How To Grow Broccoli In Florida

If you’re a resident of sunny Florida and have always wanted to grow your own vegetables, you’re in luck! In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of growing broccoli in the Florida climate. Broccoli is not only a delicious addition to your meals but also packed with essential nutrients like riboflavin, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to successfully cultivating this versatile vegetable in your very own backyard.

Key Takeaways:

  • Growing broccoli in Florida is possible, thanks to the cool winter weather.
  • Choose the right varieties, such as ‘Waltham 29’ or ‘Green Sprouting’, for optimal growth.
  • Provide adequate spacing, sunlight, and regular watering for healthy broccoli plants.
  • Protect your broccoli from frost and manage pests for a successful harvest.
  • Enjoy the benefits of homegrown, nutritious broccoli in your meals.

Characteristics of Broccoli

Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family, is a versatile and nutrient-rich vegetable. It belongs to the species Brassica oleracea, which includes other popular vegetables such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. Over thousands of years, these vegetables have been selectively bred to develop distinct characteristics and variations.

One of the main characteristics of broccoli is its dense and compact florets, which are rich in nutrients. The green florets are known for their high content of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and riboflavin. Additionally, the stalks of broccoli are edible and can be sliced or diced for cooking.

Did you know? Broccoli gets its name from the Italian word “broccolo,” which means “cabbage sprout” or “flowering crest.”

Broccoli plants also have a distinctive appearance with large, dark green leaves that surround the central head. This head is comprised of numerous tightly-packed florets that form a unique, tree-like structure. Different varieties of broccoli may have variations in color, size, and shape of the florets, catering to individual preferences and culinary uses.

Table: Broccoli Varieties

Variety Description
Waltham 29 A popular variety that can be harvested 80-100 days after transplanting. It continues to produce side shoots even after the main head is harvested.
Early Green An early-maturing variety that is ready for harvest within 55-80 days. It has a smooth texture and a delicate, mild taste.
Early Dividend A high-yielding variety that produces uniform heads within 50-70 days. Its tight and finely-grained florets make it ideal for fresh consumption or storage.
Green Sprouting or Calabrese A classic variety with large, dark green heads. It takes 80-100 days to mature and has a slightly stronger flavor compared to other varieties.
Packman A hybrid variety known for its large heads and excellent heat tolerance. It matures within 70-85 days and provides a reliable harvest.
De Cicco A traditional Italian variety that produces small to medium-sized heads. It is known for its early maturity and multiple harvests throughout the growing season.

Planting and Care Tips for Broccoli

Broccoli thrives in cool weather, making it an ideal crop to grow in Florida during the fall and winter months. When planting broccoli, it’s important to choose the right time and follow proper care techniques to ensure successful growth.

Planting Time

In Florida, it is best to plant broccoli from September to February, depending on your specific region. This allows the plant to mature before temperatures rise in the spring. Be sure to check the recommended planting dates for your area to ensure optimal growth.

Cool Weather Requirements

Broccoli prefers cool weather and requires full sun, so choose a location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Before planting, prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility.

Fertilizing and Watering

Proper fertilization is essential for healthy broccoli plants. Use a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 6-8-8, applying it according to the package instructions. It’s best to fertilize the plants when they are young and then again after they begin to develop heads.

Watering is another crucial aspect of broccoli care. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Aim for 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

By following these planting and care tips, you can successfully grow broccoli in Florida’s cool weather conditions. With proper attention and nurturing, you’ll soon be enjoying your homegrown, delicious broccoli harvest.

Planting Time Cool Weather Requirements Fertilizing and Watering
Plant from September to February Choose a location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Use well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Fertilize with a balanced 6-8-8 fertilizer. Apply when plants are young and again after heads form. Water consistently, aiming for 1 to 1.5 inches per week.

Broccoli Varieties for Florida

If you’re looking to grow broccoli in Florida, it’s important to choose varieties that are well-suited for the region’s unique climate. Here are some top broccoli varieties that thrive in Florida:

1. Waltham 29

The Waltham 29 variety is a popular choice for Florida gardeners. It can be harvested 80-100 days after transplanting and continues to produce side shoots, ensuring a continuous supply of fresh broccoli.

2. Early Green

As the name suggests, the Early Green variety matures quickly, making it perfect for Florida’s shorter growing season. It has a compact size and produces tight heads of broccoli that are packed with flavor and nutrients.

3. Early Dividend

Another early-maturing variety, Early Dividend is known for its ability to withstand heat and thrive in Florida’s warm weather. It produces uniform heads of broccoli that are tender and flavorful.

4. Green Sprouting or Calabrese

The Green Sprouting or Calabrese variety is a classic broccoli variety that is well-suited for Florida. It features large heads of broccoli with a vibrant green color and a mild, sweet flavor.

5. Packman

Packman is a popular commercial variety that also performs well in home gardens. It produces large heads of broccoli with a high yield, making it an excellent choice for those looking to grow a bountiful crop.

6. De Cicco

The De Cicco variety is known for its versatility and adaptability. It is an heirloom variety that produces small to medium-sized heads of broccoli. It is a great option for gardeners who prefer a continuous harvest.

When choosing a variety, consider factors such as your preferred harvesting time, size of the heads, and flavor preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, these broccoli varieties are sure to thrive in Florida’s climate and provide you with a delicious homegrown harvest.

Benefits of Growing Broccoli at Home

Growing broccoli at home brings numerous benefits, from the nutritious value it offers to the satisfaction of harvesting and enjoying fresh produce from your own garden. By cultivating broccoli in your backyard, you have the opportunity to experience the health benefits and control the entire growing process.

Broccoli is renowned for its nutritional value. It is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system, and vitamin K, which promotes bone health. Additionally, broccoli contains fiber, which aids digestion and supports overall gut health.

Gardening itself also offers benefits for mental and physical well-being. Spending time in the garden helps reduce stress levels and provides a sense of accomplishment. It allows you to connect with nature, engage in physical activity, and soak up vitamin D from the sunlight. Gardening can even be a therapeutic activity, helping to improve mood and mental clarity.

“Growing your own broccoli allows you to avoid exposure to harmful fertilizers and pesticides. By adopting organic gardening methods, you can ensure that you are consuming fresh and chemical-free produce.”

Health Benefits of Broccoli:

  • High in vitamins A and C.
  • Rich in fiber for digestion.
  • Boosts immune system.
  • Promotes bone health.
  • Supports a healthy gut.

By growing broccoli in your home garden, you not only reap the nutritional rewards but also have the peace of mind knowing that what you’re consuming is fresh, safe, and free from harmful chemicals. It allows you to embrace a healthier lifestyle while enjoying the satisfaction of cultivating your own delicious and nutritious vegetables.

Broccoli’s Popularity and Consumption Statistics

Contrary to popular belief, broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables purchased and consumed annually. It ranks as the sixth most popular vegetable and is highly regarded for its nutritional value, low calorie content, and high fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K levels.

Americans have embraced broccoli for its numerous health benefits and versatility in various dishes. According to consumption trends, the demand for broccoli has been steadily increasing over the years. Its popularity can be attributed to its reputation as a nutritious powerhouse and its delicious taste when prepared in various recipes.

“Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, and magnesium. It is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body against harmful free radicals. Incorporating broccoli into your diet can contribute to improved overall health and well-being.”

Whether steamed, roasted, stir-fried, or served raw in salads, broccoli continues to captivate the taste buds of Americans, making it a staple in households across the country. As people become more conscious of their health and seek nutrient-dense food options, broccoli’s popularity is expected to continue growing.

Nutritious Broccoli

The Popularity of Broccoli in the American Diet

Table: Broccoli Consumption Trends in the United States

Year Broccoli Consumption (Pounds per Capita)
2016 2.3
2017 2.5
2018 2.8
2019 3.1

The table above presents the consumption trends of broccoli in the United States from 2016 to 2019. It clearly shows a consistent increase in broccoli consumption, with Americans consuming an average of 3.1 pounds per capita in 2019.

Planting Broccoli in Florida

Broccoli has a long history of being grown in the United States and is now the largest producer of broccoli globally. In Florida, this nutritious vegetable can be successfully cultivated in the north, central, and south regions. It is a versatile crop that can withstand soil temperatures as low as 40°F, making it suitable for Florida’s variable climate.

Planting Seasons Heat-Tolerant Varieties
Broccoli is typically planted in Florida from January to July. This allows for a longer growing season with multiple harvests. For Florida’s warm weather, heat-tolerant varieties such as ‘Green Goliath’ and ‘Green Duke’ are recommended. These varieties have been specifically bred to tolerate higher temperatures and still produce a good crop.

Planting broccoli in Florida requires careful attention to timing and variety selection. By planting during the appropriate seasons and choosing heat-tolerant varieties, you can set your plants up for success.

Remember to provide your broccoli plants with the necessary care, including regular watering, protection from pests, and adequate spacing, to ensure optimal growth and a bountiful harvest. With these considerations in mind, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own delicious and nutritious broccoli right in your Florida garden.

Planting Broccoli in Florida

Related Articles:

  • How To Grow Broccoli In Florida
  • Characteristics of Broccoli
  • Planting and Care Tips for Broccoli

Planting and Caring for Broccoli in Florida

When it comes to successfully growing broccoli in Florida, proper planting and care are key. By following these tips, you can ensure that your broccoli plants thrive and yield a bountiful harvest.


When planting broccoli in Florida, it’s important to give the plants adequate space to grow. Space the seeds or transplants 12 to 24 inches apart to allow room for the plants to develop and spread out. This spacing will help prevent overcrowding, which can lead to poor air circulation and increased pest and disease issues.


Broccoli plants require ample sunlight to thrive. Choose a sunny location in your garden that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Positioning your plants in a sunny spot will promote healthy growth and ensure that they receive the light they need for photosynthesis and optimal nutrient absorption.


Regular watering is crucial for the success of your broccoli plants. Aim to water them consistently, providing approximately 1 to 2 inches of water per week. This will help keep the soil evenly moist and ensure that the plants have sufficient hydration for growth. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot or other fungal diseases.

Pest Control

Protecting your broccoli plants from pests is essential for their well-being. Common pests that can affect broccoli include caterpillars, aphids, and cabbage worms. Implementing organic pest control methods, such as introducing beneficial insects or using natural insecticides, can help keep these pests at bay. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation and take action promptly to prevent damage.

Planting and Caring for Broccoli in Florida

By following proper planting practices and providing the right care, you can cultivate healthy and productive broccoli plants in your Florida garden. Remember to give them adequate spacing, ensure they receive enough sunlight, water them regularly, and implement effective pest control measures. With these steps, you’ll be on your way to enjoying fresh and delicious homegrown broccoli.

Growing Other Vegetables in Central Florida

In addition to growing broccoli, your Central Florida backyard garden is the perfect space to cultivate a variety of other vegetables. By adopting healthy gardening methods and incorporating heirloom varieties, you can create a vibrant and diverse garden that will enhance your culinary experiences.


Cabbage is an excellent choice for your Central Florida garden. With its high water content and crisp texture, it adds a refreshing element to salads and coleslaws. This versatile vegetable requires regular watering, averaging 1 to 1.5 inches per week, to maintain its moisture levels and promote healthy growth. Cabbage prefers cooler temperatures, making it an ideal addition to your garden during the winter months. Ensure your cabbage plants receive ample sunlight, at least 4 to 6 hours per day, to support their development. Additionally, implementing effective pest management techniques, such as applying organic pest control methods, will help safeguard your cabbage plants from common pests like aphids and caterpillars.


Collards are another fantastic vegetable to consider growing in Central Florida. Known for their dark, nutritious leaves, collards offer a rich flavor that can be enjoyed both cooked and raw. These leafy greens mature relatively quickly, with a time to maturity of just 80 days, allowing you to enjoy their harvest in a shorter span. Adequate watering, approximately 1 to 1.5 inches per week, is crucial for the healthy growth of collard plants. Spacing them 36 inches apart ensures sufficient room for their robust growth and development. However, as with any vegetable, it’s important to be mindful of pests and diseases. Regular inspection for common collard pests, such as aphids and caterpillars, is recommended. Additionally, taking preventive measures against diseases caused by overwatering, such as fungal infections, can help ensure the longevity and success of your collard plants.

Heirloom Varieties and Healthy Methods

To enhance the diversity and flavor of your Central Florida garden, consider incorporating heirloom varieties of cabbage and collards. Heirloom vegetables are defined by their rich history and unique genetic traits, which have been preserved and passed down through generations of farmers and gardeners. By introducing heirloom varieties into your garden, you can experience a broader range of tastes, textures, and colors, adding a sense of nostalgia and excitement to your meals. When growing these vegetables, prioritize healthy gardening methods such as organic fertilizers, minimal pesticide use, and ecological practices. This approach ensures that you can enjoy your homegrown vegetables while promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness.

Vegetable Growing Tips
Cabbage – Regular watering: 1 to 1.5 inches per week
– Full sun: at least 4 to 6 hours per day
– Pest control: organic methods
Collards – Regular watering: 1 to 1.5 inches per week
– Spacing: 36 inches apart
– Pest control: regular inspection and preventive measures

In conclusion, your Central Florida backyard garden is a haven for growing a variety of vegetables. By incorporating heirloom varieties, practicing healthy gardening methods, and paying attention to specific growing tips, you can experience the joy of cultivating delicious cabbage and collards. These flavorful vegetables will not only enhance your culinary creations but also offer a rewarding and sustainable gardening experience. Enjoy the harvest from your thriving garden!

Central Florida Backyard Garden

Growing Cabbage in Central Florida

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that thrives in the climate of Central Florida. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh and nutritious cabbage. Here are some key factors to consider when growing cabbage in Central Florida:

  1. Watering: Cabbage requires consistent moisture for optimal growth. Aim to provide 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot.
  2. Growing season: Cabbage prefers cooler temperatures, making it a great vegetable to grow during the winter months in Central Florida. It can be planted in the fall or early spring, with a growing season of approximately 85 to 110 days.
  3. Sunlight: Cabbage thrives in full sun, so choose a location in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. This will promote healthy growth and help prevent diseases.
  4. Pest management: Cabbage can be susceptible to pests such as cabbage worms, aphids, and slugs. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of infestation and take appropriate measures to control pests, such as using organic insecticides or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully grow cabbage in your Central Florida garden and enjoy its crisp and flavorful leaves in a variety of culinary creations.

Growing Cabbage in Central Florida

Table: Cabbage Varieties for Central Florida

Variety Maturity Time Head Size Special Characteristics
Early Jersey Wakefield 65-75 days Small to medium Tight, pointed heads
Golden Acre 70-80 days Medium Round, compact heads
Flat Dutch 90-100 days Large Flat, firm heads

Growing Collards in Central Florida

Collards are a hassle-free vegetable to grow in Central Florida, providing you with a nutritious addition to your garden. These leafy greens reach maturity in just 80 days, allowing for a relatively quick harvest. When it comes to watering, collards require approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Maintaining consistent moisture in the soil is crucial for their healthy growth.

Proper spacing is essential for optimal collard growth. Planting them 36 inches apart allows each plant enough room to spread out and thrive. As with any vegetable, pest control is necessary to ensure a successful harvest. Regular inspections for common pests such as aphids and caterpillars are recommended. Taking preventive measures against diseases caused by overwatering, such as fungal infections, is also important.

Growing Collards: Key Points

To recap, here are the key points to remember when growing collards in Central Florida:

  • Maturity time: Collards reach maturity in 80 days.
  • Watering: Provide 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to maintain consistent moisture.
  • Spacing: Plant collards 36 inches apart to allow for optimal growth.
  • Pest control: Regularly inspect plants for pests and take preventive measures against diseases caused by overwatering.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully cultivate collards and enjoy their fresh, nutritious leaves in your Central Florida garden.

Growing Collards in Central Florida
Maturity Time 80 days
Watering 1 to 1.5 inches per week
Spacing 36 inches apart
Pest Control Regular inspections and preventive measures

Growing collards in central Florida


Congratulations on reaching the end of our guide on growing broccoli in Florida! By following the tips and guidelines provided, you’ll be well-equipped to cultivate this nutritious vegetable in your own backyard garden.

One of the key benefits of growing broccoli in Florida is the access to fresh and high-quality produce. Homegrown broccoli not only tastes better but also retains its nutritional value, providing you with a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, by cultivating your own broccoli, you have control over the growing process, ensuring that no harmful fertilizers or pesticides are used.

Remember, successful broccoli cultivation in Florida relies on proper planting and care, as well as selecting the right variety. By choosing heat-tolerant varieties and planting during the appropriate season, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest throughout the cool season. So why not give it a try and experience the satisfaction of growing your own delicious broccoli right at home in sunny Florida?


Can broccoli be grown in Florida?

Yes, broccoli can easily be grown in Florida, particularly during the fall and winter seasons.

What nutrients does broccoli contain?

Broccoli is packed with nutrients such as riboflavin, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.

What other vegetables belong to the cruciferous family?

Other vegetables in the cruciferous family include kale, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts.

When is the best time to plant broccoli in Florida?

Broccoli should be planted in the fall and winter in Florida to ensure optimal growth.

What varieties of broccoli are recommended for growing in Florida?

Recommended varieties for Florida include ‘Waltham 29’, ‘Early Green’, ‘Early Dividend’, ‘Green Sprouting’ or ‘Calabrese’, ‘Packman’, and ‘De Cicco’.

What are the benefits of growing broccoli at home?

By growing broccoli at home, you can enjoy its nutritional benefits, freshness, and have control over the growing process.

Is broccoli a popular vegetable?

Yes, broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables purchased and consumed annually, ranking as the sixth most popular vegetable.

Can broccoli be grown in different regions of Florida?

Yes, broccoli can be grown in the north, central, and south regions of Florida.

What planting and care tips should be followed for broccoli in Florida?

Adequate spacing, sunlight, regular watering, frost protection, and pest management are important for successful broccoli cultivation in Florida.

What other vegetables can be grown in Central Florida’s backyard gardens?

In addition to broccoli, cabbage, collards, and a variety of other vegetables can thrive in Central Florida’s backyard gardens.

How can cabbage be grown in Central Florida?

Cabbage requires ample sunlight, regular irrigation of 1 to 1.5 inches per week, and adequate pest management for healthy growth in Central Florida.

What are the requirements for growing collards in Central Florida?

Collards require 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, spacing of 36 inches, regular pest inspection, and preventive measures against diseases caused by overwatering.

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