Thoughts on Growing Cauliflower in Containers

Posted on Oct 9 2009 - 5:30am by Mike Lieberman

With the fall season upon us, I can look back at my initial May planting and say that I’m most disappointed in the cauliflower plant.

Of all the plants, it’s the one that has done the least. It’s pretty much done nothing.

A few weeks ago, I also said that I wouldn’t recommend growing red peppers in small spaces, but was proven wrong when they started to bloom again.

At least that I got some peppers out of those plants though. With the cauliflower, I’ve gotten nothing.

Here’s my thoughts on what could be going on:

  • It was a bad plant.
  • I planted too many (3) plants in one container.
  • Cauliflower just doesn’t work in containers.
  • It takes a really long time to head up, and I am being impatient.

At this point, I’d have to say that I really wouldn’t recommend growing cauliflower in containers, especially if you have limited space. That container could be used for something much more productive and rewarding.

What’s been your experience with growing cauliflower?


  • Melanie Fleur

    Yeah.. I didn't have much success with them either. :(

  • MarkD

    Yep, i reckon too may plants. One would be ideal i think -they're slow to mature and like a bit of food from the soil so perhaps the competition for goodnesss from the other 2 wasn't what they wanted. maybe take 2 out (the leaves may still be tasty) and give the one left a little feed and they may come to something over the winter. And good luck!

  • nanfischer

    Cauliflower is a big feeder. It should have flowered by now, as it's a fall crop, like cabbage. The plant looks stunted, like it needed more nutrients. Maybe it's not suited for containers, unless you feed it heavily and regularly, and organically, of course, which goes without saying.

    You can find seeds that are suited for container planting. I know Johnny's has quite a selection, not sure of others.

    I had great luck with peppers in containers, especially since we have such a short season. I keep them in until late, then bring them back in to finish out the fall until the greenhouse gets too cold.


  • Mike Lieberman

    What do you think is the cause?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. If I plant them again, I'd likely just put one per container.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the advice. I thought it should've flowered by now. Thought it was starting to a few times, but nothing.

    It just might not be suited for containers. The peppers are still fruiting, which is nice.

  • Sylvana

    I've never tried to grow it as I don't eat much of it, but my neighbor does and it takes hers a long time to head and the plants gets really big, so 1 to a container is a much better idea.

    BTW, I found you on Blotanical and the picture in this post made me fav you! Awesome. What up, cauliflower?!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. I'm still figuring out blotanical. It's a bit confusing. I guess I now know for next year. What is up w the cauliflower?

  • Sue

    Needs the soil a bit sweet and needs a lot of nitrogen..also I'd go one plant/ container. Heavy feeder…fall producing. Try it again. Might want to plant it a little later.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the advice. Will definitely take into consideration for next spring. I'll have a much better plan in tact.

  • rose

    Dude, Cauliflower is chilly season crop!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Haha. Thanks. Well it's getting chilly, so it best start doin something. I'm growing impatient :-)

  • Mike Lieberman

    Haha. Thanks. Well it's getting chilly, so it best start doin something. I'm growing impatient :-)

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  • JJ

    I bought 2 Grow Boxes – – and will have such a tremendous harvest of tomatoes, I'm going to get 2 more boxes to plant cauliflower, broccoli, and collard greens for the fall/winter. Grow Box is similar to Earth Box only it's a bit larger, has no wheels and costs $15 less. Yu might want to check them out for fire escape farming (or patio, balcony, etc.)
    They come with everything except soil and water: An amazing fertilizer packet attached to a canvas-like cover which is imprinted with numbered squares corelating to a chart in the literature which shows where to plant various types of plants (for spacing) that yu place over the soil. The cover also eliminates weeds.
    The bottom of the container (box) is for water. It is easy to assemble and is self-watering. (I had to add water for the tomato seeds only once a week until the plants got to 2 ft tall; now I fill the bottom every other day or so.) They tomato plants are now thick, bushy, 4 ft tall and LOADED with tomatoes!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the infomercial. Good luck with the growing.

  • Waspkid

    I’ve had very good luck in buckets. Cauliflower & broccoli both do fine for me. Yes, 1 plant/container.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. I’ll have to give it another go.