I have tried to grow broccoli a couple of times and the plants often topple over. A couple of years ago I grew from seed, this year I bought in some plants and planted them out a few weeks ago. Both times the broccoli has fallen over. Last time I could get some of it to grow mostly upright again but it was a pain.

Image of my collapsed broccoli plants

I think it was the rain and wind today that caused them to fall. What am I doing wrong that makes my plants prone to falling over like this?

Any tips on getting them to return to normal would also be very helpful.

1 Answer 1


Plant them out when they are smaller. They fall over because the transplanted roots can't find enough water to keep the plant stem rigid. Watering the plants doesn't completely solve this, because the root hairs need time to grow into close contact with the soil particles.

If you transplant them when they only have four leaves, first the bottom leaves are closer to the ground and tend to support the plant even when they "flop", and second it doesn't really matter if the first pair of leaves die, so long as the growing point survives.

Transplant them a bit deeper than they were growing in the seed tray, so the stem has more support.

Also, make sure they are properly hardened off to outdoor conditions before you transplant them, if you grew the seedlings indoors. In the UK, the easiest way to do that is sow the seed in a seed bed out of doors, even if it takes a bit longer to germinate that way.

  • Thanks for the advice. There were much smaller than they are now when planted out but probably not at just 4 leaves. Anything I can do now? I guess take them up until the roots expand more?
    – TafT
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 12:12
  • To pad out the answer with what I did to rectify things. I just propped them up a bit and they seems to be happy now. They some rain to help water them in further. It was quite windy today but not raining so I will wait and see if they stay upright.
    – TafT
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:53

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