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Botanical name: Tropaeolum majus

Plant type: Flower

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Flower color: Red, Orange, Yellow

Bloom time: Summer, Fall

Nasturtium is an easy-to-grow annual whose leaves and flowers are edible. These plants with their bright greenery and vibrant flowers are good for containers or ground covers. Their pretty fragrance also makes them a good choice for cut flowers. Nasturtiums are perfect to grow with children because they grow so easily and rapidly.


  • You can start the seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost.
  • Plant seeds in early spring in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. They can grow in partial shade, but they will not bloom as well.
  • Nasturtiums prefer poorer soils and they do not need fertilizers (unless your soil is extremely poor). Fertile soil will produce fewer blooms.
  • Plant the seeds about half an inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. Plants should appear in 7 to 10 days.


  • Water regularly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to over-water your plants.
  • Cutting off the faded/dead flowers will prolong blooming.
  • If you're growing nasturtiums in containers, they may need to be trimmed back occasionally over the growing season.



Save the nasturtium chick-pea-size seeds and replant in the spring! Let them dry out on the vine; they'll fall off. Collect them, brush off the soil, dry them, and store them in a paper envelope in a cool and dark place.

Recommended Varieties

  • Salmon Baby, to add a pretty salmon-pink color to your garden.
  • Variegatus, which is a trailing type with red or orange flowers.
  • Peach Melba, which is derived from nasturtiums and has creamy yellow flowers with orange-red centers.


I wondering if Nasturtium

By MyTai on March 31

I wondering if Nasturtium plant is going to be poisonous to our dog.

No worries. According to the

By Almanac Staff on April 2

No worries. According to the ASPCA, nasturtium is non-toxic to dogs and cats. 

I love the idea of using

By Kristin Pass on March 22

I love the idea of using nasturtium seeds for companion planting. However, everything they would be a companion with is in soil that is enriched with compost and is probably pretty high quality soil. How do you use nasturtiums as companions in this case? I've thought of putting them in pots near the companions but potting soil is also not considered poor. Help?

It's true that nasturtiums

By Almanac Staff on March 24

It's true that nasturtiums don't need a lot of fertility, but we've planted them among our vegetables and they are easy growers so I wouldn't worry much about them! Nasturtiums are great companion plants that can be seeded between cabbages, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and beans to deter aphids. Try to find the variety with yellow flowers. Plant after all danger of frost has passed.

Hi! I just finished my

By Singer Dorothy Clark Northern CA

Hi! I just finished my fishpond and waterfall and want to plant something for a "splash of color". Nasturiums sound like a hearty choice. Question, upon reading all the information you have provide, I see the seeds kill parasites in does that mean they kill parasites in humans? What are ( if any ) the health benefits for us humans, of eating nasturtiums?

Nasturtiums are indeed

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtiums are indeed colorful; they are usually orange, yellow, or red. Their flowers bloom all summer. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and taste like a mild radish.
Nasturtium has medicinal qualities and known to help fight bacterial infections and certain viruses. However, eating nasturtiums can also have negative side effects. We are not health professionals so you'll want to consult with your health care provider first.  Google "eating nasturtiums health" and you'll see there's a lot of information about this topic.

I heard that Nasturtium can

By Patt Loecher

I heard that Nasturtium can work as a natural wormier. Do you know if this could be fed to chicken?

When you plant nasturtium

By Almanac Staff

When you plant nasturtium near the coop area the chickens will eat the leaves and flowers, which helps rid them of any internal parasites.

Could I plant nasturtiums

By Kelley Yang

Could I plant nasturtiums indoor?

Nasturiums need direct sun to

By Almanac Staff

Nasturiums need direct sun to thrive so they are really meant to be an outdoor plant.

seed saving post-frost? I

By Maine School Gardener

seed saving post-frost?
I meant to save nasturtium seeds this year with my students, but didn't get to it before the first couple frosts, which totally killed off the nasturtium plants. However, the seeds are still sitting scattered on the ground. Is it worth saving them after they've sat outside through a frost? they seem very soft...
Thank you!

You can certainly try saving

By Almanac Staff

You can certainly try saving them. Sometimes, nasturtium seeds that have fallen from a plant will make it through the winter to sprout in spring, with no human intervention, so if yours have experienced just a few frosts, and the seed coat is intact, they may indeed be OK. There are no guarantees, of course. (Note that if the original nasturtiums were hybrids, then the offspring may not be like the parent plants.)
Often, mature seeds are found on the ground, after they've fallen off the plant. Green or brown, they may still be viable; in general, the bigger the nasturtium seed, the better chance it will sprout. Collect the seeds, place them on newspaper in a warm place with good air circulation for a few weeks to dry; any greenish seeds will turn brown. Discard any seeds that develop mold. Then, place the dried seeds in an airtight jar, label and seal, and store in a dark, cool place until spring, when you can plant them after frost and see if they come up. (Just before planting, you might want to soak the seeds in water overnight to encourage germination. This softens the hard seed coat.)
Good luck!

Have nasturtiums in hanging

By joebee

Have nasturtiums in hanging baskets. they have numerous seed pods, but when they ripen and fall off--the chipmunks are apparently getting to them before I can. Can the seeds be harvested while they are still green and dried out for planting the following season?

Yes, you can pick the green

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can pick the green seeds. Pick the largest seeds for better germination in the spring. Put the seeds on a paper towel to dry. As the seeds dry they turn tan or brown. When dry put them in an airtight container or paper envelope and store in a cool dark place.

One way to outsmart the

By jelly jar

One way to outsmart the critters is to loosely tie a thin sock or paper bag over the seed pods when they start to ripen, but before they fall off. When they do ripen and fall, you've caught them in the sock. I do this all the time.

Would they be okay to plant

By Amy Tu

Would they be okay to plant during the fall in MA? And if I wanted to soak the seeds before should I let them germinate first or plant them right way?

No, in zones with freezing

By Almanac Staff

No, in zones with freezing temperatures such as MA, wait until after the frost; in the mild southern climates, they can be planted in the fall for “winter” blooming.

If I want to grow nasturtiums

By passalaqua

If I want to grow nasturtiums in an outdoor hanging container what is the size I should use and how many seeds do I put.

Use the spacing suggested

By Almanac Staff

Use the spacing suggested above--or on your seed packet to determine the size you want. Just make sure the container has drainage holes and use a soilless media for container growing. We like 50% peat and 50% perlite.

We live in Sausalito, CA,

By Lori P

We live in Sausalito, CA, where these things seem to go wild. Can I plant the harvested seeds now? Or is it best to wait until next Spring in my area?

In mild climates, such as

By Almanac Staff

In mild climates, such as Zone 10 where you are, nasturtiums can be planted in late summer/early fall for fall/winter bloom. They can also be planted in spring. Nasturtiums like the cool (not cold) season, but some survive during the heat of summer if properly cared for. In some mild climates, they may even act as perennials.
When collecting seed, keep in mind that if the seeds are from hybrid varieties, the seeds themselves may not produce plants that have the same features as the parents. If you'd like the same results each year, select an heirloom or non-hybrid variety.

A friend of mine said I could

By Robert Baines

A friend of mine said I could collect all of the seeds I want out of her many nasturtiums. She said she's always let them go so seed in the fall, and they've never grown back in the spring. I wonder if it would be a waste of time if I collected seeds from her plants? or is there something I need to do to the seeds in order for them to germinate?

Hi, Robert, Yes, save the

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Robert, Yes, save the nasturtium chick-pea-size seeds and replant in the spring! Let them dry out on the vine; they'll fall off. Collect them, brush off the soil, dry them, and store them in a paper envelope in a cool and dark place.

I live in North Florida.

By lynn ellis

I live in North Florida. Can I plant nasturtiums now?

You can plant nasturtium

By Almanac Staff

You can plant nasturtium seeds from spring through fall throughout Florida--and year-round in South Florida.

Can green seeds of nasturtium

By Anna Wolodko

Can green seeds of nasturtium be pickled like capers?
I use flowers in salads.

Yes, the entire plant is

By Almanac Staff

Yes, the entire plant is edible…leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, and all.

I live in maine and have

By Pamela Bailey

I live in maine and have found some of the "chick pea" seeds on an outdoor nasturtium. Is it possible to grow nasturtiums as year round house plants?? and if so, can I plant these "Chick pea" seeds? must I dry them out first?? thank you!

Yes, you can save the

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can save the nasturtium chick-pea-size seeds. Let them dry out on the vine; they'll fall off. Collect them, brush off the soil, dry them, and store them in a paper envelope in a cool and dark place.
You can grow them indoors, I suppose, but they need a LOT of direct sun or grow lights. You will probably get leaves but the light is needed for blooms. Try it out and see how it goes!

Hi, I soaked my nasturtium

By Suzib

I soaked my nasturtium seeds before planting them in the back yard in a sunny location. So far there's been no sign of growth. I water them about every other day. Am I overwatering them? Someone suggested I transplant them into containers...but I thought they're easy to grow....what's up??

Yes, you are watering too

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you are watering too much.  They like it dry.  Wait until the top few inches of soil are dry by inserting your finger into the soil, and then water. Repeat!

I grew 4 leg. pots of

By Barbara Berry-Jacobs

I grew 4 leg. pots of nasturtiums from seed this year. They looked wonderful for 2 months but turned yellow and died in mid-July. No bugs . Plenty of sunshine here on Whidbey Is. WA this summer..perhaps too much sun? Do they do better with just AM sun? I'm stumped!

Hmm.  Make sure they get

By Almanac Staff

Hmm.  Make sure they get plenty of air circulation and aren't being covered in mulch.  They love the sun, though not extreme heat. Are you watering correctly? Water them deeply until it's overflowering and then let them get bone dry, and then water deeply again. Usually, watering is once a week.

How do I get nasturtiums to

By Joy Wyse

How do I get nasturtiums to bloom? They get full sun part of the day. I have one in the backyard that is in shade and it blooms better than the ones in the full sun.

Generally, nasturtiums do

By Almanac Staff

Generally, nasturtiums do their best flowering in full sun, but they will tolerate partial shade. They prefer a light, sandy soil. If you give them rich, fertile soil and fertilizers, you'll get lush leaves at the expense of blooms. It's better to ignore nasturiums; they hate TLC!

In a potting soil i got

By John Forester

In a potting soil i got dime-sized nasturtium leaves and tiny flowers---soil too rich??

Nasturtiums do prefer poor,

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtiums do prefer poor, sandy soil. Overly rich soil deters flowering. Also, make sure you didn't purchase a dwarf variety if you want bigger blooms.

Mine are beautiful,, I

By Debbie Marden

Mine are beautiful,, I planted the Alaska mix. I live in Petersburg, Alaska. What are the pods that are left after the flower dies off? Can they be replanted?

Some people eat the pods

By Almanac Staff

Some people eat the pods (though not many). if you wish to harvest the seeds, prune the immature green seed pods from the plant. Nasturtium seed develop roughly four months after the plant germinates. 

Every so often I buy seeds

By Amateur

Every so often I buy seeds from one company that sells packets for only twenty cents. I bought some nasturtium seeds and on the packet it says to plant these any time between September and February (I live in zone 8b). I can understand this autumn planting for perennials, but nasturtiums? Anyone ever try it that way? Does it give the seed time to get its roots deep into the soil slowly before blooming, working with the life cycle more naturally that way?

I planted Alaska Mix


I planted Alaska Mix Nasturtium seeds in pots about 36 days ago I have long stems with leaves but no flowers. What am I doing wrong? I used bagged potting mix a good brand. This is my second year that this has happened. I live in Maryland, any answer will be appreciated. Thanks.

I planted the Alaska Mix. I

By Debbie Marden

I planted the Alaska Mix. I also used Miracle Grow potting soil, it took some time for me to get flowers, now I have tons! Lots & lots of water, I have 2 2' long planters & they take approximately 1.5 gallons of water each 2x a day if its hot

Hi, the problem is that you

By Mikalamdunn

Hi, the problem is that you put them in potting soil. The less nutrients available, the more flowers nasturtiums will produce. Seems counterintuitive, but it works! The leaves are great in salads. Good luck. I'm off to find some gravelly dirt to pot my own in now.

I just bought a large

By happygirlmichelle

I just bought a large nasturtium plant (9 inch pot) that is about 1.5 feet tall with bright orange flowers. I am not sure the variety but it came with a stake holding it up in the middle. The plant is very cramped in its pot with a lot of new growth being squeezed in the middle (the leaves in the middle of the plant are very small and have nowhere to go). I know you mentioned that they don't like being transplanted but I was planning on taking it out of it's pot and separating the individual stalks, replanting them in a long window box. Will this kill the plant? Also, will the plant mind trailing down the side of the box or do they need to be staked?

Nasturtium thrive with

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtium thrive with neglect so you might be surprised how well it does. As you mentioned, we direct seed nasturtium as they grow quickly and do not like to be transplanted. If you do chose to transplant, just take care that you do not disturb the root system in the transplant process. Do this on a cloudy day and explose the roots as little as possible. If you have a large variety, they enjoy a stake or trellis to climb; smaller varieties do not need it.

My nasturtiums leaves have

By Mary McNeill

My nasturtiums leaves have started to shrivel and turn blotchy white. I've never seen this before. I was away on holidays and it rained excessively - could this been the reason? Too wet?

You could be right. Keep

By Almanac Staff

You could be right. Keep nasturtium soil relatively dry. Make sure you have well-drained soil. Check under the leaves to see if there are insects. If so, spray insecticidal soap to the underside.

I live in San Francisco,

By layla

I live in San Francisco, (USDA zone 10b) and it's already almost July! I want to grow some of these in pots, I live in a very urban area, but the ledge on the building gets about 5-6 hours of sunlight a day. Is it too late? What are the names of some dwarf, non climbing varieties?

It's not too late to plant

By Almanac Staff

It's not too late to plant seeds. It takes about 10 days for the seeds to germinate. Dwarf cultivars that grow bushy plants include 'Strawberries and Cream' (pale yellow flowers), 'Peach Melba' (creamy flowers), and 'Whirlybird' mix (variety of colors).

Hi, I got an Empress of India

By Shauna T

Hi, I got an Empress of India Nasturtium a few months ago and it was doing great but looked like it needed to be re-potted. I finally re-potted it recently and moved it to a more shaded spot cause it looked like the leaves were getting faded by the sun. Now I don't know if it was the move or the re-potting but the leaves have become very small and I don't see any signs of that changing. Its still flowering up a storm though! I live in West Virgina, zone 6b, its been raining like mad these past few weeks, although its been under porch cover, so I've been watering it when dry to make up for that. I loved the leaves on the plant as much as the flowers and would like to see them healthy again, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! =)

Many flowering plants will

By Hayley

Many flowering plants will start producing a lot of flowers if they aren't getting enough sun. You probably need to move it back to a sunnier spot.

can i put seedlings with my

By tony michelin

can i put seedlings with my tomatoe plants

yes you can. they do not have


yes you can. they do not have a strong and evasive root system. however in order to get good tomatoes the soil must be well fertilize and full of vitamins. this may conflict with the nasturtium since it relies on poor soil conditions. if your growing tomatoes for ornamental reasons.... then its a good idea. but don't take my word for it. test it out. not all facts are 100% true 100% of the time.

How can i get the seeds from

By umran

How can i get the seeds from from my plant and how to keep it?

I always just picked the

By Tweetie444

I always just picked the seeds up from the ground in the fall. After the frost hits, pull out the plant and you will see seeds that look like chick peas. Collect them, leaving them to dry in an open container over the winter. I always kept them inside the house. In the spring, plant them and enjoy the blooms again.

Nasturtum Honey Butter

By Anonymous

This recipe is AWESOME on any warm bread/rolls. Take bloomed flowers, remove stamens inside, gently rinse in cool water, air dry on paper towels. When dry, chop up and mix with softened butter and honey. OMG! My daughter begs me to plant nasturtium every year for this recipe! So yummy!

Thanks for sharing! Yes,

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for sharing! Yes, nasturtiums are edible flowers! The flowers and leaves are peppery flavored like watercress and are used in salads and as a garnish.

Is it too late to start growing nasturtiums?

By Anonymous

I live in Orlando, FL and am just starting my hand at growing and in the above article it mentioned planting 4-6 wks before the last spring frost. That point has passed, is it still fine to plant them or should I wait for a better time of year here in my area?

You can plant the seeds from

By Almanac Staff

You can plant the seeds from spring through fall throughout Florida, year-round in South Florida. Nasturtiums are easy to grow where you live!


By Anonymous

my son came home with a seed in a pot a while ago, its just started flowering and i have identified it as a nasturtium, it is currently in the kitchen window and is growing rapidly, its getting rather tall, currently about 2 foot tall, does it need trimming to stop it gaining height or do you just leave them to grow? thanks

When plants of the tall type

By Almanac Staff

When plants of the tall type are about 7 inches tall, place a stake or trellis near them for support. It is not necessary to stake or trellis the dwarf type.

Indoors or Out?

By Anonymous

Hi, I just bought nasturtium, sweet pea and zinnia seeds. It is the end of April in the Columbus area. Should I sow the seeds into the soil directly right now, or should I start them inside? OR- should I wait and sow them into the garden in a few weeks. Thanks!

Nasturtiums in Raleigh

By Anonymous

Will nasturtiums handle full sun in the humid summers of Raleigh?

In your area, nasturtiums do

By Almanac Staff

In your area, nasturtiums do best blooming in spring/early summer. Sow mid-March or earlier in pots. Or, you could also sow in late summer for fall bloom.

fresh nasturtium seeds

By Anonymous

I have just picked some large green seeds. Can I plant them right away or do they have to dry.It is April first and I live in New Orleans.

You want to grab those seeds

By Almanac Staff

You want to grab those seeds when they are still green and let them dry on a baking sheet in a cool dark place for a week. Once they are hard, you can store them for next year.

how long to bloom

By Anonymous

I planted Nasturtiums from seed in hanging pots (about 4-6 inches deep with about 6 - 18" spacing), roughly 4-6 wks ago. I They get full sun from 12ish to 7pm in the Houston heat. I am doing best to provide terrible conditions, which they seem to love. I have 3 doing well with several arms coming off on each. I am anxious for them to that more of a summer event even in Houston?

Nasturtiums in Houston

By Almanac Staff

In Houston, nasturtiums do best in the cooler months. You can plant them in the early fall, in which case they might bloom later in the fall before a frost stops them; the plants may even survive through the winter if it is an especially mild one.

You can also plant in early spring after the last expected spring frost date. They will bloom until the hot weather starts; peak bloom is usually about May into June.

They do not like high heat. When summer hits, move the containers to deep shade, and keep up with the watering. The plants may perk up again in fall to give you another floral display.

(Please note: We'd recommend sowing nasturtium seeds about 1/2 inch deep.)

Hope this helps!

My flower stop growing

By Anonymous

My nastartiums are in a pot and under a shade but gets full sun in the morning but they stop growing about 9inch and stay at the same tall without blooming or any change! What can I do? Thanks

Some thoughts: They grow in

By Almanac Staff

Some thoughts: They grow in shade but not quite as well as full sun; too much shade limits their blossoms. Also, make sure you are not using any fertilizer. They thrive on neglect--poor, lean soil and spare watering.

climber or dwarf?

By Anonymous

I've just purchased a couple 4" pots of Empress of India from Annie's Annuals. Her stuff is usually good, so I'm not gonna be afraid to transplant them with lots of soil, my question... is the Empress a climber or bush variety?
Thanks, barb

The Empress of India is a

By Almanac Staff

The Empress of India is a non-trailing annual and quite compact (only 1 foot high).


By Anonymous

Can I purchase nasturtium plants. Seeds have not done well for me.

You'll have to check with

By Almanac Staff

You'll have to check with your local garden center, but nasturtiums do not fare well when transplanted; use peat pots and plant these directly in the soil. Nasturtiums are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed. They prefer full sun. They are not choosy about their soil, though they prefer a light, sandy soil. Don't spoil them with rich, fertile soil and fertilizers as this will only result in lush foliage and few blooms.

dimpled nasturtium leaves

By Anonymous

hi, the leaves on my nasturtium have gone dimply. do you have any thoughts?

The bumps could be insect

By Almanac Staff

The bumps could be insect damage. Spray with a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap spray.

thank you!

By Anonymous

thank you!

How much will it grow from a seedling?

By Anonymous

I planted my seedlings from seed packets and they r growing tall but I was wondering how much will grow from a seed and if I should seperate each stem/seed growing or if I keep them together will it be too crowded? Never grown them before

Following spacing on packet.

By Almanac Staff

Following spacing on packet. As the seedlings grow: If the plants are crowded then thin them out to about 12 inches apart.

about nasturtiums

By Anonymous

do nasturtiums come up every year ???

Nasturiums are an annual so

By Almanac Staff

Nasturiums are an annual so they need to be seeded each spring. However, if you let them go to seed, they may self-seed in the fall and come up the following year on their own.

bought seeds for red flowers grew to be yellow

By Anonymous

If the expensive pkg of red nasturium seeds grew into a faded yellow flower does that mean i put too much miracle grow on them to begin with or what else could it be?

If it's not meant to be a

By Almanac Staff

If it's not meant to be a pale yellow variety, then it may be the weather. This flower enjoys cool soil. If the ground is too hot, forget it. Plant in a shady spot that gets some morning sun and water consistently.

What are the signs of overwatering?

By Anonymous

My flowers are in window boxes in partial sun. Some of the leaves are turning yellow. Is this a sign of over watering?

Yellow leaves are a sign of

By Almanac Staff

Yellow leaves are a sign of over watering. Nasturtiums prefer really dry soil, even in the summer months!

Make sure that the soil is well-drained.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

wet or dry?

By Anonymous

Thanks for your info, but I am confused; here you say Nasturtiums prefer really dry soil, but further on you state that they love water! What is it to be???

They like well drained soil

By Almanac Staff

They like well drained soil so that the roots don't sit in water. Water when the leaves show signs of wilting.

Edible seeds

By Anonymous

If anyone is interested, you can harvest the seed pods before they firm up, and pickle them. They taste very similar to capers, with a bit of spicyness!

wilted leaves

By Anonymous

What would cause the nasturtium's leaves to be wilted? They are in full sun and clayey soil.

If nasturtiums are showing

By Almanac Staff

If nasturtiums are showing signs of stress, such as wilted leaves, then it may be a simple fix of giving them more water.

Nasturtiums love their water.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

growing nasturtiums

By Anonymous

I understand they are a vining plant and can get up to 6-7 ft in height. How do I get them to start growing UP toward the side of my deck? Should I use string, sticks, etc??? Thanks!

Nasturtiums should grow on

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtiums should grow on their own. If you feel they need help, using small stick to "direct" them is OK.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

trimming nasturiums

By Anonymous

my nasturtiums are in 4 in pots and they are about 12 inches tall. can i trim them and if so where do i trim and how much? they seem to have a single stem coming out of the soil. i want them bushy.

trimming nasturiums

By Almanac Staff

For bushy, you'd want a dwarf variety. If you have the climbing variety, they're going to spread. Just trim with scissors or clippers. You do not need to trim at a node or any special place. They are big growers. Did you know: They are edible flowers! If you didn't use chemicals, add to salads!


By Anonymous

check out for the nasturtiums you are looking for.

seed source for Salmon Baby and Peach Melba Nasturtiums

By Militonia

Anyone know where I can find seeds for these variaties of nasturtiums? I havn't seen these this year.

nasturtium seeds

By Anonymous

hi, you can get many nasturtium seeds via ebay seller around the world and they are cheap. means you must have an ebay account. otherwise search from google.

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