How Long Does a Kale Plant Live?

Kale is a Cold-hardy and very resilient plant. It is a member of the cabbage family and one of the easier plants to grow. You can plant new kale as early as spring. But once you planted it one question pops up a lot. And that is how many years will my kale plant come back?

So How Long Does a Kale Plant Live? Normally Kale is biennial, so it will only live for two years. But there are Kale variants, that can live more than two years like Tree Kale for example.

How Long Does Normal Kale Live?

Regular Kale variants like Scots Kale or Blue Curled Kale are biennial, meaning they will bloom in the second year after they were planted.

Normally you would plant kale in the spring and harvest it in the first year right after the first frost. Because most kale variants won´t taste good after they bloomed they are only kept in the garden until their first-year harvest.

After blooming the plant will usually die but that isn´t always the case. Sometimes a normal kale plant can live longer than two years even though most gardeners will only harvest kale once and then simply remove the plant after harvesting.

So the regular Kale variants are only living for two years.

What Variant of Kale Can Live Longer?

There is one variant of kale, that can live longer than only two years. That variant is called tree kale.

Tree kale can live for multiple years and they can be harvested every year. They rarely bloom and you usually have to multiply them via cuttings.

Tree kale grows upward with a strong trunk as its base. The kale leaves are growing on the top of the trunk outwards. This gives the kale a tree-like appearance which is where it gets its name.

Because the tree kale is rarely blooming means, they can be harvested almost every year after the first frost.

Should I Keep Kale for More Than Two Years If It Lives That Long?

In all honestly, even if your kale is surviving for longer than just two years I wouldn´t keep it in my garden, except it is tree kale of course.

The main reason for that is because most Kale will taste bitter after it has bloomed even if you harvest it after the first frost. Most gardeners are only keeping their kale around for one year and then they will cycle through to another plant.

So even if you can get your kyle to live more than two years it isn´t really all that sensible to do so.