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Taunton Deane perennial kale (potted plant)


A fantastic, resilient and long lived perennial kale with tender green leaves that can be harvested all year round once established.

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Taunton Deane perennial kale – Brassica Oleracea var Acephala. This west country perennial kale is one of the most prolific and best tasting with broad tender green leaves and purple mid-ribs. Each plant can grow more than 2m tall and wide (although it can be pruned to grow in a smaller space). Once mature, leaves can be harvested all year round. Plants can go on producing for 5 – 8 years and are hardy down to about -10c. By taking stem cuttings from mature plants, you can propagate all your future stock yourself. So from this single plant, you can basically produce perennial kale for the rest of your life. Price is for one plant with about 20-25cm of leaf growth.


Taunton Deane also known as cottager’s kale. The name Cottager’s or Crofter’s Kale is a reference to its everyday use by ordinary folk for centuries. ‘Taunton Deane’ is local to the Somerset area in the UK and has probably been in cultivation by local people there for well over 100yrs. These plants grow huge (up to 2m tall and 2m wide with a woody trunk. They produce the best tasting tender leaves, and once established can be harvested for most of the year. Really productive for the first five years they slow down a little after that but have been known to reach nine or ten years old.

How to grow

When your plant arrives, plant it out in a deep planting hole and firm it down. It does not need a particularly well cultivated bed, just an area free of weeds and grass. We grow some of ours as an edible wind break on the edge of the vegetable garden. Give plants an occasional mulch of compost and prune off any dead branches to keep them thriving. You can prune plants to stop them becoming too large if you have limited space.

Propagating more plants

Known to periodically flower, seed collection is possible, but they will cross with other brassicas. The best way to propagate them to ensure they are true to type is through stem cuttings (a thick side stem with all leaves removed apart from the growing tip), which can either be potted up or popped directly in the soil to root. We recommend taking cuttings once or twice a year so you always have more plants as back up.

Pests & diseases

Taunton Deane does suffer from the same pests as regular brassicas but has far greater resilience to them in our experience. You may need to protect young plants from slugs, cabbage whites and pigeons until they become established.

After a year or two they should be large enough to survive without any protection. We don’t use any crop covers with ours and although Taunton Deane can be attacked by cabbage whites, even the most well nibbled plants bounce back completely by autumn. We have also found that interspersed plantings of perennial kales make great companions – greatly reducing the damage to regular brassica crops by acting as pest beacons, whilst having the innate capacity to survive them.

Harvesting & eating

Let your plant get to the size of a small shrub before you start harvesting. Once mature you can harvest leaves all year round. Use exactly as any other kale. It has the most delicious nutty taste and surprisingly tender considering the size of the plants.

“Thanks for everything, the info sheet was great. I planted the cuttings the day they arrived and have just multi sown the 9 star in seed trays. All very exciting, we’re now planning our perennial area.”

“You are right, perennial kale is fantastic! Thanks so much for the cuttings. I am a convert to having a corner of perpetual kale in the patch!”

“As the evening sun back lit the plants at Incredible Vegetables, I felt I was standing in one of the most important gardens of our time. Wildflowers working alongside an abundance of edimentals and perennial vegetables. A ‘food glade’ to rival the aesthetic of our greatest plant designers.”

– Jon Davies, garden designer, London Glades –

“I love your website and the work you’re doing. What you’re doing is exiting, useful, and one day will help to replace and enhance what human kind has damaged.With that our natural friends will return and we’ll be better for it.”

“Mandy, thank you. I am delighted with this plant – it is so strong and healthy and exceptionally well packaged – all done with loving care obviously. I shall look forward to having more plants from you.”

“Plants all arrived lovely and are growing well. I just wanted to say i was very impressed with the quality of the cuttings.. and its been a pleasure dealing with you. And I look forward to any purchases in the future.”

“The kale cuttings you sent survived the winter and are thriving. Thank you Mandy Barber you are the super hero of edibles, loving your work!!”

“I bought some Skirret seed’s off you last year. Well they grew and yesterday some got cooked and this message is just to say, they were delicious. Looking forward to a lot more next year. Thank you.”

“The Taunton Dean cuttings arrived a short while ago and never have I seen healthier looking cuttings! They are now firmly ensconced in some nice compost and are having a good drink. I even loved the packaging, which will be composted.”

“Hi I just wanted to let you know that I sowed half of my Caucasian spinach seeds and every single one grew, absolutely amazed, thanks for the seeds and keep up the good work.”

“Just to let you know that the lovely healthy looking plants arrived. Your plants are simply outstanding, every single tuber and plant are growing amazingly.”

“The plants arrived safely, I did not expect such magnificent specimens! I didn’t think I would be successful at stratification etc but I now have a whole bunch of Hablitzia seedlings sprouting after following your excellent advice.”

“Just to say, the Daubentons Kale is in the ground and looking well – thanks to the lovely damp compost encasing its roots…you do a good job at your end, I can tell by the way you package. Will be back for more of your wonderful perennials.”

“Thank you so much for all the vegetables, they really are incredible. I’m sure I’ve never before seen a healthier rootball than the one that arrived with our happy looking daubentons kale, and seeds and tubers are thriving thanks to all the useful information provided.”

“Thank you so much for sending such wonderful, healthy and very large plants. They are beautiful !! You packaged them so well and they arrived so quickly – I couldn’t get to the post office till the following day but they were absolutely fine. They’re now potted up and sitting in my ‘cold’ greenhouse while they adjust.”

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Mandy and Julien