Nasturtium: How to Plant and Care for this Colorful Flower

Nasturtiums are a popular choice for gardeners around the world. These colorful, edible flowers are not only beautiful to look at but also easy to grow. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, planting nasturtiums is a great way to add color and flavor to your garden.

Planting nasturtiums is a simple process that can be done in just a few easy steps. First, choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Nasturtiums prefer soil that is slightly acidic and not too rich in nutrients. Next, sow the seeds directly into the soil, about 1 inch deep and 10-12 inches apart. Water the seeds well and keep the soil moist until they germinate.

Once the nasturtiums have sprouted, they require very little maintenance. They don’t need fertilizer and only require occasional watering. In fact, over-watering can cause the plants to become leggy and produce fewer flowers. With proper care, your nasturtiums should bloom from early summer until the first frost.

Choosing Nasturtium Varieties

When it comes to planting nasturtiums, there are many varieties to choose from. Here are a few popular options:

  • Tall climbing nasturtiums: These varieties can grow up to six feet tall and are perfect for trellises or fences.
  • Dwarf nasturtiums: These varieties are compact and bushy, making them ideal for planting in containers or small spaces.
  • Trailing nasturtiums: These varieties have long, trailing stems and are great for hanging baskets or cascading over walls.
  • Variegated nasturtiums: These varieties have leaves with different colors or patterns, adding visual interest to your garden.

When choosing your nasturtium variety, consider the size of your garden or planting area, as well as the amount of sunlight and water the plants will receive. It’s also important to note that nasturtiums come in a range of colors, including yellow, orange, red, and even bi-colored options.

Ultimately, the variety you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your garden. Take some time to research the different options and select the best nasturtium variety for your space.

When to Plant Nasturtiums

nasturtium how to plant

Nasturtiums are easy to grow and can be planted in most climates. However, the timing of planting is crucial to ensure the best growth and flowering. Here are some tips on when to plant nasturtiums:

  • Plant nasturtiums after the last frost has passed in your area. In most regions, this is in late spring or early summer.
  • Make sure the soil is warm enough before planting. Nasturtiums prefer soil temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you live in a warm climate, you can plant nasturtiums in the fall for winter blooms.

It’s important to remember that nasturtiums don’t like to be transplanted, so it’s best to sow the seeds directly into the ground. You can also start the seeds indoors (4-6 weeks) before the last frost and then transplant them outside once they have grown a bit.

When planting nasturtiums, make sure to choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil. They can tolerate some shade, but they won’t bloom as well in low light conditions. Nasturtiums also prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

Overall, planting nasturtiums is easy and rewarding. By following these tips, you can ensure that your nasturtiums will thrive and provide beautiful blooms all season long.

Where to Plant Nasturtiums

nasturtium how to plant
Nasturtium How to Plant

Nasturtiums are a versatile plant that can be planted in a variety of locations. They are known for their ability to grow in poor soil conditions, making them a great option for gardeners who have less-than-ideal soil. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location to plant your nasturtiums:

  • Choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Nasturtiums thrive in full sun, but they can also tolerate partial shade.
  • Avoid planting nasturtiums in areas that are prone to standing water. These plants prefer well-drained soil and can suffer from root rot if they are consistently waterlogged.
  • If you are planting nasturtiums in a container, choose a pot that is at least 12 inches in diameter. This will give the plant enough room to grow and spread out.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic of your garden when choosing a location for your nasturtiums. These plants come in a variety of colors and can be used to add a pop of color to flower beds or containers. They also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, making them a great addition to any pollinator garden.

Overall, nasturtiums are a low-maintenance plant that can thrive in a variety of locations. By choosing a sunny, well-drained location and providing your plants with adequate space to grow, you can enjoy a beautiful display of colorful flowers throughout the growing season.

How to Plant Nasturtium Seeds

Planting nasturtium seeds is a simple and straightforward process. Follow these steps to ensure a successful planting:

  • Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil.
  • Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches.
  • Sow the seeds directly into the soil, spacing them 10-12 inches apart.
  • Plant the seeds at a depth of 1/2 inch and cover with soil.
  • Water the area thoroughly, but avoid over-watering as this can lead to rotting of the seeds.

It is important to note that nasturtium seeds do not need to be started indoors before planting. They can be directly sown into the soil once the danger of frost has passed in your area.

It is also important to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which usually occurs within 7-10 days. Once the seedlings have emerged, it is best to water them deeply once a week.

Nasturtiums are relatively low-maintenance plants and do not require much fertilizer. However, if you choose to fertilize, do so sparingly and use a balanced fertilizer.

Caring for Nasturtiums

Once your nasturtiums are planted and growing, it’s important to care for them properly to ensure healthy and vibrant blooms. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Watering: Nasturtiums prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly, but not overwatered. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Fertilizing: Nasturtiums are not heavy feeders and do not require regular fertilization. However, a balanced fertilizer can be applied once a month during the growing season to encourage blooming.
  • Deadheading: To encourage continued blooming, it’s important to deadhead spent flowers regularly. This will also prevent the plant from going to seed too quickly.
  • Pest control: Nasturtiums are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but aphids and caterpillars can sometimes be a problem. If necessary, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations.
  • Pruning: Nasturtiums do not require extensive pruning, but occasional trimming can help to shape the plant and encourage bushier growth.

By following these simple care tips, you can enjoy beautiful and healthy nasturtiums throughout the growing season.

Harvesting Nasturtiums

Once your nasturtiums have bloomed, it’s time to start harvesting them. The flowers and leaves can be harvested and used in a variety of ways.

When harvesting nasturtiums, it’s important to choose the right time of day. The best time to harvest nasturtiums is in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. This is when the flowers and leaves are at their freshest and most flavorful.

To harvest nasturtium flowers, simply pinch them off at the base of the stem. You can also pick the leaves by gently pulling them off the stem.

Once you’ve harvested your nasturtiums, it’s important to use them quickly. Nasturtiums don’t keep well once they’ve been picked, so it’s best to use them within a day or two. If you can’t use them right away, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

There are many ways to use harvested nasturtiums. The flowers can be used to decorate salads, soups, and other dishes. The leaves can be used in salads, sandwiches, and pesto. You can also pickle the nasturtium seeds to use as a substitute for capers.