A Guide For Growing Broccolini From Seed

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Last Updated on October 26, 2022

In this article, we will look at growing broccolini from seed and how to care for this plant so that it gives you a decent harvest.

Broccolini is an excellent vegetable that grows easily in gardens across the United States. It is a trademarked hybrid between the standard American broccoli and Chinese broccoli called gailan.

Instead of growing one large head like the standard broccoli, it bears many small tender side shoots that have a subtly sweet flavor with peppery hints.

Some people grow broccolini for its texture and taste, while others love it because it is temperature sensitive and an expensive fad crop.

Most gardeners take up growing broccolini from seed as a hobby, and there’s a plant that provides the right nutrition to their families. Growing broccoli from seed is easy, and this is all you need to know.

Growing Broccolini From Seed

Start your broccolini seeds indoors or on a covered porch in containers in the late summer. Transplant your seedlings outdoors in the early fall for a late autumn harvest.

Transplant your seedlings when they have developed at least 6 to 8 true leaves. Before transplanting, amend your soil with compost manure at least 1/2 an inch deeper into the soil than they were growing in the pots. Space out your plants about a foot apart in rows that are 2 feet apart.

You can also directly sow your seeds in the garden soil that is already amended with compost. Sow them directly in rows of 12 to 14 inches apart. Place the broccolini seed in a 1/4 inch deep hole and lightly cover with soil.

Once the seedlings germinate, thin them to at least 5 to 6 inches apart.

Broccolini is still a fairly new vegetable with several suggested planting seasons. Some gardeners suggest that you plant as soon as the last frost date passes in the spring, while others say that broccolini growing is best done in the early fall.

It is true broccolini can be grown as a fall or summer crop, but you may want to experiment and see what works best in your area.

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Transplanting Broccolini

After 4 to 6 weeks of germination, your broccoli seedlings will have developed 6 to 8 leaves. It is time to transfer them to your outdoor garden.

Before transplanting, bring them outdoors for a few hours every week for hardening off. This will help your seedlings adjust to the outdoor temperatures before transplanting.

Remove every seedling from the tray gently without disturbing their root system. Place your seedling in the middle of the hole, gently covering them with soil. Work gently with your seedlings to eliminate the transplanting shock that kills most young plants.

Transplanting Broccolini

How To Care For Broccolini

    • Soil. Broccolini prefers moderately low acidity with a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0. the soil must be well-draining and enriched with compost manure, organic fertilizers, or commercial fertilizers. Add a couple of inches of compost or well-rotted manure to your soil before planting to enhance it with the right nutrients. Add a handful of wood ashes around each broccolini seedlings if your soil is too acidic.

    • Mulching. To preserve moisture in your soil, spread grass clippings or organic mulch under each seedling after transplanting. This keeps your soil well moisturized and discourages weeds from growing. Weeds usually compete with the plant in receiving the nutrients from the soil and, in some cases, could weaken your plants.

    • Watering. Provide your broccolini with at least 1 to 2 inches of water each week. Provide enough water to your broccolini plants, especially during flowering, to enable an excellent crop to form.

    • Fertilizing. Amend your soils with compost manure or organic fertilizer. You can also spray your plants with compost tea or diluted fish emulsion every fortnight to provide an extra nitrogen boost.

Required Items To Grow Broccolini From Seed

Certain items are essential if you wish to grow a decent crop of broccolini; they include

    • Soil testing kit
    • A shovel
    • Peat moss
    • Limestone
    • Sulfur
    • Liquid fertilizer 20 20 20
    • Fertilizer 8:16:16
    • Broccolini seeds or seedlings.

J R Peters 52008 Jacks Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer, 8-Ounce

Common Broccolini Pests And Diseases

Just like ordinary broccoli, this plant faces the same problems.  To minimize pests and disease issues, it is advisable not to plant broccolini where you had previously planted cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, or any of their relatives in the last 4 years.

Some of the common broccolini problems you might face

  • Aphid or Whitefly Infestation. If you notice your broccoli leaves curling or turning yellow you may have a whitefly or aphid infestation. Look on the undersides of leaves for soft tiny bodied green pink or brown insects. You can handpick aphids and throw them away or kill them using organic insecticidal soap. You can also bring in ladybugs as they eat aphids. Insecticidal soap is the best remedy to eliminate whiteflies.

  • Flea Beetles. Flea beetles cause pinholes in your leaves by chewing the leaves and the stem. You can use pyrethrum spray to control these pests as it is organic but toxic to these pests. Though it protects your plants from flea beetles infestation it is also toxic to bees. Therefore it is advisable to spray it in the evening when pollinators are not active.

  • Cabbage Worms. Large ragged holes in broccoli leaves may be caused by cabbage worms or the green striped caterpillars. Handpick them and throw them away or spray them with a pesticide; you may also notice these holes caused by slugs. If you have a slug infestation in your broccolini plant, set water mixed with yeast or beer in your garden that will attract the slugs. They will stop eating your plants and fall into the water and die.

  • Downy Mildew. If you notice yellowish spots on leaves, this indicates that your plants are suffering from downy mildew. You might also notice that plants are spiked with black dots on leaves and stem reddish leaves that are the first signs of a blackleg problem.  Try spraying an organic fungicide like copper to treat this disease immediately you notice. If the plants are too infected, remove and destroy them and do not put them in the compost heap.

Common Broccolini Pests And Diseases



How long does it take to grow broccolini?

It takes about 6-8 weeks from seed to harvest for broccoli.

However, if you're looking for a headier flavor, you may want to wait until the plants are a little bigger before harvesting. Broccoli has a longer growing season than most vegetables. This is because it needs lots of light and heat. But once it starts producing, it will keep producing until the first hard frost. So if you plant your broccoli in the fall, you can expect to have some on your dinner table throughout the winter.

Is it easy to grow broccolini?

It can be hard to grow. It’s a cool-season vegetable that grows well in the spring and fall. There are several varieties of broccolini that you can choose from. Broccolini is a member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) and it grows well in areas with cold winters and warm summers. It needs well-drained soil that has some compost or organic matter added to it.

If your soil is too heavy or clayey, it will likely not grow well. The first step in growing broccolini is to sow seeds. The seeds can be direct sown in the garden in the spring or fall, or they can be started indoors in trays or seedling flats in the spring and transplanted outdoors in the fall.  Broccolini seeds are often slow to germinate, so if you’re not sure whether yours have sprouted, wait until the following week. You’ll know when they’ve germinated when you see a small green shoot.

Can you grow broccolini in containers?

Yes, you can plant in containers. But you'll need to give it some TLC to get it to grow. It will also need a little more fertilizer than most plants. Here are a couple of suggestions:

You can try planting a few small plants in a large pot with good drainage. Then water them thoroughly. As they grow, you can divide them or transplant them to larger pots. Another option is to use a hanging basket or window box. You can plant the seeds directly into the soil and water thoroughly. Another method is to grow broccolini in a small container and then transplant it to the ground. You can grow it from seedlings that you've started indoors. Just be sure to start seeds in a cool place such as a refrigerator. And make sure the seeds have been kept moist.

How much broccolini do you get from one plant?

Plants can be 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide and you can harvest about 8-10 stalks from each plant.

What can you plant with broccolini?

You can plant onions, celery and potatoes.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, which includes cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese kale and is grown as a biennial, meaning it has to be replanted the following year for a new crop of plants to grow. Broccolini is a tender vegetable, and it grows well in full sun in a well-drained soil.



Growing broccolini from seed can be challenging for a new gardener since not many gardeners are growing them yet. However, most gardeners are beginning to take notice of the nutritional benefits of broccolini and gaining more interest in growing them.

We hope that as you gain interest in this plant, you will grow it from seed successfully.

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