How To Grow And Care For Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums, with their vibrant colors and peppery-flavored leaves, have become a beloved addition to gardens worldwide. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, cultivating and caring for nasturtiums can be a rewarding and relatively straightforward endeavor. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into detail about How To Grow And Care For Nasturtiums this beautiful and edible plants.

Understanding Nasturtiums:

Nasturtiums, scientifically known as Tropaeolum majus, are native to South America but have gained popularity in various parts of the world due to their striking appearance and versatility. They come in a range of colors, including fiery oranges, warm yellows, and intense reds, making them a vibrant addition to any garden. Not only are nasturtiums visually appealing, but they are also edible, with both the flowers and leaves possessing a peppery taste, reminiscent of arugula.

Growing Nasturtiums:

Choosing the Right Location:

Nasturtiums thrive in well-draining soil and prefer full sun to partial shade. Ensure that the chosen location receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily.

Soil Preparation:

Prepare the soil by mixing compost or well-rotted organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. Nasturtiums are relatively adaptable and can tolerate various soil types, but they prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil.


Nasturtiums can be grown from seeds or young plants, but many gardeners find success with seeds due to their rapid germination and growth. Plant the seeds directly into the soil after the last frost of spring. Sow them about 1/2 to 1 inch deep and space them around 8-12 inches apart.


Nasturtiums prefer consistently moist soil but are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Water the plants moderately, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as excessively wet soil can lead to root rot.

Caring for Nasturtiums:


Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants to help retain soil moisture and control weeds. This is especially important during the hotter months.


Nasturtiums are not heavy feeders and can thrive in moderately fertile soil. Too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers. A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer can be applied sparingly during the growing season.

Training and Support:

If you’re growing climbing or trailing varieties of nasturtiums, provide some support like trellises or fences for them to climb. This not only enhances their visual appeal but also helps to keep the foliage off the ground, reducing the risk of disease.


Regularly remove faded or spent flowers (deadheading) to encourage continuous blooming. This practice also prevents the plant from channeling energy into seed production rather than flower production.

Pest and Disease Management:

Nasturtiums are generally hardy, but aphids and caterpillars can occasionally become problematic. Regularly inspect the plants and address any infestations promptly. Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs can help control aphid populations.


Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are not only known for their vibrant colors and distinctive peppery taste but also for their relative ease of propagation. Whether you want to expand your garden or share these lovely plants with friends and family, propagating nasturtiums can be a rewarding and simple process. In this guide, we’ll explore several methods of propagating nasturtiums to help you create more of these charming blooms.

1. Propagation by Seeds:

  • Collecting Seeds: Nasturtiums are prolific seed producers, and collecting their seeds is a straightforward way to propagate them. Allow the spent flowers to mature and form seed pods. The pods are round and typically green, gradually turning brown as they mature. When the pods are fully dry and crispy, gently squeeze them to release the seeds. These seeds can be stored in a cool, dry place for future planting.
  • Direct Sowing: Direct sowing is the most common method of growing nasturtiums from seeds. In early spring, after the last frost has passed, plant the seeds directly into the soil. Make sure to provide them with adequate sunlight and well-draining soil. Plant the seeds about 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 8-12 inches apart. Keep the soil consistently moist until germination occurs, which usually takes around 7-10 days.

2. Water Propagation:

  • Harvesting Cuttings: Water propagation is another interesting way to propagate nasturtiums. Take cuttings from mature, healthy plants. Choose stems that are about 4-6 inches in length and have several leaves attached. Remove the lower leaves, leaving a couple of leaves at the top.
  • Rooting in Water: Place the cuttings in a glass of water, ensuring that the nodes (points where leaves were removed) are submerged. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and oxygenated. After a few weeks, you should notice roots starting to form. Once the roots are a couple of inches long, the cuttings are ready for transplanting into pots or directly into the garden.

3. Division:

  • Choosing Established Plants: Division is a method suitable for mature nasturtiums that have been growing for a while. Choose plants that have developed a substantial root system and are showing vigorous growth.
  • Dividing the Plant: Gently dig up the plant and carefully separate the roots into smaller sections. Each section should have a portion of the root system and several stems with leaves. Replant these divisions in well-prepared soil, water thoroughly, and provide them with proper care.

Tips for Successful Propagation:

  • Timing: Propagate nasturtiums in the spring or early summer when the weather is mild. This gives the new plants a chance to establish themselves before the heat of summer or the chill of winter arrives.
  • Soil: Ensure that the soil is well-draining and of good quality. Adding compost or organic matter can improve the soil’s fertility and texture.
  • Sunlight: Nasturtiums thrive in full sun to partial shade. Make sure to provide them with the appropriate amount of sunlight based on your local climate.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist during the initial stages of propagation. Once the new plants are established, adjust the watering frequency based on their needs and the weather conditions.
  • Hardening Off: If you’re transplanting young plants started indoors or through water propagation, gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions before planting them in the garden. This process is called “hardening off” and helps prevent transplant shock.


Versatile Nasturtiums: Exploring the Various Uses of These Colorful Plants

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are more than just pretty flowers adorning gardens; they offer a range of uses that extend beyond their ornamental value. From culinary delights to herbal remedies, nasturtiums have found a place in various aspects of our lives. In this exploration of their versatility, we’ll uncover the diverse ways you can incorporate nasturtiums into your daily routine.

1. Culinary Delights:

  • Edible Flowers: Nasturtium flowers are not only visually appealing but also edible, adding a burst of color and a unique peppery flavor to dishes. They can be used as garnishes, tossed in salads, or even stuffed with savory fillings for a delightful appetizer.
  • Leaves: The leaves of nasturtiums are also edible and share the same peppery taste as the flowers. They can be used as a spicy addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps, or blended into pestos for an extra kick.
  • Caprese Salad: Replace traditional basil leaves in a Caprese salad with nasturtium leaves for a zesty twist on a classic dish.

2. Herbal Remedies:

  • Traditional Uses: Nasturtiums have a history of medicinal use due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Traditionally, they have been used to treat minor ailments like colds, coughs, and skin irritations.
  • Soothing Salves: Infuse nasturtium leaves and flowers into oil to create a soothing salve for skin irritations, such as insect bites or minor burns.

3. Companion Planting:

  • Natural Pest Control: Nasturtiums are known to repel certain pests due to their strong aroma. Planting them alongside vegetables can help deter aphids, whiteflies, and squash bugs.
  • Trap Plants: Nasturtiums can act as “trap plants” by attracting aphids and other pests away from more valuable crops. Regularly inspect the nasturtiums and remove the pests to prevent infestations.

4. Decorative Elements:

  • Table Centerpieces: Nasturtium flowers make charming and edible additions to table centerpieces, adding a touch of elegance to gatherings.
  • Edible Cake Decorations: Elevate your desserts by using nasturtium flowers as edible decorations for cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet treats.

5. Educational Tools:

  • Botanical Study: Nasturtiums offer an opportunity to learn about plant anatomy, growth patterns, and pollination. They’re excellent subjects for both budding and experienced botanists.
  • Germination Projects: Nasturtium seeds germinate relatively quickly and can be used as hands-on learning tools for children or in educational settings.

6. Aesthetic Beauty:

  • Garden Accents: Nasturtiums add vibrant colors and a touch of whimsy to garden beds, borders, hanging baskets, and containers.
  • Climbing Varieties: Climbing or trailing nasturtiums can be trained to climb trellises, fences, or other support structures, creating stunning vertical accents in your garden.

Final Thoughts:

Nasturtiums are true multi-taskers in the plant kingdom, offering beauty, flavor, and practicality. Their edible flowers and leaves, medicinal properties, ability to repel pests, and aesthetic appeal make them a valuable addition to gardens, kitchens, and homes. As you explore the myriad uses of nasturtiums, you’ll discover the many ways in which these versatile plants can enrich your life and surroundings. Happy Gardening…

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