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Plant Library


Red Russian Kale

Brassica napus var. pabularia 'Red Russian'

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Red Russian Kale (Brassica napus var. pabularia 'Red Russian') at Country Basket Garden Centre

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Red Russian Kale (Brassica napus var. pabularia 'Red Russian') at Country Basket Garden Centre

Red Russian Kale foliage

Red Russian Kale foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)


This variety produces beautiful large, grey green and purple edible foliage; performs well in cooler conditions; this super food is a great addition to any salad; mature leaves are great for soups or baked off as chips; great for the garden or containers

Edible Qualities

Red Russian Kale is an annual vegetable plant that is typically grown for its edible qualities. The deeply cut lobed grayish green leaves with showy purple variegation are typically harvested when mature. The leaves have a pleasant taste.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Eating When Cooked/Prepared
  • Cooking

Planting & Growing

Red Russian Kale will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When planted in rows, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. This fast-growing vegetable plant is an annual, which means that it will grow for one season in your garden and then die after producing a crop.

This plant is typically grown in a designated vegetable garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and it is considered by many to be an heirloom variety.

Red Russian Kale is a good choice for the vegetable garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Container 
Ornamental Features