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Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum) Care Guide

Nasturtium plants are easy to grow and perfect for a beginner as they thrive on neglect. Nasturtiums or Tropaeolum come in a variety of vibrant colours – apparently, there are more than 50 varieties – and there are trailing types, tall climbers and dwarf versions.

Why Grow Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are such versatile plants that they are almost too good to miss.

Firstly, all parts of the plant are edible – leaves, flowers and seeds. Drop a flower or two into your vegetable salad to jazz it up. You may grind the seeds like you would with pepper and they do have a peppery taste. Your pet rabbits will love the leaves as well!

Secondly, nasturtiums make good companion plants as they will spread across the garden bed, acting as groundcovers. In doing so, they suppress weeds. Nasturtiums grow well with cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, and taller plants like corn, tomatoes and sunflowers.

Nasturtiums are Annuals

Nasturtium plants are classified as annuals which grow quickly in one season. However, due to their fast growing nature and ability to self-seed, they will grow year after year in the garden, giving the appearance of perennials.

Care Requirements & Guide

Light: Nasturtium plants grow well in both full sun or partial shade. Growing in in full sun tends to produce more flowers.

Temperature: Nasturtiums can handle very light frosts, but may be easily damaged by freezing temperatures. However, fret not if your nasturtiums do not thrive through winter, as they will easily bounce back from seed in spring/summer.

Fertiliser: Nasturtium plants do not require fertiliser as fertile soil will result in fewer blooms and more foliage. Generally, nasturtiums thrive in poor soil conditions, so long as they are watered regularly.

Propagation: Nasturtiums are best grown by seed. Their seeds are large in comparison to other seeds, which makes it easy to handle them. It is important to note that nasturtiums do not transplant well. Therefore, grow them directly into the spot where they are meant to grow. Alternatively, plant nasturtium seeds into biodegradable pots which you can get from any garden centre. Otherwise, cardboard egg cartons or toilet rolls will do the job as well. When the true leaves have sprouted, you may then plant the entire pot into the ground.

Are Nasturtiums Considered Weeds?

In some areas, nasturtium plants are loosely classified as weeds as they can be invasive. It’s best to grow them in their own garden bed with garden edging to minimises their chances of taking over other garden beds. They are self-seeding, so another way to control them is to pinch off their flowers before they set seed.

Which Nasturtium Seeds Should I Grow?

We recommend the following:

Edible Flower Garden Kit which includes anise hyssop, signet marigold, Johnny-jump-up, mixed nasturtiums and garland chrysanthemum seeds.
Nasturtium – Alaska Mix is variety which includes a mix of gold, salmon, orange, and deep red/purple colored flowers. 
Nasturtium Tall Trailing Mix is a variety of fast-growing, vine-like or “trailing” plant which can easily reach 10 feet in length by the end of the growing season! Perfect for growing along fences, or above retaining walls. It boasts colorful flowers in many shades of yellow, orange and even occasionally red.
Nasturtium Whirlybird is a variety which produces jewel-toned flowers, dark green foliage, maximum color! These flowers stand straight and will come in shades of red, orange, cream and gold. 

Alternatively, you could consider single variety packs available from time to time. Happy planting!