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How to care for cut flower Ornamental Kale

Hello dear flower lovers!

I had some technical difficulties last week and so I wasn't able to get my #APRflowerEd post up here, nor on YouTube. I love technology but it definitely has its downsides! This week on YouTube, I'm sharing a little wedding I had on the weekend a couple of weeks back. It was a small Southern Highlands wedding with all dried flowers. I go through my process and share some tips along the way.

Today's post is going to be all about Ornamental Kale. I spoke a little bit about it in my last post but this time I delve a little deeper. I still have my bunch from exactly two weeks ago and still going strong. They're getting lighter in colour and I've had to pull off a lot of the lower leaves.

How it started - two weeks ago
Today - note the difference in colour
Getting smaller and smaller in size as I pull off old leaves

In the information below I say they have a vase life of up to two weeks because it's a good, rough guide. I've had some last less and these ones I currently have will go beyond two weeks. I have two words for you: Mother nature.

About Ornamental Kale:


Ornamental Kale is a mediterranean flower and are also known as cabbage roses or leaf peonies in Japan. Typically round heads with leaves that form similarly to a Rose, although they do come in different shapes including crinkle-shaped. Kale come in a variety of colours such as silver-green leaves with purple, pink or cream heart, red, deep dark purple.


Autumn to Winter. kale are suitable for any flower designs although a drop of bleach in the water may help with the strong cabbage smell that can develop after a few days. The bunch I currently have only the slightest smell and I haven't added a new drop of bleach each time I've changed the water—I forgot, oops! So this really is a guide. I think we can get away with different things when it's cold!

Vase life

They have a long vase life of up to two weeks (+/-) depending on when they were picked and especially how well hydrated they've been from harvest to consumer.


Select bunched with straight stems and green leaves with no yellowing. Yellowing of leaves with maturation is normal. Simply pull off yellow leaves and follow care steps.


Snip 2cm off stems at 45 degree angle. Put in clean vase of fresh water and floral preservative (Optional: I don't tend to use preservative with any flowers but Kale will be fine with it added). Top up water every day. Ensure no leaves are below the water line. Keep i cooler temperature, out of the sun and away from ripening or wilting plants and produce.

I hope you enjoyed this and learnt something about how to care for Ornamental Kale. Stay safe and warm—it's really starting to feel like Winter isn't it!!

xo rose

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