Creative Mustards for Fall

Mustard-mainWe plan to expand our selection of autumn ornamentals that flourish well into the cold season, and we’ve come across some interesting varieties of mustard. They put a different spin on the fall foliage plants we’re used to seeing this time of year, namely kale and cabbage. While similar in color with bright greens and burgundy reds, the leaves on these mustards take unexpected shapes, adding delicate textures to balance the roundness of many cabbages and kales—and for that matter, mums.

These plants are extremely cold hardy and will color up autumn beds and planters all the way to January, if the winter is mild enough. Cold weather intensifies their leaf color, just as it does for ornamental cabbage and kale. Cooler temperatures also enhance the flavor of mustards, which, unlike many other ornamental greens, are grown for eating as much as they are for their showy foliage. Outer leaves can be harvested as needed—these cut and come again varieties are fast growing.

A couple of mustards have
captured our attention this year:


‘Ruby Streaks’ offers fine texture and striking contrast—deeply serrated leaves range from dark green with deep maroon-purple veins to solid maroon. With so much going on, a container full of ‘Ruby Streaks’ looks great all on its own—set one next to a nice orange pumpkin or yellow mum. Plant a row of this mustard alongside a row of bright green lettuce like ‘Butterhead’ to play up the vivid color contrast. Its mild yet zesty flavor makes ‘Ruby Streaks’ a popular choice for salads and stir-fries.


‘Asian Purple Mizuna’ stands out with deep purple leaves that are remarkably toothed. The dark, jagged, almost eerie-looking foliage makes an outstanding companion for warm gold, orange, and red-toned autumn accent plants—especially for Halloween. A subtle peppery flavor combined with its elegant appearance makes this variety a staple of fancy salad mixes.

Our mustards perform best in full sun
and are available in the 6-inch pot.

‘Ruby Streaks’

‘Asian Purple Mizuna’