Ornamental Kale 'Glamour Red'

kale GlamourRedNow is the season when ornamental cabbages and kales really come into their own. The cold nights have brought out the red, rose and white shades that make this crop so vivid. The color starts in the heart of the plant, and it only grows more vibrant once the night temperatures fall below 55 degrees for a couple of weeks.

‘Nagoya Rose’ and ‘Nagoya White’ are the standards for these ornamentals. They first established kale as a viable ornamental crop and it’s easy to see why: big plants feature showy frills and a striking shock of color in the center.

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‘Nagoya White’

For a white element, ‘Nagoya White’ is still hard to beat. That snowy center you see in the photograph will continue to grow until it becomes the dominant color of the plant. The kales at the Krohn Conservatory became mostly white by February.

OrnamentalKale NagoyaRose
‘Nagoya Rose’

Deep winter performance speaks to the durability of these ornamentals. Buy them to enjoy in the fall, and look forward to the bonus winter interest—just as long as the snow doesn’t cover them completely.

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 ‘Glamour Red’

Our favorite of all the different kinds we grow has to be ‘Glamour Red’. It offers the punchiest red of all the red-hearted kales, and the leaf is much brighter and glossier than the others. Most ornamental kales have the normal “kale” color to their leaves—a mid-green with a dull waxy coat.


‘Glamour Red’ doesn’t sport that gummy, waxy quality we expect. The leaves are much darker and more lustrous, as you can see in the comparison photo we took today. The shiny foliage also makes the red appear more vibrant and vivid than it does in the other ornamentals.

‘Glamour Red’ is an AAS winner as well, considered to be the best in its category. We have to say, we agree with that assessment.

You can plant cabbages and kales en masse for a dramatic late fall garden. Consider alternating the red and white cultivars to create a more dynamic mix. We also like to tie the designs together with a liberal amount of yellow and red pansies as the common bond throughout the garden.