Tree collards are like no other leafy green, they’re more tree-like hence the name. But that’s not the only thing that makes them unique they’re also excellent beginner plants and work well in many kinds of gardens. It’s unlike most trees. But before you purchase or start your own seeds, you must know how to grow it. Below we go over all the tips on growing it and what makes it unique.
Tree collards, also known as tree kale, have become a more well-known brassica over the years for good reasons. This tree is one of the easiest plants to grow because it’s easy to maintain.
All it needs is pruning now and then as well as training to standing up straight. You can use a planting stakes for this. This makes it the perfect plant for beginner gardeners.
Tree collards can also withstand cold to freezing temperatures just like any other brassica, making it an excellent cold hardy plant. Even though tree collards do well in cold weather to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, they do best in USDA zones 7-10. If it ever gets too cool, you can always bring your plant inside if you plant it in a movable container or pot.
These plants are suitable for many gardens since they can grow with many other crops, including:
This tree also makes a great addition to any garden because of its many companion plants.
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What Are Tree Collards?
Tree collards are in the Brassica family, along with:
to name a few. These trees have blue, green, and purple leaves, which can grow up to 10 inches long, but the plant itself can grow up to 5 feet tall. Which is another reason it’s called a tree.
You may wonder if tree collards are the same as regular collard greens. The answer to that is no. There are actually many differences between them.
For one, tree collards taste more sweet and nutty than the more bitter collard greens. Even when raw, the tree collards taste sweeter. The other difference between them is that collard greens are grown as annuals, and tree collards are grown as perennials.
This brassica has some things in common with collard greens, which are the health benefits. Now we know all vegetables and fruits reap benefits for us from eating them. Still, brassicas seem to have more than others, especially leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens, and tree collards.
Why You Want To Grow Tree Collards:
- They is full of vitamins
- Can thrive in heat
- Are extremely easy to grow
- Lasts for years without replanting
How To Grow Tree Collards
Now there are a few different ways to grow tree collards. The first way and easiest way is to buy rooted plants. When working with rooted plants, you must get the soil right and ensure proper drainage.
After those requirements are met, you can plant them. Just be sure not to plant them when the soil is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or below 40 degrees.
The second way is to propagate cuttings to grow your tree collards. You can buy a bundle of cuttings. They’re sold in multiples because not all cuttings will survive.
To begin, you need to cut all the leaves off the cuttings except for a few small ones on the top. Then plant your cutting in a container with high-quality potting soil. Then place the cutting about two-thirds of the way in the soil. A 5-inch container will do. And most importantly, make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
After the cutting is planted, press the soil surrounding it down. Now you need to water. You’re looking for the soil to be moist but not soggy. You will need to water every day. After they’re watered, you need to place them in a spot with partial shade.
But remember, they need sunlight daily, and their root is best in temperatures in the 50s to 70s. It’s time to plant them in their permanent home when new growth starts to form, and roots start to come through the drainage holes.
Star From Seed
I started mine from seed as I do most of my plants. I started it indoors under grow lights. You can see my process below:
I planted mine outdoors last year and this year it’s about thigh high and I have been harvesting and cooking its leaves regularly. It’s very easy to maintain and so far has lived through a freeze and temps up to 112 this summer. So, I would call it hardy.
I have mine planted in full afternoon sun in the drought resistant area of my garden (which means it gets less water than the rest of my garden.). It gets morning shade.
Getting The Soil Right
Tree collards thrive in rich soil with a ph of 6.5, which is not too acidic to achieve the perfect soil; you can add compost made of plant debris, food scraps, and coffee grounds.
When using coffee grounds, be sure not to overdo it since they add acid to the soil, and as we mentioned, tree collards don’t like a lot of acids. You can also add vermicompost to get the fertile soil you are looking for.
Fertilizers can also help achieve rich soil. When working with fertilizer, you’re looking for a high nitrogen base fertilizer with low phosphorus.
Tree collards also need plenty of calcium, one of the best ways to provide it would be to add crushed eggshells to the soil.
How Much Sun
This crop needs partial to full sun to thrive, but if you live in a hot climate, they do better in the shade. This way, they won’t get overheated. Remember that these trees need a few hours of sun each day, 4 to 5 hours, so be sure to plant them where they can get some sun.
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Tree collards don’t need large amounts of water to succeed. They actually do best in low water. They can even survive in drought-like weather; however, they are more likely to have smaller growth in these conditions.
To have a more prominent yield, you need to provide water during dry periods but keep in mind they do not like soggy soil. To prevent this, add drainage holes if you’re using containers.
Now you know all about tree collards and how to grow them! Mine has been very hands off and has done well.
I can’t think of a more accessible vegetable to grow. Have you grown tree collards? Let us know any tricks you picked up along the way in the comments. We would love to hear them. Happy gardening.
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