieties, while hybrid varieties are developed so the plants are sturdier, pest and disease resistant, and convenient for the gardener.

Famous heirloom varieties include Long Island Improved, Groninger, and Catskill. Long Island is still the most seen variety that is well known for its high yields and good flavor. Groninger is a beginner-friendly type that will produce a steady yield even with changing weather conditions.

Groninger is a tight-headed plant that has a unique flavor. Catskill is a naturally pollinating plant that relies on insects and birds to propagate. The plant produces sturdy stalks with sprouts that are an excellent choice for freezing.

Hybrid sprouts varieties include Hestia Hybrid, Mighty Hybrid, and Octia Hybrid. Hestia hybrid is a sturdy variety that is resistant to heat and cold and is able to tolerate and produce a yield in any garden conditions.

Mighty hybrid is another low-maintenance hybrid that is capable of producing sprouts that can grow up to an inch. Octia hybrid is the cultivar that is suited for areas that have a short growing season as it matures quickly and produces dark-colored leaves and tightly packed sprouts.

2. Planting the Sprout Seeds and Hardening the SeedlingsPlanting the Sprout Seeds and Hardening the Seedlings

Ideal planting time
  • After the last frost
  • 8-10 weeks before the last frost (indoors)
  • During fall in warm regions
Best growth cycle
  • Growing through winter
  • Matures in spring
Hardening requirements
  • Developed seedlings
  • Before replanting
Hardening duration
  • One week

Planting the seeds requires you to know the climate of your area. The best taste will be produced by a sprouts plant that was planted during the fall, after the last frost, but some areas have short growing seasons and require you to plant them indoors. This should be done a few weeks before the last frost.

In an area that doesn’t have a growing season that’s very long, the best time for you to plant the seeds is about 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost appears. This will give the Brussel sprouts seeds plenty of time to germinate and grow before they are ready for the hardening process and before they move outside into the garden.

However, in a warmer climate, the seeds should be planted during the fall. They grow and develop throughout the winter season, and they are ready for harvest when the spring season arrives.

This is the best growth cycle as they can spend the cold months growing up and will get ready for harvest before the weather rises too much.

Once the Brussels sprouts seedlings are developed after a few weeks, it is a good idea to harden them before transplanting them into containers. Hardening means gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions so that they can adapt accordingly before they are moved to your garden. This process should go on for about a week before they are ready for transplanting.

3. Transplanting Brussel Sprouts in ContainersTransplanting Brussel Sprouts in Containers

  • Choose the appropriate container
  • Adequate space between containers
Preferred growing time
  • Cool months
Benefits of container planting
  • Can move them indoors
  • Prolonged harvest
Potential problems
  • Very early planting

Once your plants have gone through the hardening process, they are ready to be transplanted into containers that will eventually be moved outdoors. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t start planting them too early. It can cause the roots of the seedling to be bound by the pot (as is the case with cabbage roots), and the transplanting will become very dangerous for the plant.

It is important that the plant is mature enough for replanting but not so mature that it becomes bound to the plant pot.

Choosing the right container for transplanting young seedlings is an important factor that plays a role in the health and yield of your sprouts. Make sure the container is about the same depth as the one you used for germinating the seeds. If you are planting them in a large container, you should part the plants with 2 feet between them so they have enough space once they grow.

Brussel sprouts are very picky plants when it comes to their replanting location. They are primarily cool-season plants and prefer to grow in cold temperatures. They grow perfectly fine in outdoor gardens and containers alike. But one advantage of planting them in plant containers is that you can prolong their harvest.

This is done by transferring the containers indoors during the winter months and continuing your harvest. This is a method to store Brussel plants where plants were kept in root cellars to keep harvesting them.

4. Ensuring the Right Growth ConditionsEnsuring the Right Growth Conditions

Growth duration
  • 80 to 100 days after planting
Soil requirements
  • Moist
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Well-draining
Light and temperature
  • Full sunlight
  • Some exposure to frost
  • 45-80°F degrees Fahrenheit are ideal
Water requirements
  • Consistent watering sessions
  • Incorporate mulching if necessary

Brussels sprouts are not very demanding when it comes to their care and maintenance. They are adaptable and only require you to meet their basic requirements. Once they are met, the plants can easily thrive and produce plentiful yields. They need around 80 to 100 days to mature from seeds, and a little exposure to cold will help improve their flavor.

Like several other plants, grow Brussel sprouts in loam, moist, and well-draining soil for the best results. This will allow the plant to maintain its moisture without the risk of water logging. The soil should be neutral, and it is advisable to mix compost prior to transplanting so they will receive the necessary nutrients.

As mentioned before, they are a cool-season plant, and limited exposure to frost will help them. As a general rule, grow Brussel sprouts between 45-80 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal growth. If they have good drainage, the humidity will also not be an issue.

As for the light, they prefer full sunlight. Lack of sunlight will cause the plants’ growth to slow down. It may also negatively impact the flavor of the vegetables.

To grow Brussel sprouts healthily, keep the plants moist through regular watering. Unlike some plants, they do not mind wet leaves or overhead watering and will not be vulnerable to infections. On the other hand, inconsistent watering will lead to poor development and taste. If your soil has a hard time maintaining moisture, it can be remedied through mulching.

5. Maintaining the Brussel Sprouts PlantsMaintaining the Brussel Sprouts Plants

Maintenance needs
  • Pruning
  • Staking
Benefits of pruning
  • Taller plants
  • Plentiful leaves
  • Better harvest
Benefits of staking
  • Upright plants
Other considerations
  • Use short varieties to avoid staking

Even after you provide them with their ideal growing conditions, they need some maintenance to keep thriving. These steps will make sure your sprouts can grow smoothly without many problems that may slow down their development or compromise their yield.

Pruning is an important step if you want your plant to grow taller with plenty of leaves on the top. Prune the lower leaves of the plant, which will encourage it to shift its energy toward becoming taller and developing more leaves at the top.

When replanting Brussel plants, staking is necessary to keep them in an upright position and prevent them from falling over. They are a top-heavy plant, and they can easily stoop over if they are not provided the necessary support. If they are kept individually in small containers, they can even topple the whole pot if the plant becomes imbalanced.

So, it is advisable to put a stake in the container before you transplant the seedling as it will allow you to use twine and keep the plant fixed to the stake as it matures over time. If you want to bypass this process completely, you can do this by opting for dwarf Brussel varieties, some of which are shorter than most tomato plants.

6. Harvesting Brussel SproutsHarvesting Brussel Sprouts

Harvesting time
  • Three months after planting
Harvesting method
  • Selective harvesting
  • Harvest only matured sprouts
Benefits of selective harvesting
  • Constant source
  • Encourages plants to grow
  • Gently twist them off
  • Avoid pulling

You can begin the harvesting process about 3 months after you plant Brussel sprouts. But you do not harvest all the sprouts at the same time. Instead, harvesting them involves picking the sprouts from the bottom and picking those that have reached your desired size. This is done because the sprouts at the bottom will reach maturity before the ones on the top.

This will also allow you to have a constant source of sprouts without running out instantly. This harvesting method also encourages the plant to allocate more energy toward developing the sprouts that you have left unharvested. While you harvest Brussel sprouts, be mindful not to pull them off the plant. Gently twist them off instead, and they will separate easily without damaging the plant.

Consider placing the container next to other vegetables and edibles like broccoli, lettuce, onions, dill, radishes, and carrots and harvest Brussels alongside them. Some of these companion plants will also help deter bugs with their scent.

7. Protecting Brussel Sprouts Against Pests and DiseasesProtecting Brussel Sprouts Against Pests and Diseases

Common problems
  • Diseases
  • Pests
Common diseases
  • Powdery mildew
  • Bacterial leaf spot
  • Black rot
Common pests
  • Cabbage worms
  • Aphids
  • Cutworms
Safety measures
  • Pesticides
  • Manual removal
  • Ensuring good growing conditions

Safety precautions against diseases start when you are choosing the variety, but there are still some sprouts growing problems that you need to look out for. Some hybrid varieties have specifically been developed to help the plant against diseases.

But still, you will have to take some precautions like crop rotation and pesticides against pests, infections, and diseases to keep your vegetable garden happy and healthy.

Powdery mildew is the development of mold or fungus on plants which commonly occurs due to excessive moisture and humidity. Although the plants do not mind wet leaves, you should still avoid excessive moisture as it may cause this fungus infection. To avoid such a situation, you can ensure that the plant has good aeration and drainage to avoid soggy and water situations.

Cabbage worms are the most common pest, and they love to attack and harm plants from the Brassicaceae family, which includes cauliflowers, cabbages, and sprouts. These can be avoided by keeping a close eye on your plant and checking for these pests occasionally. If you spot this pest, you can manually remove it, or you can use the appropriate pesticides to prevent them altogether.


Growing Brussels in containers is a great way to have tasty fresh vegetables right at home. Keep in mind the following factors if you are planning on growing them:

  • Brussels sprouts are cool-season plants, so avoid keeping them in very high temperatures.
  • They are overall very adaptable and not very demanding when it comes to their care.
  • Make sure you do not plant Brussel sprouts way ahead of time.
  • They can also be planted in outdoor gardens, but containers will allow you to extend their harvesting period.

Brussel sprouts are easily planted, do not require much hassle for growth, and can thrive without much maintenance. So when are you planting your Brussel sprouts garden?

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