New Kale leaves turning pale yellow/white

Asked November 3, 2017, 1:56 PM EDT

This is my second time this year trying to grow Kale. The first time the old leaves on the bottom turn yellow before they mature . This time the top new leaves turn pale yellow/almost white and I can't find anything online to find out why and how to treat it. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Nassau County New York

3 Responses

I suspect you are growing a variety of ornamental kale/cabbage that has been chosen for its ability to produce white leaves in the center.Here is some additional information from the Missouri Botanical Garden about ornamental kales and cabbages: "Brassica oleracea (Capitata Group), commonly known as cabbage, and Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group), commonly known as kale, are cool weather vegetables that are grown for harvest of their edible leaves. Cabbage forms heads and kale forms upright leaves. By contrast, ornamental cabbages and kales are grown primarily as foliage plants for their intensely colored leaves rather than as vegetables. Ornamental plants were developed for ornamental use without regard to taste. Ornamental cabbage typically develops large rosettes of broad flat leaves and ornamental kale typically develops curly, ruffled leaves in a tight rosette. Leaf colors are usually quite showy, including white/cream, pink, rose, red and purple. These are biennials that are grown in cool climates as annuals. Plants will grow to 12-18” tall, and need the cool weather of spring or fall to develop their best foliage color. As night temperatures drop during the fall, the leaf color typically darkens and intensifies."

This is quite surprising. The farm that I bought this plant from only had the label ' kale'. If you are right about this plant bring an ornamental kale, is it edible? Or despite the taste, by eating it will it affect our health?

Ornamental kale is a variety of the same species of plant as cabbage and edible kale. It may be eaten but does not typically have an appetizing flavor. The plant has been bred for durability rather than delicacy of flavor so the texture is also tough and difficult to digest.