9 of the Best Cabbage Varieties to Grow at Home

If you’ve decided to plant cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) in your garden this season, one of the first decisions you’re going to need to make is which variety to choose.

A close up of cabbages growing in the garden with light green leaves around the tight heads in the center, surrounded by darker green flat leaves with white veins. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

Do you want the sweet and mild flavor of crinkly Savoy or tight, white leaves for coleslaw and stir-fries? How about a bold-flavored red to add a splash of color?

You can grow cabbage in US Hardiness Zones 1-10, but it’s all about choosing the right type for your growing zone.

Diverse and delicious, from small-headed early maturing types to large, late season winter varieties there’s a cabbage variety out there to suit each gardener. Let’s learn a bit more about the different types of cabbage and our favorites for growing in the garden.

Cabbage Basics

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable in the Brassicacae family that includes other popular cole crops such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and collard greens.

These cool weather crops form tight heads with either smooth, flat leaves or wrinkled, less tightly packed leaves in the case of Savoy varieties.

The varieties we are concentrating on here are different from – but related to – the Asian cabbage cultivars of the Brassica rapa species which include napa cabbage and bok choy. They are best grown for a spring or fall harvest, and provide a tasty, nutritious addition to your kitchen.

You can learn more about how to grow cabbage here.

Our Top Picks

Whether you’re looking for green, red, or savoy cabbage, there are several heirloom and hybrid varieties, with some providing visual interest to your garden as well as being culinary staples in your kitchen.

1. Brunswick

If you’re looking for a cabbage that will store long into the winter, ‘Brunswick’ is a popular choice.

A close up of 'Brunswick' variety of Brassica oleracea var. capitata, showing tight leaves around a mature head and large light green flat leaves surrounding it.

‘Brunswick’

This German heirloom forms large solid “drum” heads weighing 6-9 pounds, and 10 inches in diameter.

It is especially cold hardy, making it a versatile choice for northern growers. You can grow ‘Brunswick’ in the spring and fall, and it is ready to harvest in 85-95 days. For best yields, space plants 18 inches apart in full sun.

You can find ‘Brunswick’ seeds at Burpee as well as Eden Brothers.

2. Charleston Wakefield

This open pollinated heirloom variety dates back all the way to 1892.

A close up of two heads of 'Charleston Wakefield' cabbages with tight light green leaves around the head, and large, darker leaves on the outside.

‘Charleston Wakefield’

It is heat tolerant and grows compact, dark green, conical heads that weigh 4-6 pounds.

Grown easily in most of the US, it matures in 70-80 days. In order to allow the heads to size up, space plants 18-24 inches apart in full sun.

You can find ‘Charleston Wakefield’ seeds at Burpee and at Eden Brothers.

3. Earliana

‘Earliana,’ as its name suggests, is one of the earliest maturing cabbage varieties.

A close up top down picture of the 'Earliana' variety of Brassica oleracea var. capitata showing light green leaves in the center and larger flat leaves with white veins on the outside.

‘Earliana’

Ready to harvest in just 60 days, this one is worth considering if you’re a little behind on your planting schedule.

When mature, ‘Earliana’ weighs in at around 2 pounds with a compact head that’s 4-5 inches in diameter.

For best results, plant in full sun and space the plants 18 inches apart.

Packets of 500 ‘Earliana’ seeds are available at Burpee.

4. Golden Acre

‘Golden Acre’ is an heirloom variety that thrives in  Zones 3-12. It produces reliable harvests of sweet, 5 to 7-inch green heads on compact plants.

A close up of a 'Golden Acre' cabbage with light green leaves around a tight head, pictured on a wooden surface.

‘Golden Acre’

It does best in full to partial sun, and in soil that has been amended with organic matter such as compost. A hardy crop, ‘Golden Acre’ is resistant to yellowing diseases. It doesn’t spread as much as some varieties, so seeds can be planted 15 inches apart.

You can find ‘Golden Acre’ seeds in packets of various sizes at Eden Brothers and from True Leaf Market.

5. January King

One of the hardiest of winter cabbages, ‘January King’ is an heirloom variety that makes an impressive statement in the garden with its large green and purple semi-savoyed leaves.

‘January King’

Sweet, delicate, and tender for culinary use, you can harvest 3 to 5-pound heads after 150-200 days. This cold hardy variety is ideal for a winter vegetable garden and stores very well. Plant in full sun, 18-24 inches apart so it has space to expand.

With its stunning looks, ‘January King’ can rival many ornamental plants for visual impact in the garden.

Find packets containing 50 seeds from Javagado Land via Amazon.

6. Late Flat Dutch

If you are of the opinion that bigger is always better, then the heirloom ‘Late Flat Dutch’ makes an impressive late-season choice.

A close up of 'Late Flat Dutch' variety of cabbage growing in the garden. With light green leaves around the head, and large flat dark green leaves on the outside.

‘Late Flat Dutch’

This variety produces large heads that weigh 10-15 pounds with pale green leaves.

Due to its large size, this variety takes a little longer to mature. Expect to give it 100 days before it is ready for harvest. Since it is so large, space plants two feet apart.

Growers in Zones 1-10 can try their hand at growing this massive cabbage.

You can find ‘Late Flat Dutch’ seeds in packets of various sizes at Eden Brothers and from True Leaf Market.

7. Mammoth Red Rock

This red heirloom variety dates back to 1889. Its bright purple heads grow up to 8-10 inches in diameter and weigh up to 8 pounds.

A close up of a 'Mammoth Red Rock' cabbage cut in half. With purple and white leaves in a tight head, the background is the same vegetable chopped into small pieces.

‘Mammoth Red Rock’

‘Mammoth Red Rock’ does best in Zones 1-10. It should be planted in full sun and spaced 18-24 inches apart.

Expect to begin harvesting after 90-100 days.

‘Mammoth Red Rock’ seeds are available at True Leaf Market.

8. Red Acre

With bright purple-red leaves, ‘Red Acre’ is sure to make a beautiful addition to both your garden and your plate.

A close up of 'Red Acre' cabbage cut in half showing the dark purple leaves, in the background is a freshly harvested head with large flat leaves around the outside.

‘Red Acre’

Growers in Zones 3-9 can plant this open-pollinated heirloom. If provided with full sun, adequate drainage, and sufficient water, heads weighing up to 4 pounds will be ready to harvest in 75-100 days.

I personally love to enjoy its sweet flavor raw in salads and slaws.

‘Red Acre’ seeds in packets of various sizes are available at True Leaf Market and from Eden Brothers.

9. Savoy Perfection

This variety of Savoy cabbage produces heads with crinkled, green leaves. It provides an excellent contrast to other varieties’ smooth leaves.

A close up of 'Savoy Perfection' variety of Brassica oleracea var. capitata with light green crinkly leaves around the head and darker green leaves on the outside, pictured in bright light on a wooden surface. To the bottom right of the frame is a circular logo with white text.

‘Savoy Perfection’

Gardeners can grow ‘Savoy Perfection’ in Zones 3-12. Plant in full sun, spaced 18 inches apart for best results. Heads of 4-6 inches in diameter will be ready to harvest after 90 days.

You can find ‘Savoy Perfection’ seeds in packets of various sizes at True Leaf Market.

A Kitchen Staple

Now that you’re familiar with 9 of my favorite cabbage varieties, it’s time to choose yours. Once you receive your seeds, make sure to read the seed packet for detailed growing information.

A close up of a Brassica oleracea var. capitata growing in the garden. The central head has dark purple leaves around it fading to light green large leaves with purple veins on the outside.

Have you tried growing cabbage? Do you have a favorite variety? Let us know in the comments.

And check out the following articles to learn more about growing this crop:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Burpee, Eden Brothers, Javagado Land, and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Originally published December 17, 2019. Last updated: August 30, 2020 at 4:26 am. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu.

About Briana Yablonski

Briana Yablonski grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in plant sciences and has worked on farms in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tennessee. Now, she spends many hours planting seeds and moving compost at her market garden. When she’s not immersed in the world of gardening, Briana enjoys walking dogs at the local shelter and riding her bike. She believes that gardening fosters curiosity, continuous learning, and wonder.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments