Skunk Cabbage Facts: Growing Skunk Cabbages In Gardens

by johnah on November 11, 2020

Skunk Cabbage Facts: Growing Skunk Cabbages In Gardens

Growing Skunk Cabbages In Gardens

Growing Skunk Cabbages In Garden’s are a very popular choice among gardeners because they provide many benefits such as ease of care, taste, and appearance. These plants have been around for centuries and are still used today in some parts of the world. They do not require much attention and need little water or fertilizer. They are easy to grow and produce large amounts of buds. Skunk cabbage is a type of mustard plant which produces edible leaves and flowers.

The leaves and stems contain high levels of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D3, E and K. The leaves have a mild flavor with a hint of onion when eaten raw or cooked. The flowers are white with pink centers and have small red berries that can be eaten fresh or dried for use in salads or other dishes.

How To Grow Skunk Cabbages In Your Garden?

The easiest way to grow skunk cabbage in your garden is through cuttings. Cuttings will take from one month up to two years before they reach their full size. You can start them indoors during the spring months, but it may be best if you wait until summer so that the soil temperature is higher than it would be during winter. When you take the cuttings, place them in a glass of water to keep them alive until you are ready to plant them.

To prepare the bed where you will be growing your skunk cabbage, use a spade or shovel to break up the soil to at least eight inches deep. Amend the soil with lots of compost or animal manure to help feed your plants. Work the amendments into the top layer of soil until it is loose and mixed well.

You can plant your cuttings directly into the ground or you can start them in pots and transplant them later. If you are transplanting, make sure the soil is well watered before you begin. Plant your cuttings at least eight inches apart to give them room to grow. Water the soil well after you have planted all of them. Keep the area around them well-watered until they are established.

Skunk Cabbage Growing Tips And Tricks:

Skunk Cabbages need a lot of water, keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. It helps to put down a thick layer of mulch around the plants to help conserve moisture.

Around mid-summer, after most of their leaves have yellowed and begun to fall off naturally, it is time to let your skunk cabbages rest. This break will help then to build up their nutrients and get them ready to produce bigger and better blooms the following year.

After letting your plants rest for about six weeks, you can begin feeding them again to get them ready for blooming. Plant high nitrogen fertilizers or animal manures around the plants. Mix them into the soil well and water everything well so that it settles in.

You should notice buds starting to develop soon after the feeding.

After they finish blooming, the leaves will begin to yellow and fall off naturally. At this point the plants are spent and you should remove them. If you wait until spring to do this, carefully dig them up and place them somewhere else in your yard to help beautify another area.

How To Care For Skunk Cabbages Overwintering:

While growing skunk cabbages in your garden is easy, keeping them over the winter can be more difficult. The best way to do it is to dig them up before the first frost hits and place them in a dark area where the temperature stays around 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can be placed in boxes or barrels with loose soil and leaves. Water them well and cover them up. If you have more than one, you can place them together as long as they are in a very sturdy container that can hold the weight. Remember, when you dig them up, some of the roots are probably tangled with others. Also, some of these plants get rather large after a single year so don’t be surprised if you see a five gallon bucket turned over with a plant in it!

It may take awhile for them to start growing again when you put them back out in the spring but they will eventually get going again. You can also divide large clumps to increase your stock.

While they are certainly a beautiful addition to any landscape, growing skunk cabbages is not for the beginning gardener as they do require some extra attention and work. Still, if you want something unique and are willing to put in the time and effort, this is an excellent plant for your garden.

It’s not every day you get to grow and display such an oddity for all to see!

Other Reader’s Photos Of Skunk Cabbages

Here are a few photos of skunk cabbages that readers have shared with us. The first one is by Cindy Sheppard and was taken in St. Louis, Missouri. Cindy writes, ” This is a very old clump that lives in our front yard and attracts a lot of attention when in bloom. It has been divided many times over the years.

This clump is about four feet across and the tallest stalk reached over six feet.”

This photo was submitted by David Herron. David says, “These are growing wild at the edge of a retention pond in my neighborhood. I live in Warner Robins, Georgia (30 miles south of Atlanta).”

This photo was sent in by Darlene Mason. She writes, “I live in Nova Scotia and these are growing wild in a ditch beside the road. I see them every spring when we drive to the airport to pick up our grandchildren in Buffalo, New York.”

Skunk Cabbage Facts: Growing Skunk Cabbages In Gardens on

These were taken by Lisa Bertino in Houghton, Michigan. Lisa says, “We have lots of wild flowers here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I see these growing by the side of the road all the time.”

And finally this one was sent in by John R. It was taken in Northport, Michigan. ” I love your website and go to it whenever I can for gardening ideas and just out of general interest. I know you recently ran a photo of a skunk cabbage, but I thought you might like to see this one I found growing in the woods near my house.”

Thanks to everyone for sharing their photos of this interesting plant with us!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please use our Contact Us form.

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Sources & references used in this article:


Noah’s garden: Restoring the ecology of our own backyards by SB Stein – 1995 –

The Edible Garden: how to have your garden and eat it by A Fowler – 2012 –

Wildlife in the garden: how to live in harmony with deer, raccoons, rabbits, crows, and other pesky creatures by G Logsdon – 1999 –

Grasp the Nettle: Making Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Work by OJ Kern – 1919

Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A Permaculture Approach to Home Gardening Above 6,500 Feet in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Colorado and … by P Proctor – 2012 –

Elements of garden design by B Damrosch – 2001 – Workman Publishing



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