Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

This variety of kale can serve double duty: beautiful as a landscape element, and delicious to eat. The gray-green leaves have a red tinge and an oak-leaf shape with purple stems. Frost enhances the purple in this plant, while making the leaves sweeter. Don’t let the big leaves worry you—they’re tender and delicious. This kale plant is much taller than your average kale, from 2 to 3 feet tall. It’s lovely, delicious, and you can leave it outdoors all winter. It’s actually a different species than most other kale (Brassica napus), but you grow it—and enjoy it—in much the same way as other kale.

Sun Exposure

  • Full sun (six to 12 hours)

Soil pH

  • 6.0 to 7.5

Hardiness Zones

  • zones 3 to 9
  • ideal temperature: 45 to 85 degrees F


  • thin to 8 inches apart
  • plant rows 2 feet apart


  • 1 to 1 1/2 inches per week


  • 60 days to maturity
  • direct sow or seedlings
  • frost hardy
  • can overwinter outside
  • plant after spring frost and eight weeks before fall frost
  • suitable for container growing
  • grow to 2 to 3 feet tall, 1 foot wide
  • delicious as baby greens

Have you ever grown Red Russian kale? Please tell us about your experiences with the Red Russian kale plants.


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