How to Grow Brussels Sprouts – A Beginner’s Guide

brussels sprouts plant growing in garden
Brussels sprouts, which are known botanically as Brassica Oleracea, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing brussels sprouts as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Brussels Sprouts

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the brussels sprout seeds early spring, or mid- to late summer. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when brussels sprouts are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Brussels Sprouts the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing brussels sprouts in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your brussels sprouts grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained, loam soil well supplied with organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6 to 7.

8″ apart in rows 18″ apart. in rows 15cm (6in) apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 1.2-1.4 inch. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your brussels sprout seedlings 12 to 24 inches apart when they reach 6 inches tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Brussels Sprouts

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your brussels sprouts. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your brussels sprouts should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Brussels Sprouts

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your brussels sprouts do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your brussels sprouts begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Brussels Sprouts to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your brussels sprouts grow.

It takes approximately 7-12 days to germinate, and a total of 80- 100 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Brussels Sprouts

The best time to harvest your brussels sprouts is when the tiny heads are firm, green, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

Brussels sprouts can grow up to about 1.5–4.0 cm (0.6–1.6 in) in diameter.

What Can Brussels Sprouts Be Used For?

Food Use: Raw and shredded in a salad and on top of Pizza

Flavor Profile: sweet, nutty, and smokey.

Can Brussels Sprouts Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will need a large container that is at least 12″+ wide. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your brussels sprouts around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Brussels Sprouts Safe for Bees?

Yes, brussels sprouts are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing brussels sprouts is bee-friendly.

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