Broccoli plants can flower if they grow under proper temperature conditions with plenty of sunlight, water, and fertilizer available. A head will sprout within two to four months of planting and if left unharvested, will produce flowers.
While water, food, and light are all important variables in the growth and production of your broccoli plant, the temperature is the key to flowering.
If the temperature of the soil is warm enough, flowers will begin to bloom on your broccoli plant.
If the temperature is kept cool, the plant will produce a head but will not flower.
In This Article – You will learn more about how your broccoli produces flowers, when the flowers will bloom, and if your broccoli plant will continue to produce heads after flowering.
Additionally, we will inform you about how to stop broccoli from flowering, what the broccoli flowers will look like, and whether or not they are edible.
Table of Contents
How Does My Broccoli Plant Produce Flowers?
Broccoli plants thrive in cool climates, so temperatures that are too warm may prevent your broccoli from forming a proper head.
Instead, flowering stems will shoot straight up and produce blossoms that look pretty but are not anything like the vegetable you may be wanting to put on your dinner plate.
Once a head is produced, it can be harvested in two to four months. If the head is not harvested, it will begin to flower.
The production of broccoli flowers is essential to the plant’s reproduction.
So your broccoli plant will produce flowers if you give it the care it needs and don’t harvest the vegetable while the buds are still green.
When Will My Broccoli Plant Flower?
Broccoli plants will start to flower when temperatures begin to get too hot for it.
If they are hot from the start, the plant may bolt and flower immediately without producing a harvestable head.
Otherwise, the plant will flower after the production of the head, usually in late summer.
Ironically – Iit is not the weather environment that will cause the broccoli to flower, but rather the soil temperature.
So during mid to late summer when the sun is out for longer stretches during the day to heat up the soil, the broccoli plant may begin to flower in response to those temperature changes.
Will My Broccoli Plant Continue to Produce After Flowering?
Broccoli plants that are allowed to flower will not continue to produce heads.
If a broccoli head is harvested before it flowers, another head will grow in its place. However, if the head flowers, there will not be another one to replace it.
There is still hope for the plant though. The main head may not continue to produce but if there are side shoots those may still produce heads.
The way to encourage the growth of the side shoots is by cutting off the main head which has flowered.
Broccoli plants that have bolted have little chance of producing a head even after cutting the bolted flowers.
Have You Noticed? Check for any promising side shoots before deciding that a bolted plant is not worth saving. If there are side shoots that did not flower, these may be a promising sign that the broccoli plant is not beyond hope.
How Do I Stop My Broccoli Plant from Flowering?
While some people don’t mind if their broccoli flowers, most want to ensure that their vegetable is producing the green food they want to harvest and not the flowering variety.
Since the flowering of broccoli is triggered by soil temperatures, you must prevent your broccoli’s soil from becoming too hot.
Keeping an eye on the weather, especially if the temperatures are expected to be extremely high is key.
While the air temperature does not affect the broccoli plant, the soil temperature will.
If the soil becomes too warm, it will cause the roots of the broccoli plant to increase in temperature and trigger the bolting response which will make the plant flower.
Always Good Idea – To prevent the soil from heating up, you should add an adequate layer of mulch. Mulch helps cool down the soil and is very slow to heat up, even in warmer temperatures.
This will aid in keeping the broccoli roots at a manageable temperature so as not to induce flowering.
What Does Flowering Broccoli Look Like?
Broccoli will produce small yellow flowers from the green buds in the head.
There are four petals in a cross shape to the blossoms.
Numerous flowers will bloom at a time so that the head of broccoli will eventually look like one giant flower when in fact it is a lot of smaller flowers.
The base of the head will be surrounded by several dark green leaves.
As the first of the flowers begin to bloom, the broccoli head will take on the appearance of a bi-colored plant with most of the buds still tightly closed and dark green.
Over Time – The blossoms will encompass the entire head. If the broccoli has bolted and flowered, then the plant will have tall stems instead of a head.
The yellow flowers will bloom all around the top end of the stem looking closer to a skinny hydrangea rather than a broccoli plant.
Can You Eat Broccoli Flowers?
Broccoli flowers are edible and can be used in salads. They are not poisonous and should not negatively affect the gastrointestinal system in any way.
They taste similar to the leaves of the broccoli plants with a slightly peppery flavor and a hint of sweetness.
They are crunchy and fresh especially if the blossoms have not completely opened. Broccoli flowers will affect the overall taste of the broccoli head as well.
While the individual flowers may be a treat, a flowering broccoli head may have a slightly bitter taste that is less preferable to the delightful green crispness of non-blooming broccoli heads.
Some people also like to cook broccoli flowers for a different taste.
One of the most common ways of cooking broccoli flowers includes sautéing them with butter or olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
Alternatively – They can make a great addition to casseroles which mix in unflowered broccoli heads for a delicious blend of flavors.
You can make your broccoli plant flower by allowing the soil temperature to warm up enough to stimulate the roots to send a signal to produce blooms.
If temperatures heat up before the broccoli is allowed to produce a head, the plant may bolt and produce tall, thin flower bearing stems.
After your broccoli plant has flowered, it will not produce another broccoli head. However, side shoots that did not flower may still be productive if the main flowering head is cut off.
To stop your broccoli plant from flowering, apply mulch to the soil to keep the roots cool.
Broccoli flowers are small and yellow and will bloom from the tiny green buds that make up the broccoli head.
They are edible and can be eaten cooked or raw. They have a sweet, peppery flavor and are typically enjoyed in salads.