View Full Version : Broccoli/plenty of leaves no head?

07-02-2009, 10:02 PM
This is my first year to plant broccoli, I have nice plants of leaves, probably 12 to 14 inches across and 9 inches high but no broccoli heads are in the middle of the plants. Why is this? Also what is safe to use on the leaves they have some holes in them, I looked it up and it is an insect, although looking them over I didn't see any. Really hate to use a chemical! Thanks, Lisa

07-03-2009, 07:38 AM
Hi Lisa, I'm new to the forum so I really don't have much advice for you except maybe about the holes in the leaves. I used to get holes is the leaves of my kohlrabi and could never spot the bug causing them. But one day I inspected really close and spotted a small green caterpillar that blends in perfectly. It was laying along the stem of the leaf and that made them extremely hard to spot. Once I knew what to look for it was a little easier to spot them and I just picked them off and killed them. I bet those caterpillars would like broccoli leaves to.


07-12-2009, 02:44 AM
cabbage looper. They're the larval form of the little white butterflies you see.

07-20-2009, 01:54 PM
Hi Lisa,
It may just need a little more time. My broccoli has also been very slow this year. Last week I had the same problem as you're seeing, but last night almost every plant had a nice start to the head. Just continue to water regularly, and if at all possible, water at the base of the plant so the water gets to the roots and doesn't sit on the leaves, which can be a problem with sprinklers.

Hopefully, your plants will be showing their heads soon, too.


07-21-2009, 09:52 PM
Everything is growing very slow around me this year I'm worried about some of my more gentle plants not being ready in time for harvest. Broccoli is tough, not only can it handle a frost, I've harvested with a light snow on the ground. You should have plenty of time left to harvest from it.

07-29-2009, 08:03 PM
Same problem here with the brocoli and no heads. I'm going to try adding some phosphorus (just a bit) tonight to see if that helps over the next few weeks.

Re: the worms, I use a pyrethrin spray (organic, derived from the chrysanthemum plant). You'd need to reapply it if it rains as in its organic form it is non-persistent. I only spray when I see evidence of a problem. This means that usually by harvest time there are still some worms present... I suppose that is extra protien for the meal. :)