How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Buttoning in broccoli and cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower may produce heads prematurely, resulting in small heads.


Buttoning can occur in young plants beyond the juvenile stage if they are exposed to several days of cold temperatures. Buttoning can also be caused by insufficient water, a shortage of nitrogen, excessive salt, or weed competition. To avoid buttoning, adjust planting dates in areas where chilling may occur, so that plants will either be large enough to yield a good-sized head or they will be too immature for premature heading when cold temperatures are likely to occur. Also, maintain a good irrigation and fertilization program.

Small broccoli heads
Small broccoli heads

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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