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Broccoli Growing Problems: Troubleshooting

Broccoli and Cabbage1
Broccoli growing problems: Broccoli and Cabbage
Broccoli growing problems are often avoided if broccoli is grown for cool weather harvest in rich, well-drained soil.

Broccoli is treated much as cabbage. Grow broccoli as rapidly as possible. Give broccoli plenty of moisture and be sure to feed it through the season–a planting bed amended with aged compost is an important start. While broccoli is hardy at maturity, young plants should not be subjected to frost.

For broccoli growing tips see How to Grow Broccoli or Broccoli Growing Success Tips at the bottom of this post.

Here are common broccoli growing problems with cures and controls:

• Seedlings fail to emerge from soil; seedlings are eaten; roots are tunneled. Cabbage maggot is a small gray-white, legless worm to ⅓-inch long; adult is the cabbage root fly, looks like a housefly. Flies lay eggs in the soil near the seedling or plant. Maggots will tunnel into roots leaving brown scars; some plants may be honeycombed with slimy tunnels. Exclude flies with floating row covers. Remove and dispose of damaged plants. Apply lime or wood ashes around the base of plants; time planting to avoid insect growth cycle. Plant a bit later when the weather is drier.

• Seeds rot or seedlings collapse with dark water-soaked stems as soon as they appear. Damping off is a fungus that lives in the soil, particularly where humidity is high. Do not plant in cold, moist soil. Make sure soil is well drained.

• Seedlings are eaten or cut off near soil level. Cutworms are gray grubs ½- to ¾-inch long that can be found curled under the soil. They chew stems, roots, and leaves. Place a 3-inch paper collar around the stem of the plant. Keep the garden free of weeds; sprinkle wood ash around base of plants.

• Young sprouts fail to grow or die back; bluish-black spot on leaves and stems. Blackleg is a fungal disease which causes sprouts to girdle and rot at soil level–“blacklegs.” Blackleg is spread by cutworms and cabbage maggots. Remove and destroy infected plants; keep the garden free of plant debris. Add organic matter to planting bed; make sure soil is well-drained. Rotate crops.

• Small scattered heads form; mature heads do not. Young plants will form small heads prematurely if temperatures fall below 40°F shortly after planting. Protect young plants with hot kaps or floating row covers.

• Young plants flower. Cold will cause young plants to prematurely flower and produce seed without forming a head. Protect young plants from cold weather with floating row covers; set transplants into the garden no sooner than 1 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.

• Irregular yellowish to brownish spots on upper leaf surfaces; grayish powder or mold on undersides. Downy mildew is caused by a fungus. Improve air circulation. Plant resistant varieties. Rotate crops. Keep garden free of plant debris.

• Plant wilts; roots are swollen and misshapen, roots rot. Clubroot is a soilborne fungal disease. Fungus interferes with water and nutrient uptake of roots. Keep the garden clean of plant debris and weeds that can harbor the fungus. Remove and destroy infected plants including soil around roots. Clubroot is found in acid soils; add lime if soil pH below 7.2. Rotate crops for at least 2 years. Purchase transplants from disease-free supplier.

• Leaves become dull yellow, curl, and plant may die. Cabbage yellows is caused by the Fusarium soil fungus that infects plants usually where the soil is warm. The disease is spread by leafhoppers. Remove infected plants. Control leafhopper. Keep the garden free of weeds which can harbor disease. Keep soil evenly moist, but not wet. Rotate crops.

Plant resistant varieties: Early Snowball.

• Leaves yellow; plant stunted; small glistening white specks on roots. Root cyst nematode is a microscopic worm-like animal that lives in the film of water that coats soil particles. Rotate cabbage family crops. Solarize the soil with clear plastic in mid-summer.

• Plant stunted; worms tunnel into roots. Plump grayish grub with brown head is the larva of the June beetle, a reddish brown or black hard-shelled beetle to 1 inch long. Wireworms are the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles; they look like wiry-jointed worms. Check soil before planting; hand pick and destroy pests; flood the soil if wireworms are present. Remove infested plants and surrounding soil. Keep the garden free of refuse that could shelter beetle eggs.

• Leaves are yellowish and slightly curled with small shiny specks. Aphids are tiny, oval, whitish-green, pink, or black pear-shaped insects that colonize on leaves. They leave behind sticky excrement called honeydew which can turn into a black sooty mold. Remove with a blast of water. Use insecticidal soap solution. Mulch with aluminum foil to disorient aphids.

• Leaves have whitish or yellowish spots; leaves are deformed; plant wilts. Harlequin bugs or stink bugs. Harlequin bugs are black with bright red yellow or orange markings. They suck fluids from plant tissue causing white and yellow blotches. Handpick and destroy bugs and egg masses. Keep garden free of crop residue and weeds where bugs breed. Spray plants wit Sevin, pyrethrum and rotenone. Stink bugs are gray or green shield-shaped bugs about ¼-inch long; they feed on fruits. Remove garden debris and weeds where bugs can overwinter. Hand-pick egg masses and bugs and destroy.

• Tiny shot-holes in leaves of seedlings. Flea beetles are tiny bronze or black beetles a sixteenth of an inch long. They eat small holes in the leaves of seedlings and small transplants. The larvae feed on roots of germinating plants. Spread diatomaceous earth around seedling. Handpick off plants, Cultivate often to disrupt life cycle. Keep garden clean. Spade garden soil deeply to destroy larvae in earl spring. Treat plants with Sevin, pyrethrum, or rotenone.

• Leaves partially eaten; leaves webbed together; eggs in rows on undersides of leaves. Cabbage webworms are green with a light stripe to ¾ inches long; the webworm is the larvae of a brownish yellow moth with gray markings. Larvae spin light webs. Clip off and destroy webbed leaves. Destroy caterpillars. Keep garden weed free.

• Leaves are eaten and plants are partially defoliated. Blister beetles are slender gray or metallic black beetles to ¾-inch long; they may have striped spots on their wings. Handpick beetles and destroy. Keep the garden weeds and debris. Cultivate in spring to kill larvae and interrupt the life cycle. Spray or dust with Sevin or use a pyrethrum or rotenone spray.

• Large holes in leaves; leaves skeletonized. Cabbage loopers or armyworms. (1) Cabbage looper is a light green caterpillar with yellow stripes running down the back; it loops as it walks. Keep garden clean of debris where adult brownish night-flying moth can lay eggs. Cover plants with spun polyester to exclude moths. Pick loppers off by hand. Use Bacillus thuringiensis. Dust with Sevin or rotenone. (2) Armyworms are dark green caterpillars the larvae of a mottled gray moth with a wingspan of 1½ inches. Armyworms mass and eat leaves, stems, and roots of many crops. Armyworms will live inside webs on leaves. Handpick caterpillars and destroy. Cultivate after harvest to expose the pupae. Use commercial traps with floral lures.

• Leaves are chewed and slimed. Snails and slugs eat leaves. Collect these pests at night. Set beer traps at soil level to attract and drown snails and slugs.

• Leaves chewed. Imported cabbage worm is a pale green caterpillar with yellow stripes to about 1¼ inches long; the adult is a white moth with two or three black spots on the forewing. Use Bacillus thuringiensis. Destroy all remains and weeds after harvest. Companion plant with mint. Encourage the predatory trichogramma wasp.

• Leaves and head become pale green; leaves wilt; slimy rot develops in stem, leaves, and head. Bacterial soft rot is caused by Erwinia bacteria. Water-soaked spots appear on leaves and roots; spots enlarge and turn dark and mushy. Black ooze develops in cracks in roots and stems. Rot can not be cured. Collect and burn infected plants Promote good drainage by adding aged compost and organic materials to planting beds. Avoid over-head watering. Rotate crops.

• Plant stops producing heads or buds; older buds flower. Harvest heads regularly, at least every 3 days. If buds are allowed to flower, the plant will stop producing new heads.

• Plant suddenly flowers. Warm temperatures over 85°F will trigger flowering, small yellow flowers bloom. Plant earlier so that plant matures before heat. Plant mid-summer for a fall crop; plant matures in cool weather. Plant early-maturing varieties: Green Comet Hybrid, Spartan Early, Premium Early.

Broccoli Growing Success Tips:

Planting. Broccoli is a cool-season crop. Plant broccoli in full sun where temperatures do not exceed 80°F. Where temperatures are warmer, grow broccoli in partial shade. Grow broccoli in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to the planting bed before planting. Broccoli can be sown directly in the garden but is best started indoors where it can be protected from early temperature fluctuations and pests.

Planting time. Sow broccoli indoors as early as 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date in spring. Set plants in the garden as early as 2 weeks before the expected last frost. Plant early: warm weather in late spring will cause plants to bolt and flower. As well, weather too chilly in spring–just three or four days below 50°F–will cause broccoli to form button-like flower heads that will never develop. Do not plant out broccoli until the weather is settled. For a fall crop, sow broccoli in the garden 10 to 12 weeks before the average first frost in fall. Protect mid-summer planted broccoli from the heat by planting between taller crops such as tomatoes or corn. In late fall, use floating row covers to protect maturing broccoli from temperatures in the 20°sF.

Care. Keep broccoli evenly moist; do not allow the soil to dry out. Side dress broccoli with compost tea about 2 weeks after transplanting into the garden. Later, side dress plants with aged compost when the main flowerhead begins to form.

Harvest. Broccoli will be ready for harvest soon after flower heads are 1 inch in diameter. Once the main flower head is harvested, broccoli will produce side shoots for up to 3 months. (For a sustained harvest, space broccoli plants at least 24 inches apart at planting time.)

More tips at How to Grow Broccoli.


Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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    • You should have enough time. If you suspect cold weather will come before the new heads are ready, protect the plants with a double or even triple layer of row cover. You want to protect late season broccoli from overnight temperatures that fall in to the 20sF.

    • Yes, you can use your broccoli flowers to make soup. Chop the flower heads. To each cup of chopped flowers add 1 quart of water and 3/4 tablespoon of dry chicken base. Bring to a roiling simmer, add 2 dashes of garlic powder, a pinch of salt and spritz of Worcestershire sauce to the mix. Cook on for 20 minutes. Then lower the heat to a slow roil and add 1/3 cup of milk and 1/3 up of ranch dressing for each quart of water a bit of flour and sour cream to stir until the soup thickens–about 10 minutes. Add bacon bits, dried onion flakes, and a dash of cooking sherry for flavor. Serve hot with thick, crusty bread.

    • You can remove insect damaged leaves from your broccoli plant–to allow new leaves to replace the damaged leaves. But don’t remove so many leaves that the plant is unable to photosynthesize. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water.

  1. briccilee plants have no heads, except for one plant. have 21 plants. planted where potatoes were planted last year.what is my problem

    • Temperatures too cold or too warm can result in broccoli heads failing to form. Water stress and nutrient stress can also cause this problem. Don’t plant too early in spring if temperatures are below 50F–keep the plants worm by covering them with row covers. Keep the soil evenly moist–not too wet and not dry. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers–an organic 5-10-10 fertilizer would be best; follow the directions, do not over-fertilize. Fall is a good time to plant broccoli, the soil is still warm and the temperatures during development are not too cold.

      • not sure that heads were even formed……there is nothing in the middle of the plants. Hence my quuestion. Will heads still form? preparing to start over.

        • Broccoli heads are generally ready for harvest 10 to 13 weeks after seed sowing depending on the variety. The heads (each head is a collection of small flowers) should form in the last 10 days or so before harvest. If your broccoli has formed no heads and your are within a week of expected maturity then several factors could account for the failure of heads to form — usually weather too warm (greater than 75F) or too cold (less than 50F), or insufficient soil moisture or nutrients. If you see a collection of small flowers forming on the central stalks then wait. If the days to expected maturity have already passed, then start a new crop.

  2. I had 9 broccoli plants. They grew HUGE, but no heads. Then all of a sudden – heads! Very excited. I harvested the 2 largest one week, leaving the others to grow. Instead of growing, many of the flowers opened to yellow, and many turned brown. I harvested these anyhow, if nothing else, to get rid of them because they did not look like they would “get better”, and on closer look, the brown is actually partly rotten. The plants still are huge and look fine, so I’m hoping for some side shoots, but what happened?

    • You harvested the two main heads just in time. It is likely the weather is or was warm and the flowers buds (the heads) of the sideshoots simply opened and flowered–following the course of nature. It is best to bring broccoli to harvest when temperatures are consistently less than 70F–warmer weather will initiate flowering. When the yellow flowers open they will soon go to seed (again doing exactly what nature wants them to do) and turn brown and dry and drop. Trim away any flowers that have opened and allow the plant to produce new flower heads. And again, harvest the flower heads before they bloom.

  3. My broccoli was maturing nicely then all of a sudden the small heads starting flowering so instead of nice tight bunches of heads we have loose knit flowering heads. Any ideas please?

    • Once broccoli heads open to flower, those heads become inedible. Trim away the open heads and allow the plant to produce new side heads. They will be smaller than the terminal, largest head. Warm temperatures caused the broccoli to bloom. When the weather modulates between cool and warm, keep an eye on broccoli (and lettuce and leafy crops); if the temperatures go into the mid to high 70sF, broccoli will want to bloom–harvest before the flower heads open, even if the heads are small.

  4. I set out broccoli plants on May 5 and expected to harvest by July 4. Instead I started harvesting on June 15. I don’t recall such an early harvest. They are 60 day plants.

    • Interesting. That is about 40 days between when you set the plants out and harvest. If the variety is 60 days to harvest, it would seem that the seedlings you set out were already three weeks or about 20 days old. The days to harvest are usually from germination to harvest.

  5. Hello I am new to gardening I have broccoli seedlings they just started to sprout I checked on them in the morning they were fine then I just went back to check on them and the sprouts are curling back and they are falling over like they are dying idk what to do? Please Help

    • There are a few possible reasons your young seedlings are in trouble: (1) a fungal disease called damping off may be attacking the plants; this is a soil borne disease that can happen indoors or outdoors if the soil is too wet or the air temperature is too cold; there is no cure for damping off; you will need to replant in sterile soil (indoors) or wait for outdoor temperatures to warm; also avoid watering too often when seedling first emerge; (2) night or day temperatures are too cold–wait until temperatures moderate; (3) too much nitrogen in the soil; avoid adding nitrogen to the soil ahead of planting; wait 3 to 4 weeks before feeding young seedlings. Whatever the problem, you will likely need to replant.

  6. My broccoli seems to be growing really well but the bottom few leaves on a couple of the plants has some yellow on them. Any idea what might be causing this? The plants are big and most of the plant is a darker green.

    • Lower leaves (which are also older leaves) on most vegetables can be susceptible to yellowing and die back. If the mid to upper leaves are green and healthy there may be nothing to worry about. Lower leaves can suffer as plants grow larger; neighboring plants may cut off some exposure to sunlight and air circulation; both can result in leaf yellowing and dieback. If you suspect the yellowing is more serious, you can sidedress plants with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion. This will give plants a nutrient boost. You can also check the undersides of leaves for signs of insect infestation–you may see insect eggs (which you can crush) or adult insects which you can spray with insecticidal soap.

  7. I believe I have missed the broccoli AND cauliflower head train. I live in Iowa – I started the seedlings indoors March 17. transplanted outdoor… April?… and it is now June 23rd and NO heads. Did i miss the good part? Am I only left with leaves to eat? My plants seem healthy in every other way. And if I did miss – what are some approaches to next time? I think I will try again in september to get a cool crop since Iowa does get warm in the spring…. Side note, it has not sustained temps past 85 yet, but it had been warmer on some days, and we have gotten enough rain. Let me know what you think without looking at the garden! Thanks!!

    • You have identified the problem: temperature. Plan to set out transplants in mid- to late summer, timing maturity of the variety you are growing to come a few weeks before the first expected fall frost. If the frost comes sooner than you expected, you can protect plants with floating row covers or a plastic hoop tunnel. Broccoli and cauliflower grow best when they come to harvest in cool weather–in the 60sF.

  8. my broccoli plants are kind of falling over and haven’t developed a real “trunk’ of a stem.
    i used spent mushroom compost as a side dress. Are there some nutrients that they might be needing to toughen up?

    • Broccoli is a heavy feeder and will benefit from regular feeding. Side dress plants with a 5-20-5 organic fertilizer once a month through the growing season. Stake your plants if they are falling over. Be sure to keep the soil just moist.

    • As days grow shorter (assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere), plant growth slows; there is not much we can do about that other than wait for days to grow longer again. However, you can give you plants close to optimal conditions. Place a plastic hoop tunnel over the plants–or floating row covers–to protect the plants from cool and cold temperatures. Plant winter crops on mounded or raised beds; raised beds will be warmed by the sun and in turn plant roots will be warmed. Feed your plants compost tea or a dilute solution of fish or kelp meal to give them a nutrient boost.

  9. Hi! I’ve started some broccoli seeds in my kitchen and they germinated very well and have been going very nicely. They’re about 3 inches. We had some very nice weather recently, so I put my flats out on the deck and watered them very well and the plants looked great when I brought them inside. The next morning, all sprouts’ leaves are gone. Stems still stand strong, but no leaves. Any ideas about this are appreciated.

    • The change in temperature outside to inside may have shocked the plants causing the leaves to drop. Too much water could do the same. Keep an eye on the plants; they might re-leaf.

  10. I just transplanted broccoli seedlings from peat pellet starters to pots with soil and the leaves are being eaten! My sunflower leaves are also being eaten and they’ve been in pots with soil from the start. I plan to spray with a mixture of 1 tbsp dish soap to 1 gallon of water. Any other ideas??

    • Be sure to check the underside of each leaf for signs of insects or insect eggs. You can remove pests and eggs with a stream of water or crush them with your fingers. Move the pots to another location until you identify the pest. Spinosad and Bacillus thuringiensis are two bacteriums found in organic insect sprays that should also kill the pests.

        • My ready to eat broccoli has dark areas, and loose buds (they float on the top of the rinse water) usually the dark spots are more in the center and scattered, I have tried to cut them off and occasionally find dark wet areas under where I cut. I also have problems with little yellowed buds scattered around the head, In other words they are not like the store bought heads, and it takes a lot of time to clean up the bad looking parts when we eat or freeze the broccoli.
          Is it nutrition or weather, or type of verity?

  11. I live in Colorado & transplated broccoli to raised beds approx 4/1. They were approx 8 weeks old when transplanted. It’s been consistently in the 60’s-70’s since transplanting but we’ll get snow this weekend. Do I need to cover them? It’s 2 days of snow and then back to 60’s.

    • Mature broccoli plants can withstand some snow. If the plants are still young, it would be best to cover them and protect them from freezing temperatures. Either place a plastic tunnel over the plants or cover them with a plant blanket set over an A-frame.

  12. I’m new to an Allotment do you have to cover broccoli up with cloches as my plant are to big for them now and my leaves are really light green could you help please

    • If you suspect cold nights or weather are causing the leaves to become light green, place a floating row cover or plant blanket over the plant. Yellowing leaves can also be caused by too much or too little water and by too much nitrogen in the soil.

  13. I am growing broccoli in pots unfortunately I had 6 seedlings in one pot and have had to split them in to Separate pots. I am a newbie to this and have noticed today that the leaves are wilting. Have I stressed the roots to much and is there a chance they may revive

    • Yes, the plants are suffering from transplant shock. Give them several days to recover. Feed them some B1 plant food for transplants.

  14. Hi! I’m new to gardening my own food ☺️ I planted my broccoli in containers on advice from a avid gardener in my family but did this with the expectation that not all the seedlings would grow. However, now I have a lot of broccoli plants in containers that are too small for them. It seems a shame to waste them by thinning them out but I’m worried it might be too late to move them and they might die regardless. Definitely a lesson on how much space to leave them next year, but is there anything I can do this year?

    • The plants must be thinned; only by thinning will the strongest survive. If the plants are well-rooted then lifting some will disturb the roots of those that will remain; this could cause them not to grow fully to maturity. You can thin by cutting away the plans you want to thin at soil level; this will not disturb the roots of the remaining plants. The thinned top foliage can be added to the compost and can be used next season to feed the soil.

  15. My broccoli refused to flower.. Here in the Caribbean , its in the 90 F almost daily. I planted them in March of this year. Its a bit cooler now due to the rainy season. Should I cut down and replant?

    • It’s too warm this time of year for broccoli where you live. Replant in late summer and grow the plants into the cool time of the year.

  16. My broccoli plant grew tall and flowered instead of short with large leaves. Was I supposed to keep it short by trimming it constantly?

    • The plant likely grew tall and flowered because temperatures average greater than 75F. Plant again at the end of summer for harvest in cool weather. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

  17. Hi! I am having success in my small raised bed garden with everything but broccoli! I planted seedlings in April that we had grown indoor from seed and suddenly they stopped thriving. It was like the chlorophyl was being sucked from the leaves and they were curling. I has treating them with soapy water solution as I found aphids and worms. I ended up tearing them out and replacing with seedlings I bought at a garden center last week (early June). They looked great and then this morning they looked like the old batch – curling yellow leaves – suddenly stressed. I had treated them three days ago with the sappy solution and have fed them. There are a few aphids and a few worms, but I remove them regularly! Ugh. Is it possible there is something in the soil? The majority of the soil is brand new this year as we made the bed bigger this season. And none of the other plants seem effected (lettuce, beans, cucumbers, peppers are all doing well). Help!

    • If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures are warming and the season for broccoli is past. Plant again in new soil just after midsummer; grow the plants into the cooling weather, not warming weather. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, and winter is coming, replant in a different planting bed; remove the soil and add new soil to the old bed.

  18. I think I planted my broccoli too early and I’m afraid they’re going to not produce a head. I have them in a bed that gets full afternoon sun. Can I take them out and move them to a semi sunny spot? Or should I just leave them for now? I’m in mid-Michigan.

    • It would be best to move them into the shade–especially if you have a bit of summer left. You may also want to start new plans toward the en of July; try to time maturation of the plants to the expected date of the first frost.

    • Stem rot with a bad smell is likely a bacterial infection. Once a bacterial infection reaches the stem, there is likely no turning back–the plant will fail. You can trim out the rot and perhaps the plant will survive.

  19. Hello, our Broccoli plants have produced huge leaves but no flower head. How long should we wait for the Flower head to show? Thanks. Bob.

    • Look at the days to maturity on your seed packet; flower heads should begin to develop 3 to 4 weeks before the maturity date. If flower heads do not develop, there could be a couple of reasons including (1) temperatures are too warm; (2) there is too much nitrogen in the soil; (3) environmental stress–too much rain or cloud cover. Feed the plants a dilute solution of fish emulsion every 10 days. Give the plant a few extra weeks before you give up. Broccoli leaves are edible; if they are young they can be eaten raw in salads; if they are older, prepare them like you would kale–steamed or sauteed or stir-fried.

  20. Hi, I got a row of broccoli and after I harvested the heads the trunks started to rot and most of them died without producing side shoots, what do you think is the problem?

    • It is likely that moisture or disease entered the plant where the main heads were harvested resulting in the rot. Be sure the cuts are made at an angle so that moisture does not enter the fresh cuts.

  21. Super useful information however I’m not find anything that matches the symptoms my broccoli is facing. The entire inside of the stem seems to have completely rotten and turned to mush, with a very awful smell. It seems to have happened over the span of one day, and now seems to be spreading to one of my Lacinato kale. Got any idea as to what might be causing this? Thanks for the help!

    • What you describe is likely a bacterial infection that is commonly carried through the plant’s water-carrying capillaries. Bacterial can spread in the soil and be carried by soil moisture to other plant roots–and into the neighboring plants. Remove the infected plant and the surrounding soil. Replant in new soil and keep an eye on other plants in the bed. There are no cures for bacterial infections apart from prevention.

  22. My broccoli plants grew really large. Zone 5b. It has been raining a lot. They are 4 weeks old. Almost overnight the large leaves are covered with holes and many of the plants the stem is now only an inch tall. I don’t see any caterpillars or eggs under the leaves. Should I start over or should I just remove the leaves?

    • There are several insect pests that attack broccoli: (1) cabbage looper and imported cabbageworm eat small to large ragged holes in leaves; spray with Bacillus thuringiensis; (2) slugs eat large ragged holes in the leaves and stems; trap and destroy them; (3) flea beetles eat tiny holes in leaves; apply pyrethrum; (4) weevils chew leaves to the stem; spray with pyrethrum; (5) cutworm chew seedlings stems; place barriers or traps. Most of these pests are active at night and hide during the day.

  23. Broccoli – No side shoots
    Hello, I was given two broccoli plants (in exchange for two tomato plants) and planted them next to each other. Both produced main heads which we harvested and were good. One plant has produced two side shoots and small heads which are growing well but the other plant, right next to it, has produced no side shoots at all and is just sitting still alive but almost dormant and I don’t understand why. I cut both original heads off at the same time at the same height and angle so I’m a bit perplexed.

    • If your winter does not turn bitter cold, the plant may survive and eventually produce sideshoot flower heads. A low feeding of phosphorus may encourage side shoots. There are many factors that contribute to the production or non-production of flower heads. The plant may be working on its roots or have other concerns.

  24. I am not having trouble growing broccoli but the worms gross me out please help I am ready for second harvest how can you clean the worms off

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