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12 Best Broccoli Varieties to Grow at Home (With Pictures)


If you are looking for a vegetable packed with nutrients and relatively easy to grow, broccoli should be at the top of your list. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family closely related to cauliflower and is native to the Mediterranean region. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed.

This cool weather crop is prized for its high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. Broccoli is also a good source of potassium and dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health as it keeps the digestive system clean and functioning properly. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, and folate, as well as sulfur compounds that give it its characteristic flavor. You can eat this vegetable raw or cooked.

There are many different varieties of broccoli, and they can vary in color, shape, and size. If you want to start growing broccoli, we have put together a list of the best ones to grow at home.

Take a look!

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The 12 Ideal Broccoli Varieties for a Kitchen Garden

1. Belstar

Days to Maturity: 66 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 11
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Best Planting Season: Spring and late summer
Sun Exposure: Full sun

Belstar broccoli is a high-yielding and vigorous variety. It produces large heads with tight clusters of dark green spears. It has excellent flavor and texture, making it ideal for fresh and processing markets.

This variety tolerates heat well and is adaptable. It’s perfect for Southern climates where heat stress can cause other broccoli varieties to bolt prematurely. It also grows well in well-drained soil. It needs a lot of water to ensure the flower heads form well.

This variety is resistant to diseases such as the clubroot disease. You’ll harvest about 20 heads per plant if you pick them at their optimal maturity date. It tastes sweet and nutty with a firm texture when cooked, making it a good choice for salads or stir-fries. It also stores well in the refrigerator for up to one week after harvest.

2. Calabrese

Days to Maturity: 65 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Best Planting Season: Spring
Sun Exposure: Full sun

Calabrese broccoli is one of the most popular varieties of broccoli. It’s short-seasoned, and it produces compact, round heads with thick stalks and dark green leaves. The flavor is milder than other types of broccoli. It grows well in the continental United States, even though it originates from Italy.

The calabrese prefers cooler temperatures and grows best in spring. It will tolerate some heat but will produce smaller heads if it gets too hot for long. The optimum temperature is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can handle temperatures as low as 30 degrees with adequate shelter from the wind.

This variety is easy to grow from seed, but you’ll get better results if you start indoors before transplanting outside. You can also sow it in your garden once the danger of frost has passed. To produce more shoots, leave it in place after harvesting the primary head.

3. DiCicco

Days to Maturity: 50 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.8
Best Planting Season: Fall or winter
Sun Exposure: Full sun

The DiCicco broccoli variety produces compact heads with tight clusters of dark green buds. The heads don’t mature uniformly, so it produces its heads differently. This variety is an excellent choice for small gardens or containers because it is low maintenance. It grows to maturity fast and produces more than one crop per season. You can grow it as a fall or spring crop.

It also has excellent yields even under adverse conditions like lack of water or excessive heat during summer. It can grow well in most climates. DiCicco is also known for its pest and disease-resistant qualities. So, if you have problems with bugs damaging your plants, this variety may be a suitable fit for you!

Its florets are tender, sweet, and mild-flavored with a creamy texture. It’s an excellent choice for freezing because it doesn’t get mushy when cooked. It has an excellent flavor when cooked.

4. Destiny

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 11
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.8
Best Planting Season: Summer
Sun Exposure: Full sun

Destiny is one of the best green sprouting varieties available today. It produces many side shoots that you can harvest throughout the summer months. The stalks have a mild flavor. It’s easy to use in salads without overpowering other ingredients such as garlic or ginger.

It has been bred for cold regions, so it will produce well even when temperatures drop below freezing point during winter. It produces small to medium-sized green heads with some purple. The heads will remain firm even when mature, making it easier to prepare for cooking without trimming off excess stems or leaves as you do with other broccoli varieties.

This variety is the preferred choice for southern gardeners who want to relish growing broccoli in a home garden.

5. Purple Sprouting

Days to Maturity: 180 to 220 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Ideal Soil pH: 6.1 to 7.0
Best Planting Season: Early winter
Sun Exposure: Full sun but can tolerate a bit of shade

Purple sprouting broccoli is one of the most popular varieties grown in the United States. It has a medium-sized head with dark green leaves and purple stems. The flavor is milder than other varieties, making it suitable for those who prefer less bitterness in their vegetables. The flavor can also be described as mild and delicious when cooked.

The purple sprouting broccoli variety is a cool-season crop you can plant in the fall or spring. Also, it produces side shoots that you can harvest before the central head forms. It is an excellent choice for beginner gardeners as it is easy to grow and produces a large harvest.

6. Eastern Magic

Days to Maturity: 60 to 65 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Best Planting Season: Early spring, late fall, or midsummer
Sun Exposure: Full sun

The Eastern magic is among the best broccoli varieties to grow at home. It produces long stems with compact heads. The heads are large with an average weight of two pounds each. The variety has dark green leaves with a purple tinge on the outside. The inner leaves are light green, and when cooked, they turn purplish-green.

This hybrid variety produces large blue-green crowns that develop yellow flowers. The flower buds are tightly closed. It makes them resistant to damage from frost or insects.

Its flavor is similar to western varieties but not strong. This one has a milder flavor without being bland or bitter. It’s also slower to bolt than other varieties grown in hot summer.

7. Sun King

Days to Maturity: 70 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 1 to 11
Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 to 6.8
Best Planting Season: Fall to early winter and winter to spring
Sun Exposure: Full sun

The sun king broccoli variety has the largest heads of all the varieties. They can reach up to six to eight inches in diameter. It’s also more tolerant to heat. This hybrid variety has thick stems and dark green leaves. It’s an early maturing variety with an improved sweet flavor- it’s best known for this sweet flavor. It can be cut and eaten raw or cooked

This variety can grow up to 12 inches wide. It does well in cooler climates, but it can also thrive in warmer regions if you plant it early in the season. It also does well when planted with other vegetables like tomatoes or peppers because they will shade the ground around it, keeping it cool during the hot summer months.

Once you harvest the primary head, many side shoots will sprout.

8. Romanesco

Days to Maturity: 75 to 100 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Ideal Soil pH: 7.0 or more
Best Planting Season: Early spring and late fall
Sun Exposure: Full sun

Romanesco broccoli is an Italian heirloom variety that has unique spiraling heads. This variety is also known as “broccoflower.” due to its resemblance to cauliflower, but it’s not related to cauliflower or kale; instead, it’s part of the cabbage family!

The heads are tightly packed with small flower buds. It’s an excellent choice for home gardens because it’s disease-resistant and produces consistently large yields over several months. It’s also easy to grow in containers or raised beds. It makes great microgreens too!

Romanesco broccoli has a distinctive flavor that can be described as nutty, sweet, and creamy. It tastes delicious when steamed or boiled with butter and salt. It resembles a cauliflower when cooked, but it’s more delicate than traditional cauliflower when eaten raw. It is an excellent addition to salads and stir-fries.

9. Waltham 29

Days to Maturity: 85 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Best Planting Season: Late spring
Sun Exposure: 3 hours of full sun

The Waltham 29 variety produces large heads that are green with purple streaks. The flavor is excellent, but this broccoli does not mature as fast as other varieties. It’s best suited for areas where the temperatures don’t drop below freezing during winter, preferably cool and warm temperatures. So, it can be grown throughout much of the United States.

This variety has an excellent taste and texture when cooked or steamed. It is one of our favorite varieties for cooking purposes in this list. Its taste is similar to “green cauliflower,” meaning it’s less bitter than other types.

The Waltham 29 variety is an excellent choice because it has a high yield. You can harvest it early for baby heads or late for full-size heads. It produces a good yield during its first year, with harvests starting in early spring and continuing through late fall.

This variety is resistant to pests and diseases, so beyond the regular watering and fertilizing, it will need minimal care.

10. Blue Wind

Days to Maturity: 45 to 50 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Best Planting Season: Early summer to late fall
Sun Exposure: Partial shade and full sun

The blue wind broccoli variety produces large blue heads. It doesn’t need much space, so it’s perfect for growing in containers or raised beds. It is an excellent choice for growing indoors because you can harvest it at any stage of maturity from baby size to full-sized heads.

This variety grows well in most environments. It has excellent disease and cold resistance. So, it’s a good choice for colder climates where other varieties may struggle during winter. This variety also stores well after harvest and can last up to five months if stored in a cool location away from sunlight and heat sources.

11. Marathon

Days to Maturity: 68 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 11
Ideal Soil pH: 6.8 to 7.4
Best Planting Season: Fall and early spring
Sun Exposure: Partial sun and partial shade

Marathon is a hybrid broccoli variety with long stems and tight heads that mature early-midseason. The heads are medium-sized with tapered ends that are dark green. The plants have uniform size and shape, so they’re easy to harvest by hand.

This variety tolerates cold weather well. It’s resistant to diseases such as black rot, fusarium yellows, and clubroot. It is also resistant to powdery and downy mildew.

It bears a large number of side shoots, which makes it suitable for both spring and fall. However, it will produce smaller heads if grown during hot weather conditions or if planted too closely together in rows or beds.

This variety has a flavor that’s sweeter than other types of broccoli, making it perfect for salads and sandwiches.

12. Arcadia

Days to Maturity: 63 to 68 days
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Best Planting Season: Spring and fall
Sun Exposure: Full sun

The arcadia broccoli variety has a large head with loose clusters of bright green with dark green tips and small florets. The plant also produces many side shoots, thus giving a continuous harvest throughout the season. It is very popular in commercial markets due to its high yield potential.

It has tight clusters of small buds that form a central head about eight inches across. The stems are usually purple-tinged with green stripes. The flavor is sweet and nutty with hints of minty freshness and roasted hazelnuts.

This variety is tolerant to heat stress, so it can mature during hot summer without suffering any damage to its head or flavor. It’s also resistant to cabbage worms, downy mildew, foot and root rot, and gray mold. So it is less likely to attract pests compared to other varieties when planted close together in the garden.

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So, to sum it up, you want to start growing broccoli in your garden! How exciting! It’s one of the easiest veggies to grow, and the best part is that plenty of excellent varieties are available. All you need to do is decide on one that grabs your attention, order it, and you’ll be ready for next season’s crop in no time.

Well, these are our top picks for the best broccoli varieties to grow at home. We hope that you found our rundown helpful. So, you’re able to pick out a variety to try out for yourself with some confidence. You’ll love your harvest!

Featured Image Credit: Jacqueline Macou, Pixabay


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