How To Grow Nasturtium



Updated on 9/26/2023
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
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The nasturtium is a flower that is both bright and simple to cultivate. They are a favorite companion plant in the garden due to their vibrant blooms as well as the fact that the leaves, petals, and seedpods can all be eaten. This makes them an especially delightful flower for children to plant. Learn how to cultivate your very own nasturtiums by reading this!

Concerning Nasturtiums

These gorgeous plants, with their one-of-a-kind foliage and brightly colored flowers, do very well, whether grown in containers or as ground cover around vegetable gardens. In point of fact, they are frequently utilized as a trap crop in the practice of companion planting. This helps to divert aphids and other unwanted garden visitors away from the more desirable vegetables.

  • Beans, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, melons, pumpkins, and radishes are some of the vegetables that get along well with nasturtium.


However, nasturtiums attract more than just unwanted insects and animals. In addition to their popularity among pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, these flowers have a lovely aroma, which makes them an excellent option for growing in cut-flower gardens.

In most regions, nasturtiums are treated as annual plants, but in frost-free zones, they have the potential to become perennials.

Different Varieties Of Nasturtiums

There are many different species of nasturtiums. However, they can be broadly categorized as either trailing or climber types (Tropaeolum majus) or bush types (T. minus). The primary distinction between the two types of nasturtiums is the manner in which they grow. Trailing nasturtiums develop into long vines, whereas bush nasturtiums stay more compact. (Nasturtiums of the Bush kind are also referred to as "dwarf" varieties at times.)



Growing trailing nasturtiums in a window box or hanging basket is an excellent idea because the plants' vines will gracefully drape and climb the sides of the container. In places where space is at a premium, such as in smaller gardens, bush nasturtiums are the superior option.

Plants of the Nasturtium clinging to the fence

Flowers That Can Be Eaten

The fact that nasturtiums can be eaten is one of the most noteworthy characteristics of these plants. Because the leaves, petals, and seedpods of nasturtiums have a peppery flavor that is reminiscent of mustard, they are a great addition to salads when used as a garnish. Additionally, the seed pods can be pickled and utilized in the same manner as capers.

Have a look at our video to get more information about the advantages of cultivating nasturtiums:

8 Reasons You Should Grow Nasturtiums


When Should Nasturtiums Be Planted?

The sowing of nasturtium seeds can either take place outdoors, which is strongly encouraged, or it can begin indoors. Because their delicate roots are easily damaged by the transplanting process, we prefer to sow them directly.



Choosing And Preparing A Planting Site

  • Nasturtiums are able to thrive in soils with lower fertility and typically do not require any additional fertilizer (unless your soil is impoverished). An excess of nitrogen will result in the growth of more leaves than blooms.
  • The soil ought to have good drainage.
  • For the most outstanding results, nasturtiums should be planted in areas that receive between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight per day. They can still grow and bloom even with only three to six hours of sunlight per day, but the flowers will be smaller.
  • It is essential to be aware of the growth pattern of the variety of nasturtium that you are cultivating. Make plans to provide assistance for types that are trailing.


How To Get Started Growing Nasturtiums

  • Plant the seeds in the garden about half an inch thick and leave 10 to 12 inches of space between each one.
  • Within the next week to ten days, you should see plants.

Nasturtiums show a variety of colors in their blossoms.


The Proper Way To Tend To Nasturtiums

  • Be sure to give your plants adequate water on a consistent basis during the growing season, but avoid drowning them. Although they can survive periods of drought, nasturtiums thrive best in soil that is consistently damp. In addition, plants that are under water stress will produce inferior flowers as well as flavor.
  • Blooming will be extended if you cut off the spent or dead flowers as they appear.


  • It is possible that you will need to prune your nasturtiums sometimes throughout the growing season if you are cultivating them in containers. The plants are stimulated to grow new leaves as a result of this.
  • If nasturtiums suffer from heat stress throughout the summer, their flowers may stop flowering. It's possible that their flavor will become stronger as well. Ensure that they receive enough amount of water so that they can better withstand the impacts of the high temperatures.
  • The foliage of 'Alaska Variegated' is striped, and the flowers come in a variety of hues.
  • "Salmon Baby," which will give your garden a charming salmon-pink color if you want it.
  • 'Variegatus,' which is a kind that trails and has flowers that are either red or orange.
  • The flowers of the 'Peach Melba' cultivar have a creamy golden color with orange-red centers.




How To Get The Most Out Of Your Nasturtiums

  • Any period is suitable for gathering the plant's leaves and blossoms.
  • It is best to harvest the seedpods before the seeds have had a chance to grow and become more robust.
  • Using scissors, remove the plant's leaves, blooms, and seedpods to prevent the plant from being injured.
  • The seeds of the nasturtium, which are about the size of chickpeas, can be saved and replanted in the spring if you let the seedpods develop to full maturity. Allow the seeds to dry out on the vine, and they will fall off when they are ready. Collect them, clean the soil off of them with a brush, let them air dry, and then store them in a paper envelope in a place that is cold and dark.

Wisdom And Creativity

  • There is a common belief that nasturtium flowers represent patriotism. Learn more about the symbolism of these flowers here.
  • The flowers of the nasturtium plant are one of the many typical garden flowers that can be eaten.



  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • The flea beetle or flea bug
  • Slugs
  • Whiteflies

As companion plants, nasturtiums are often planted close to cabbage.





Cooking Notes

  • All parts of the plant, including the leaves, blossoms, and seed pods before they mature, can be eaten and add a splash of color to any summer dish. It is also possible to pickle the seedpods.