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How to Plant Brussels Sprouts

Round, crunchy, and full of flavor, brussels sprouts are having their moment! These tasty little vegetables have become increasingly popular over the last several years.

If you’re interested in learning how to grow your own crop of tasty brussels sprouts, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to plant brussels sprouts. I’ll go over soil conditions, how much to water, how to start brussels sprouts from seed, and much more. By the end, you’ll be an expert in planting brussels sprouts!

A bowl of fresh Brussels sprouts. Knowing how to plant Brussels sprouts gives you options for your edible garden.

Where to Plant Brussels Sprouts

The first step in learning how to plant brussels sprouts is to figure out where to plant them. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right spot.

Plating Location

Brussels sprouts grow well in the ground, in raised garden beds, or large containers.


Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders so rich, fertile soil is a must. They like loamy soil that holds moisture but also drains well. Soggy roots can kill brussels sprouts, so make sure to plant them in a location that is well-draining.

Brussels sprouts on a plant in the garden.

Adding organic matter to the soil is a good way to improve drainage and provide beneficial nutrients for your plants.

Brussels sprouts prefer a soil pH of around 6.5. Slightly higher or lower is fine, though somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0 is best.


Brussels sprouts grow best in full sun. Plant them in a sunny spot where they’ll receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

If you don’t have a sunny location, brussels sprouts can tolerate partial shade but it will slow down their growth.

When to Plant Brussels Sprouts

A purple Brussels sprouts plant.

One of the most important things to know about how to plant brussels sprouts is that they need a long time to grow. Plants take around 80-90 days from seed to harvest.

They’re cool-weather crops so they grow best in spring and fall. The heat of summer can cause brussels sprouts to bolt and end up bitter.

To get a good harvest in spring, plant brussels sprouts as soon as the soil has warmed up to about 60 degrees.

For a fall harvest, plant brussels sprouts in mid to late summer.

If you live in a zone with hot summers and mild winters, the best time to plant brussels sprouts is later in the fall. That way, plants can grow through the winter months and be ready to harvest in early spring.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with grapes, pecans, and herbs.
Roasted Brussels sprouts.

Once established, brussels sprouts can handle a light frost. In fact, a bit of frost actually enhances their flavor and makes them taste better.

Baby plants can’t handle frosty weather so wait to plant brussels sprouts outdoors until after the last frost in spring.

How to Start Brussels Sprouts from Seed

A pile of Brussels sprout seeds.

In most areas, the best way to plant brussels sprouts is to start them from seed indoors. Because they take so long to grow, there just isn’t enough time with the right weather to start brussels sprouts seeds outdoors in most places. It gets too hot in the spring or too cold in the fall before plants have time to develop.

Starting seeds indoors gives your plants enough time to grow and produce before the weather changes.

Thankfully, starting brussels sprouts from seed is simple and affordable! Seeds are inexpensive and easy to find online or at garden centers when stores start putting their seeds out.

We think you’ll especially like these Jade Brussels Sprout Seeds sold online by one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Tools.


For the best chance of success getting your Brussels sprouts started indoors, you’ll want a seed starting setup. We’ve put together a list of our favorite products to make it easy for you to get the tools you need.

Seedling Starting Equipment

Hoss Germination Mat

Indoor Seed Starting Light Kit

SunGrow Black Gold Seed Starting Mix

Potting Mix

48 Cell Seed Starting Kit

Small Containers

Gardening Gloves

Garden Shovel

Spray Bottle

Watering Can

Garden Labels

High-quality tools make starting brussels sprouts indoors simple and easy. The same equipment can be used over and over again and will last for years, saving you money in the long run.

That said, if you’re only starting a few plants, a big setup isn’t required. All you really need is a container to grow your plants in, a suitable growing medium, a light source, and something to water with.

How to Start Brussels Sprouts Indoors

A starter tray of Brussels sprout seedlings.

Start brussels sprouts seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost in spring.

For a fall harvest, start seeds 10-16 weeks before the first expected frost in the fall. I know this is a really long range. That’s because it’s really dependent on what the weather is like where you live. If your summers are mild you can start seeds earlier. If you have very hot summers, wait a little bit longer.

Starting Brussels Sprouts Seeds

Fill your containers or seed trays with seed starting mix. Plant 1-2 seeds per container about 1/2 an inch deep. Water thoroughly and keep the seeds moist and warm as they’re germinating.

Heating pads are a good way to keep seeds warm and speed up germination.

As soon as seeds start to emerge, make sure the seedlings have plenty of light. Place them in front of a sunny window or use a grow light.

When seedlings develop their first set of true leaves, thin the plants to one per container or cell in the seed tray.

Potting Up

Overhead view a Brussels sprout seedling that has been potted up.

In most cases, brussels sprouts need to be potted up before it’s time to plant them outside. Since they’re heavy feeders, brussels sprouts do best when they have access to plenty of nutrients.

Transfer your seedlings into larger containers filled with high-quality potting soil. You don’t need huge containers here, in most cases, 4-6 inch pots are plenty big enough.

If you’re keeping brussels sprouts indoors for more than a few weeks, use larger pots between 6-8 inches wide.

Hardening off Brussels Sprouts

Before you plant brussels sprouts outside, harden the seedlings off by setting them outside for a few hours each day. Slowly increase the time spent outdoors until you’re leaving the plants out overnight.

How to Plant Brussels Sprouts Seedlings

A Brussels sprout seedling in the garden.

Move seedlings outdoors when the weather is right.

For spring plants, temperatures should be consistently above 45 degrees.

In the fall, wait until temperatures have cooled down to around 80 degrees or lower.

If you don’t want to start brussels sprouts from seed, it’s possible to find starter plants at garden centers and nurseries. This is another good option for planting brussels sprouts.

Planting Brussels Sprouts Seedlings Outdoors

Prepare the planting location by adding organic matter to the soil.

Dig a hole that’s about twice as wide as the container the seedling is currently in. Carefully remove your seedling from the container and place it in the hole. Bury the seedling to the same height as it was in the container.

If you have multiple plants, space them about 18-24 inches apart. Brussels sprouts don’t typically need any staking or other support.

Water thoroughly, then add an inch or two of natural mulch around the base of each plant.

Caring for Brussels Sprouts

Closeup of Brussels sprouts on a plant.

Once they’re in the ground, the next step is to provide the right care to help your brussels sprouts thrive.


For the best sprout development, keep the soil evenly moist. Brussels sprouts need about an inch of water each week. In hot weather, increase watering to an inch and a half each week.


Adding mulch around the base of your plants is simple and has a lot of benefits.

Mulch helps maintain even moisture, keeps the soil and roots cool, prevents weeds, and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.

Use natural mulch like straw, composted wood chips, aged manure, or grass clippings.

A young Brussels sprout plant surrounded by mulch.


Begin fertilizing when the seedlings are about six inches tall. Use a balanced fertilizer like this 10-10-10 vegetable fertilizer from Hoss Tools. Follow the directions on the package to apply fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing season.

Pests and Disease

Brussels sprouts are susceptible to diseases like leaf spot, black rot, and downy mildew.

Common pests include cabbage loopers, aphids, worms, and caterpillars.

Crop rotation is one of the best things you can do to reduce soil-borne diseases and prevent pests. To reduce fungal diseases like downy mildew, water at the base of the plant rather than overhead and ensure the plants have good air circulation.

Wrapping up How to Plant Brussels Sprouts

Closeup of fresh Brussels sprouts.

Are you ready to enjoy some fresh, crunchy brussels sprouts? Once you learn how to plant brussels sprouts, you won’t want to go back to store-bought!

To learn more about planting a healthy garden, check out the Seed Starting page on our website. There you’ll find resources on how to plant dozens of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, plus get plenty of tips and tricks to help you grow the best garden yet.