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Nasturtium

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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.

Planting

  • 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.

Care

  • 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.

Pests

Harvest/Storage

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.

Comments

Hello i have some Nasturiums

By Keaton Hickman on October 13

Hello i have some Nasturiums Empress of India growing the theyre about 8inches high and have different stems 4 of them all different lengths and i want to have my Nasturiums realy short and bushy not long stringy and leggy when would you reccommend trimming them back and how would i do it? I am a newbie at gardening im 17 and just getting a big interest in it :) Thank you :)

Hi, Keaton, This plant's

By Almanac Staff on October 14

Hi, Keaton, This plant's natural growth pattern is to be as much as a foot wide and a foot tall. Its natural shape is a mound or clump. It may also climb a bit. Trimming this plant back is likely to stunt its growth and is not recommended. Any stringiness or legginess in your plant may be an indication of insufficient sunlight, too much water, both, or too rich soil. If possible (if the plant is in a container), move the plant into sunlight. If it is wet, let it dry out. We hope this helps!

Can I dehydrate leaves and

By Kerryn K on September 28

Can I dehydrate leaves and flowers for use for when they are not in bloom..

Hello i have some nasturtium

By keaton on September 22

Hello i have some nasturtium seeds here and i want to plant right away on the 22/9/2014 can i do this and what would be the best method? Indoor or outdoor? please can someone help thank you :)

Hi, Keaton: This depends on

By Almanac Staff on September 23

Hi, Keaton: This depends on where you are, especially since nasturtiums are generally a spring flower. See above under "Planting" and also use the tools in the red bar above under "Gardening." Good luck!

I live in India, near new

By kailash

I live in India, near new Delhi. in which month of year I can plant them.

For places in and around

By Apoorva

For places in and around Delhi, the second fortnight of September is a good time to sow seeds for annual flowers.

Thanks a lot Apoorva for

By kailash on September 23

Thanks a lot Apoorva for replying. the current time is best and I have purchaged the seeds and going to sow on this sunday.

Hello There, I plant

By Mary Jansson

Hello There,
I plant nasturtium seeds every year, I try to purchase the organic seeds for when they finish flowering, I then can collect the seeds for the following year.... They appear to get stronger every year, big beautiful green leaves the size of plates and grow up to 6 feet long.... This year, I took a cutting and placed it in a clear plastic cup filled with rain water, to my surprise,the cutting now has a large mass of roots... I am going to go ahead and plant the cutting in a small planter with good soil and see if I can baby it along enough to grow indoors for a house plant....
Anyone else tried this with the nasturtium plants?

I bought a beautiful painting

By Victoria Cohen

I bought a beautiful painting of nasturtiums and love it so much I planted some on my deck in the spring. With the seeds,I first started with too rich a soil so transplanted them into some old soil from last years plants. Oh my goodness my whole deck is covered in them, beautiful yellow and orange flowers and huge circular leaves. Their fragrance is quite wonderful and I now have and all time favorite flower that I will plant every summer forever!! The hummingbirds seem to enjoy them too.

Hi Folks, I have a lot of

By Robert edwin on September 29

Hi Folks, I have a lot of experience gardening, the nasturtiums need inbetween soil and some plants need fertile soil so what I usually do for all plants is mix 1/2 best fertile potting soil and 1/2 gravel (sand), then the plant has fertilizer plus good drainage and always put a hole in the bottom of the pot, also research "Plantain Major" the #1 medicinal herb in the world - it is probably growing by your house, I ate 8 leaves a day for 1 week and I feel great, thanks Robert

I grew nasturtiums in NY.

By sandy jakubek

I grew nasturtiums in NY. There they had black bugs or no visible bugs but dry curled leaves. Here in Ajijic Mexico they have white fly type bugs.
I read that because nasturtiums have many uses they are susceptible to many diseases and disorders. Why is this?

Found an answer to the reason

By Jajajulie

Found an answer to the reason for wilting edges of leaves...thanks.

I also appear to have some brown dehydrated spots (no yellowing-I know what that is) on quite a few leaves. I have removed the worst a few leaves each day, I water in the morning and the water has evaporated from leaves by the time the sun hits. As these spots looked like sunburn, I have been concerned and placed them in a more shady area on my south-facing balcony (1-3 hours sun/day, still hot!!) thinking it could be the +28C weather lately causing burns. There is no discernible pest causing this... I have 5-7 viable plants (up to 12"; yellow & orange yellow flowers but only 2-3 at a time; appears to be dwarf, not a creeper).

Unfortunately, like many others, I put the nasturtiums in rich soil. If anything, I tend to water a bit more because it is in a smallish pot. Any advice on what is happening to my plant as it did not start out this way...thanks!!

July, 29th 2014 I live in

By mathu

July, 29th 2014
I live in London,UK.
Just got hold of some mixed nasturtiums.
Can I saw them now or wait til next spring.

Hi, Mathu: Go for it now.

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Mathu: Go for it now. Care for them well, and you can expect fall or even early winter blooms, up until a frost.

I have planted nasturtium

By Nicole Whalen

I have planted nasturtium from seed in a planter box and in a barrel. In both locations they are going crazy and encroaching on neighboring plants. Can I prune them or scale them back somehow in a way that won't kill them? Is it better to pull them out or just cut at the stem level? Thanks in advance!

What a wealth of information

By Morgan Stratton

What a wealth of information in your comments.I can almost answer my question from that, but not quite. There are nasturtiums everywhere here (East Bay Area) but the ones I like the best are a brilliant deep red and are growing on a refuse-and-cedar chips heap on the DOT freeway easement. I have not seen them anywhere else in the neighborhood and am not optimistic about trying to find some at a nursery. I gather that I could wait and watch for seeds to be planted in spring, but our life is not quite that relaxed. I suspect if there are multiple points of origin I could try to transplant an entire plant, being careful disturb the roots as little as possible, using a peat pot to transport and then planting the whole thing in a container. I was wondering two things: First, is the color somewhat nutrient- and/or condition-dependent (ie, the cedar chips, ambient water only and all day full sun?) And second, it seems unlikely, but is it possible to start a plant from a cutting, or several cuttings if the success rate is low? BTW, I love the Almanac and am glad to be reminded of it. I will visit and bookmark your website and buy the new edition. Your long range weather predictions, and so-o-o much more, always amaze me.

Hi Morgan, We appreciate your

By Almanac Staff

Hi Morgan, We appreciate your kind words.  There are deep red nasturtiums that you can buy as seed and grow easily with neglect--no fertilizer! "Empress of India" is a deep velvety crimson flower and "Mahogney Jewel" is also a deep red. Both do well as ground cover which is why they are scattered as seed along highways. 

Hello should have read your

By Hartmut

Hello
should have read your blog at first... now i am in trouble
did everything wrong
used earth from the gardencenter , high in nutrion
watered every second day
result : full lush leaves looking very healthy BUT no blooms , none , to be expected reading your blog.
NOW
what can i do to still get blooming ??
the plants are in a flowerbox on the window sill, just moderate sunshine, living in the west of ireland.
any tip is welcome .
many thanks in advance

Hi, Hartmut: Well, it figures

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Hartmut: Well, it figures that somebody with Hart would overpamper their nasturtiums, aka nasties. The old saying that you can be "nasty to nasturtiums" is not totally true, but they can stand up to a lot of overnutritious, overwatered, and undersunned abuse -- sometimes. They like consistent sun, so maybe this windowbox setting is doomed anyway, but try gently lifting them and getting rid of your present soil. This process may shock them, but you've got nothing to lose. Replace it with regular topsoil, maybe even with a little sand mixed in (like 10:1). Water twice or once a week. Move the window box if you can or else plant in another -- sunny -- place. You can do it!

What are the tiny black bugs

By grace olwen

What are the tiny black bugs that are on the underside of the leaves and also the stems ? Thanks

I have planted 75 olive trees

By Mperk

I have planted 75 olive trees along 600 feet the edge of our property, in two rows. I would like to plant nasturtium
Under all the trees... Will they keep weeds down?

You can plant the nasturtiums

By Robert edwin on September 29

You can plant the nasturtiums mixed with other flowers / vegetables and the nasturtiums will climb above, I made a hedge with willow cutting (I trim to 10 feet) and planted morning glories and holyhocks next to it - the morning glories climbed them and then planted marigolds at the base, it is good gardening to mix flowers and vegetables

I plant marigolds and mint

By Robert edwin on September 29

I plant marigolds and mint and chives and onions and garlec inbetween all of my vegetables and I have no bugs and they keep mosquitos away, mint will spread so find a corner in the yard where it can be by itself, I use the marigolds in my cooking (marigolds are the poor mans Saffron - one of the most expensive spices) (Saffron comes from the center of the crocus flower)

Try mixing different plants

By Robert edwin on September 29

Try mixing different plants together to control weeds and bugs and also produce vegetables to eat - squash to control weeds (Indians grew the three sisters, 8 corn plants in the center that grow tall - 12 pole beans to climb the corn - then 4 squash around the outside to control weeds

To keep weeds down try

By Robert edwin on September 29

To keep weeds down try planting squash - the big leaves will shade weeds so they do not grow - you can eat zuccini blossoms and also the squash, the male flowers will not produce a squash so use those in your cooking, the male flowers are for pollinating the female flowers so you can pick the, the male flowers have a slender base, the female flowers have a thick base

I found a very large

By brenanden

I found a very large nasturtium growing in an odd place. I transplanted it two weeks ago and babied it(provided shade in the heat of the day) It is doing well but no new leaves only lots of flowers. I have been taking off all flowers as they bloom trying to get the plant to produce more leaves so the plant will become robust. Does this sound correct? Should I take off all buds also? It really needs more leaves to produce energy to support all the flowering it is doing?

Hmm. Nasturtiums usually

By Almanac Staff

Hmm. Nasturtiums usually don't like their roots disturbed; perhaps it is stressed from its move (sometimes a plant produces flowers when stressed). Although it makes sense to remove flowers of an established plant to help it to focus on growing leaves, perhaps you might try leaving it alone so that it can recover from its relocation. Also, it could be just that the annual plant is winding down, as nasturtiums prefer the cooler weather of spring and fall. Shading from the heat of the day will certainly help, as well as keeping up with watering. You might try adding some fertilizer high in nitrogen (be sure to get one that will not burn the plant--ask your local nursery for options). Even though nasturtiums prefer poorer soils, and therefore fertilizer is usually not recommended, a richer soil will encourage leaves more than flowering.

I planted my soaked seeds in

By Babsofbriz

I planted my soaked seeds in a large container in full sun. I may have planted them deeper than I should have (index finger hole). Will they find their way to the top?

Nasturtium seeds are usually

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtium seeds are usually planted about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. If you planted them deeper, it will depend on how deep as to whether they'd have enough energy to grow to reach the surface. If you recently planted and you think that they might be too deep, try gently uncovering the seeds and replanting them to a shallower depth. Or, remove a layer of soil on top. Be very careful, in case any seeds have sprouted.

I live in Austin, Texas and

By Karen Thiemermann

I live in Austin, Texas and would like to try growing some dwarf nasturtiums. Is it too hot outside in the summer for them? I have a grow light indoors and am having some luck with other plants. What do you suggest?

In mild climates, such as

By Almanac Staff

In mild climates, such as Zone 8b 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.

I live in New York. My

By latanya

I live in New York. My nasturtium leaves are turning yellow. I water it every other day,it's in full sun. How long does it takes to grow flowers.

Hi, Lantanya: We like to

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Lantanya: We like to think of nasturtium as a mellow, Goldilocks type of plant -- it needs not too much water, not too little, but ju-u-u-u-st the right amount. Same thing for sun. Nasturtium is pretty durable and flexible but you do need to back off on the water and sun, wethinks. Water heavily, then wait until dry -- usually a week -- then repeat. But you can tell if your plants need it a little sooner just by the fact that their leaves look wilt-y. Give them a little shade if you can, too. Just sounds like maybe they are getting extremified on a couple of fronts somewhat and need to have their care sort of mellowed out a little. Blooms take at least a month on a healthy plant, so once yours gets rejuvenated, it's anybody's guess -- and unfortunately we're not anybody. Good luck, have fun, and thanks for writing!

MY nasturtiums are growing

By Sue Pickering

MY nasturtiums are growing well in troughs and are about 3 inches apart (as stated on packet) but they haven't strated to flower. The leaves are green but also yellowy. I had to plant them in 'Growbag' compost. Is the problem that that is too rich - it is designed for tomatoes. Shall I try and transplant in poorer soil or hope that they will flower. I have set my heart on them this summer. They are in the sun but this is a UK summer!

Nasturtiums do their best

By Almanac Staff

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. Are you watering correctly? Water them deeply until overflowering and then let them get bone dry, and then water deeply again. Usually, watering is once a week.

My nasturtium leaves are

By PattiPaw

My nasturtium leaves are turning brown and shriveling. What could be the problem?

Are you watering correctly?

By Almanac Staff

Are you watering correctly? Water them deeply until overflowering and then let them get bone dry, and then water deeply again. Usually, watering is once a week.

Do you have to nip the leaves

By itzme

Do you have to nip the leaves off to promote any flowers on these plants.....?

Hi, itzu: You don't need to

By Almanac Staff

Hi, itzu: You don't need to clip a little to promote blooms, but you might want to lightly prune the plants regularly to prevent overspreading and to focus growth where you want it and closer to the roots. We're partial to a little nip now and then ourselves, if you know what we mean.

will these plants grow in

By Brenda Kennedy

will these plants grow in Northern Michigan we are in zone 4

Nasturtiums love cooler

By Nerdery

Nasturtiums love cooler weather. They grow like crazy in the summer in Fairbanks, Alaska (Zone 1b/2a), and they're common throughout much of Canada and the northern areas of the United States. I see no reason why you couldn't grow them anywhere in Michigan.

I want to use Nasturtiums for

By desertdan

I want to use Nasturtiums for a ground cover in a shaded area. I'm not real concerned if they don't bloom a lot. My plants have come up, but are growing very slowly. Is the part day shade a problem?

Nasturtium is a great ground

By Almanac Staff

Nasturtium is a great ground cover, however, it's one to pick for a location that gets full sun. As a reference point, you might this list of ground covers for sun versus shade useful: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/plants-for-groundcover

Hello. Thank you for all of

By TMKC

Hello. Thank you for all of the great info on nasturtiums! I do have a question, though. I started seeds indoors, and they are the climbing variety. The main vine on one of the plants accidentally broke. I'm worried that the plant will be stunted at only a couple of feet. Would you happen to know if the plant will create a new main shoot or not? This was my first time growing these and I was very excited about their potential in my landscaping! Thank you for any info you can provide!

I planted some nasturtium

By IngridJean

I planted some nasturtium seeds about a month ago and they have done great until a couple of weeks ago and are now quite spindly and falling over - as I am sure they were the bushy type - what can I do? Do I need to cut them back? And if so, where on the plant?

If the plants are spindly,

By Almanac Staff

If the plants are spindly, it's often because there has been insufficient light or crowding. This sometimes happens when seeds are planted to early. You could try to add more soil to shore up the seedlings. Otherwise, you might want to seed some more--and experiment.

My daughter planted these in

By AshleyBrown

My daughter planted these in a little cup at daycare..they have grown to about 5 stems now and several inches high..should i transplant them to a bigger container and do they need something to "climb" ? And if so..when and how do i transplant them ?

Definitely transplant them. I

By LeAnne40

Definitely transplant them. I would use a planter or pot that is at least 6-8 inches deep to give the roots plenty of room. Did your plants start from one seed or more than one? If more than one seed, each plant should be spaced about 8 inches apart in moderately sandy soil--like 30% sand, 60% dirt or topsoil (FYI: they flower better in somewhat poor soil--the nice, rich, dark soil just gives you lots of leaves). It sounds like you have the "viney" type instead of the "bushy" type-it does not need to climb; just let the vines drape/flow downward over the pot/planter. Soil should be moist when you first transplant but then let it get a little dry before other waterings. They tend to do a little better in cooler climates but they will grow almost anywhere. They do like full sun-it's about the only thing you really have to make sure they get to thrive; otherwise they pretty much take care of themselves. Good luck; these are fun flowers to grow.

Is the Nasturtium seeds able

By Nazrey

Is the Nasturtium seeds able to grow in hydroponics gardening? Also I live in Singapore, which is the plant able to grow in rainforest biome conditions?

I am successfully growing

By Shirmot

I am successfully growing Nasturtiums in baskets in Trinidad. They trail downwards and have the most beautifully scented flowers. I live in a rain forest area so it is pretty hot. I am going to try growing them as ground cover next.

I don't know if nasturtiums

By Ernestine

I don't know if nasturtiums will grow hydroponically. However, I am commencing an experiment to grow them in hydroculture. I grow my potplants in clay pebbles and water, instead of soil. The clay pebbles are inert, so I feed the plants with liquid nutrient. So far i am successfully growing Hoya, Syngonium, Mint, Ribbon Plant. I am also experimenting with parsley.
I live in a sub-tropical coastal location in Queensland, Australia. Nasturtiums grow well in gardens around here, and self-seed easily.

in a enormous nasturtium

By Chuckloves1969

in a enormous nasturtium field near the ocean in LA, there are NO red flowers. I FOUND ONE, took it home and am hoping to be the great savior of the RED. i have it near another batch i have of oranges, yellows..and all combinations..orange-yellows..etc etc. HUGE QUESTION...how can i be 100% sure all the seeds in gonna collect for the red...will be red when i germinate the seeds and plant them.
((while trying to protect it...i snapped off 2/3's of it and was aghast at my stupidity....i put it in a mixture of full water and soil for weeks and weeks...and IT NOT ONLY IS ALIVE....it's re-budding and i planted it....and it's gonna be ok.))...
how can i be..100% sure they will be a nice deep RED seed.
the soil where i got it..and the huge natural field is completely sandy and mulch cause it's right near the ocean. BUT the reds one i have is soooo fragile in the sun,,the flowers fade in color one day after blooming....is this why there was only ONE RED that i found...amongst literally...200,000 plants?
so the one i have as you can tell..is soooo precious to me.
do i keep any and all bees away?...and pollenate it by hand..using it's own flowers?
please...help. thank you.

you wont be able to see the

By Emil25626

you wont be able to see the color until it blooms

If the nasturtium seed is

By Almanac Staff

If the nasturtium seed is "pure" and not a hybrid seed, then you should be able to save the seeds by color. If you save the seed of the red one, the "child" should come out the same color as the parent. Good luck!

I wondering if Nasturtium

By MyTai

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

No worries. According to the

By Almanac Staff

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

I love the idea of using

By Kristin Pass

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

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 animals...so 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

Hi,
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

By DLE

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

By GMAN

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!

growing

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 bloom...is 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).

plant/seeds

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?
trudy

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!

Nasturtiums

By Anonymous

check out http://www.sunriseseeds.com/NASTURTIUM%20FLOWER%20SEED.0.html 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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