Chinese Cabbage


Chinese cabbage can be started inside, but later moved outside carefully. See more vegetable pictures.

Not surprisingly, the types of Chinese cabbage sound like items you could order at a Chinese restaurant -- such as Pak Choi and Michihli.

And while these cool-weather vegetables may not be quite as addictive as fried egg rolls or stir fry, they are just as delicious and can be grown fairly easily. In this article, we'll discuss growing and harvesting the different types of Chinese cabbage.

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About Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage is a hardy biennial that is grown as an annual. It has broad, thick, tender leaves with heavy midribs; it can be either loosely or tightly headed.

The plant grows 15 to 18 inches tall. The variety with a large compact heart is called celery cabbage, or Michihli.

Common Name: Chinese cabbage

Scientific Name: Brassica rapa; Pekinensis Group

: Very Hardy (will survive first frost)

In the next section, we'll show you how to grow Chinese cabbage.

Want more information about Chinese cabbage? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Quick guides to delicious meals using Chinese cabbage.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Growing Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage can take from 50 to 80 days to grow.
Chinese cabbage can take from 50 to 80 days to grow.

Chinese cabbage: It's delicious and nutritious, and it can be grown in two to three months.

With a little cold weather, you can grow a Chinese cabbage crop fairly simply. The following are tips for growing and harvesting Chinese cabbage.

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Growing Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage can be grown in cool weather only because it bolts (goes to seed) quickly in hot weather and long days. It's usually grown as a fall crop in the North and as a winter crop in the South.

It can be started inside and transplanted outside in the spring. However, Chinese cabbage shocks easily, and transplanting sometimes shocks it into going to seed. Therefore, it's best to sow the seed directly in the garden and thin them to stand 8 to 12 inches apart.

Water them frequently to help the young plants grow fast and become tender. They'll probably go to seed if growth slows down.

Harvesting Chinese Cabbage

With Chinese cabbage, the time from planting to harvest is 50 to 80 days, depending on the variety. You should harvest when the cabbage heads are compact and firm and before seed stalks form.

With a fall crop, harvest Chinese cabbage before hard-freezing weather. Cut off the whole plant at ground level.

Chinese Cabbage

  • Pak Choi, harvest in 47 days; produces non-heading, white, celery-like stalks with green leaves.
  • Wong Bok, harvest in 85 days, is the standard head-type Chinese cabbage.
  • Michihli, harvest in 75 days; has large heads with blanched inside leaves.

Want more information about Chinese cabbage? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Quick guides to delicious meals using Chinese cabbage.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.