Plants that look like cabbage are known as ornamental cabbages or Brassica Oleracea. They have cabbage-like leaves and foliage and are sometimes referred to as flowering kale.

Plants that Look Like Cabbage

Even though these plants look just like cabbages, they are ornamental and are bred for their appearance, not their taste.

Here are some ornamental cabbage varieties to add to your garden!

List of Plants That Look Like Cabbage

1. Color Up Pink Variety 

The color-up pink variety is native to Western and Southern Europe. It features minty green leaves with a blush of bright pink color in the center. It grows upright with a perky look in the garden, especially after the frost has destroyed all the other plants.  

Color Up Pink Variety

– Color Change

This flowering cabbage will show its colorful foliage at different times depending on the temperatures below 50 degrees and the type of variety. For this color-up variety, you can expect to start seeing the first flushes of pink after about 54 days from planting. 

– Growing Conditions 

Color-up pink thrives in USDA Hardiness zones two through eleven when grown as annuals. 

It reaches about 10 inches tall and 5 inches wide. This plant requires direct sunlight to grow well and tolerates cold weather. It can also withstand frost and is one of the few plants to shine bright in the cold season. 

2. Osaka Red Variety 

Osaka red ornamental cabbage is loved for its globe-shaped form and is native to Western and Southern Europe. It produces a beautiful dense rosette of foliage that has crinkled round leaves colored red, framed by bluish-green mature leaves that remains so throughout the season.

Osaka Red Variety

You can grow it as a stunning garden accent or as a container focal point plant; it is a great winter and fall plant. It is edible and can be used as a lovely garnish but is not really recommended for consumption. 

– Color Change

Its most intense coloration appears when the temperatures remain between 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Purple and fuchsia leaves pop up against a snowy background, making it even brighter. 

– Growing Requirements 

Osaka red thrives in USDA hardiness 2 to 11 when growing as annuals. It will live for one growing season and be replaced in the following year or season. It will grow to about 11 inches tall and 12 inches wide at maturity.

This plant requires evenly moist, well-drained soil for optimal growth. Do not overwater it, or you risk killing it. It grows in rich soils but is not particular about the pH level. Grow it under full sun and consider applying a thick mulch around the root to conserve moisture. Growing in a container or a hanging basket will need more watering than growing in a garden.  

– Care and Maintenance 

This plant requires occasional maintenance and care. Prune it a little only when necessary by removing the dead leaves around it.  

3. Condor Variety 

The condor variety is native to Western and Southern Europe. This ornamental cabbage offers a textured and on-trend look for flower arrangements and bouquets, making it one of the florists’ favorites.

Condor Variety

It has long stems that grow straight and are easy to cut and bunch up. The plant has two-toned colors, pure white with a soft pink center, and it has bright green outer leaves encircled with bright white leaves with a hint of blush.  

– Color Change

The condor series is famous for making a stunning focal point in the winter container garden, with colors changing at least 40 to 50 days after planting. It has red and white varieties and also come in white with pink centers.  

– Growing Conditions 

This plant does well in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11 when growing as annuals. It grows to at least 30 inches high with petite heads. It is best when planted in groups of eight or more. Provide this plant with full sun and adequate watering. 

4. Pigeon Red Variety

Pigeon red is native to Western and Southern Europe. It is a compact dwarf plant with a uniform round shape, corrugated leaves, and solid heads with slightly waved leaves. Many layers form a double rosette with a burgundy center and blue-green border.  

Pigeon Red Variety

– Color Change

The outer leaves of the pigeon’s red and green foliage are complemented by the white veining that pops out from the bright pink center of the plants. After you sow your seeds at least six weeks before the first frost date in your area, these plants change color at least 30 to 40 days after transplanting. Seeds will require light for germination, so cover them with a limited amount of soil. However, you will have to protect the seeds from birds eating them.

– Growing Requirements 

This plant grows to about 20 to 25 cm tall in maturity when provided with the right growing conditions. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11, growing as annuals or perennials. You will need to provide it with full sun exposure before the cold season sets in. Make sure to keep them under direct light, since indirect will not provide the best growing conditions.

5. Pigeon White Variety

Pigeon white cabbage is a cool annual plant with deeply serrated edible basal foliage with white ribs on the vibrant ivory inner and green outer leaves. Its foliage is crisp and tender with an earthy but sweet and peppery undertone. The leaves get their best flavor after the first frost. 

Pigeon White Variety

– Color Change 

The creamy white centers of the pigeon white look like the icing on a yummy cupcake. This color takes effect at least 30 to 45 days after planting. Besides the white color, the pigeon series also offers pink and purple options. 

– Growing Requirements 

It is best to grow pigeon white plants in rich, moist, well-drained loamy soils. It is best grown in spring or fall in the USDA hardiness zone 2 to 11. Growing them in the fall is advisable to avoid insects like aphids, cabbage worms, and cutworms. It reaches a height of 8 to 12 inches when grown under full sun.  

6. Rose Bouquet Variety 

The rose bouquet has a lush center and wavy foliage that works well as a single plant in containers or mass planting for landscaping.  

Rose Bouquet Variety

– Color Change 

Once you plant this ornamental cabbage, it will remain green until 35 to 40 days, when it begins to change color on the inner leaves. They change to pink or creamy white color with a slight pink hue. The foliage begins to change color as the weather cools off, requiring a cool climate. 

– Growing Requirements 

Plant the rose bouquet variety in well-drained soils and amend them with composted manure or organic fertilizers. This will prevent common diseases like botrytis and damping off from infecting your cabbage.

This plant grows best in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 11, growing up to 8 to 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide. Provide it with adequate sunlight when growing until the cold season sets in.

7. Tokyo Pink

Tokyo pink ornamental cabbage is native to Western and Southern Europe. It has bluish-green leaves that are attractive, veined in white, and form large rosettes. It is one cabbage look-alike that brings Christmas cheer along.  

Tokyo Pink

– Color Change

This ornamental cabbage develops fuchsia pink centers as the night temperatures drop. This is at least 30 to 40 days after planting. The beautiful color lasts until after Christmas and can sometimes make it past the New Year, bringing some much-needed cheer during the cold season.

This series form one of the most cabbage-like heads of the ornamental varieties, with its leaves forming a dense center. 

– Growing Conditions 

The Tokyo pink ornamental cabbage grows best in USDA zones 2 to 11 under full sun. This plant reaches 8 to 12 inches high and 12 to 18 inches wide. Provide it with well-drained soils enriched with organic fertilizers for best results. Water it occasionally but not too much. 

8. Tokyo Red 

Tokyo red ornamental cabbage is a cultivar with bluish-green leaves veined in pink. It forms loosely packed heads with purplish-pink centers. It is edible but will be more bitter than the other cabbages. This color fades when cooked, so you can use it as a garnish if you want to keep the color. 

Tokyo Red

– Color Change 

Tokyo red changes its color once the sun is gone and the weather begins to cool down. It takes about 40 days for this cultivar to mature to its full coloration. The center leaves change from green to purplish-pink, lasting almost to Christmas. However, if the cool season sets in early, it will also change its color. 

– Growing Tokyo Red Cabbage 

Tokyo red thrives in USDA growing zones two to ten under full sun. It grows to about 8 to 10 inches with the right growing conditions. They prefer cool temperatures, so it’s best to plant them in the autumn after the sun is gone. They withstand the winter cold, which makes them one of the few plants that are able to grow during the cold season. 

9. Tokyo White

Tokyo white is one cabbage look-alike that will satisfy your floral craving during the cold winter season. It has solid bluish-green leaves that are heavily veined. Eventually, it develops white to creamy-yellow centers on the loose heads. This ornamental kale has clustered groupings with larger bedding displays.  

Tokyo White

– Color Change 

Tokyo white inner leaves change their color from green to white or creamy-yellow. This happens at least 40 to 45 days after planting and remains long after the Christmas and New Year holidays are over.

The outer leaves remain evergreen throughout the growing season, giving this plant a beautiful contrast. These cabbage look-alikes look great when clustered in groups with larger beds display.  

– Growing Requirements 

This plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones two through ten under full light. Ensure the soils are moist and well-drained and do not hold up too much water. It withstands the colder months and is able to tolerate the frost. You can also grow them in a window box and add some evergreen accents to make them more beautiful.  


The plants that look like cabbage are interesting to grow as they will add more color and pomp to your garden. Here are a few things to remember even as you go ahead and grow these beauties:

  • Most of these ornamental cabbage plants are not edible, so keep them well away from your children or pets.
  • All these ornamental plants look like normal cabbage, but the only difference is the colored center leaves that bring all the cheer.
  • Most of these varieties will grow in the cold winter season when most flowers are dead, bringing you the cheer you need.
  • Our favorite cabbage look-alikes from the list above include Osaka red variety, Tokyo white, Tokyo red, and Tokyo pink.

Finally, growing plants that look like cabbage is fun and rewarding, and while we are used to growing ordinary cabbage in the spring and harvesting them before the cold season ends, these ornamentals grow in the cold season when there is little life. They are such an awesome way to brighten up your cold months, so why not try them out and give us feedback on how well they are doing?

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