Common Name Ornamental Kale
Genus  Brassica 
Species Brassica Oleracea
Family Brassicaceae
Life Cycle  Biennial (will flower second year) grown as an annual 
Tray Size  125
Plug Care Harden off and plant out within two weeks of receiving plugs. 
Netting / Staking Cutting types get quite tall and top heavy at time of maturity, so netting support is essential for straight stems. Due to the weight of the crop the netting should be very well secured using sturdy wooden or metal stakes. Only one layer of netting is required - continue to raise the layer as the plants grow to support the heads. It is recommended to strip the lower leaves from the stalk when you raise the netting. Starting at approximately 1 foot in height, remove lower leaves by gripping the stem under the head/actively growing leaves and slide your hand down in a smooth motion to strip lower leaves from stem. Stripping the leaves multiple times during the growing season is more advantageous than stripping at time of harvest because it allows the plants to heal the wounds and you are left with a better looking product. 
Temperature Range Ornamental Kale can be grown in zones 2-11. Hot weather inhibits leaf color, so warm zones should grow ornamental kale through the winter for an early spring crop. 
Spacing 4-6" depending on the desired size of finished product. 4" spacing yields thinner stems and smaller heads, anything larger than 6" spacing results in plants that are too big to use come harvest.
Soil Preference Well drained, evenly moist soil. Ornamental kale are heavy feeders and should be planted in soil well amended with compost and organic matter. They require approximately 1" of water per week, so keep them well irrigated for best results. If planting into landscape fabric it is best to have a white surface to reflect the sun and keep the soil cool. 
Day Length Day-neutral, can be grown under a range of day lengths. Plant in full sun. 
Pinching Do not pinch. 
When to Plant In most zone, plugs should be planted in May or June for marketable stems in September and October. In extremely warm zones, plugs can be planted in the fall and grown through the winter for an early spring crop. Ornamental kale needs 3-4 weeks of cool temperatures (50F) at time of maturity in order for the leaves to color up. 
Harvesting Stems can be cut whenever they have colored up and reached 2-3 feet in height. Not all stems need to be harvested at once, they can be cut as needed extending the harvest window until hard frost damages the leaves. 
Post Harvest Care Cut stems should immediately be placed into cool water. Expect a vase life of approximately two weeks. Floral preservative will help extend vase life, and a drop or two of bleach will help eliminate the strong kale smell that is associated with this crop. 
Diseases / Insects Any pests or diseases that affect edible brassicas will also affect ornamental kale. Flea beetles and cabbage moths will chew unsightly holes in the foliage, and roots could become damaged by cabbage root maggots. There are sprays that can deal with these pests but a more ecologically friendly way is to grow young kale under floating row cover/insect exclusion netting. Diseases can be avoided by using crop rotation strategies and by keeping the bed cleared of debris (like stripped leaves). 
Bailey's Notes

Ornamental kale is frost tolerant but does not need to be planted too early if the goal is to have stems to harvest in the fall. If left to overwinter kale will flower the following years, but the flowers are not showy and do not make a good cut flower - these plants are grown for the foliage only. 

Colors will vary with conditions. There may be little difference between pink, rose, and red. White will blush pink in some conditions. The cooler the temperatures at maturity, the more vivid the colors will become. 

Resources Ornamental Kale Production