How to Grow Nasturtium from Seeds

Do you want to grow Nasturtium plants? Yes,

Great, here I have written a detailed post to learn how to grow nasturtium from seeds. After reading this you will be able to grow and care for nasturtium easily.

Nasturtium is a bright, saturated, jewel-toned flower plant. It is a fast and easy-growing plant. They grow best when not given much attention. 

Nasturtiums are planted in the spring season when all threats of frost had gone. It is perennial in hardiness zones 9-11, and annual in other regions. 

This plant features five-petal, trumpet-shaped flowers that are found in different colors like red, orange, yellow, cream, mahogany, white and yellow. 

How to Grow Nasturtium from Seeds

The plant usually reaches up to a height of 9 to 15 inches and climbs about 15 feet. This depends on its species and plant type – which includes, bushy, climbing forms, cascading.

For ornamentals, the most famous species are T.minus, T.majus, T.speciosm, and T.peregrium. you grow these varieties in garden borders.

Nasturtium’s scientific name is Tropaeolum, best known for its flavourful cress plants such as N.officinate and N.microphyllum.

It belongs to Brassicales order and has a bright peppery taste and a light, spicy scent common on mustard family members.

Quick Guide

Common NameNasturtium 
Scientific NameTropaeolum
Plant typeAnnual flower
Mature Size1 to 15 inches taller and 1 to 3 feet wider
Sun ExposureFull sun 
Soil TypeAverage, well-drained soil
Soil pH6 to 8 
Bloom TimeSpring, Summer, and Fall
Flower Colorpink, yellow, white, red, orange
Hardiness Zones9 to 11 USDA (can be grown annual anywhere)
Native AreaSouth America

When to grow 

The best time to plant nasturtium is during the spring season when there is no danger of frost. This plant blooms from mid-spring to fall, planting it earlier in the season will give it time to get established. It is a fast-growing plant and starts blooming once it settles.

Where to grow 

Nasturtium varieties do not like to transplant. Plant them directly in the garden, pot, or container. You may first grow them in peat, paper, and biodegradable pots and then transplant them with pot into the garden bed. This is a large growing plant depending on its species, it needs space to bloom, plant them in a larger container or outdoors.

How to Grow Nasturtium 

Nasturtiums

Nasturtium can be grown from seeds as well as from stem cuttings. But seeds from, nasturtium plants may not grow because there can be various cultivars or varieties of nasturtium which is developed through cross-breeding two varieties.

Propagating a new plant by taking seeds directly from the existing plant may not grow similar to its parent plant. So, it’s recommended to buy seeds online or from nurseries of different varieties to grow a new nasturtium.

Propagation from stem cuttings does not have this problem. You can grow multiple nasturtium plants using cutting. They emerge similar to their parent plant. Also, growing from stem cutting is an easy and quick way to propagate many new plants.

But here I’ll cover both propagation methods:

How to Grow Nasturtium from Seeds 

If you’re planning to grow nasturtium from seeds. Firstly, you have to get correct or fresh seeds. You can buy its seeds online or nearby nursery. Growing from existing nasturtium plant seeds is not recommend, I explained earlier.

  • Nasturtium seeds are coated with a hard layer. To get them germinate you have to soak them for 10 -12 hours in lukewarm water. 
  • After soaking, dry them on a paper towel.  
  • Sow the seeds directly in the garden beds or sow in peat, paper or biodegrable pots to transplant them later in the garden without root distrubance.
  • You can also grow it indoors in a medium sized pot but then do not transplant it.
  • Sow the seeds one-half inches deep or just press it against the soil and cover with soil.
  • Water seeds daily to keep soil moist, place or plant seeds where it gets early morning sun and evening sunlight.
  • It takes 2 to 3 weeks for seeds to germinate. Later when the seedling grows about 5 to 6 inches taller, you can transplant it outdoors without distrubing its roots.

How to Grow Nasturtium from Stem Cuttings

You can grow nasturtiums easily from stem cuttings. You can take as many cuttings and grow many new plants.

Here is what to do:

  • Take a sharp and clean gardening shear. Cut a stem cutting of at least 5 to 6 inches longer in height. The stem cutting must have some leaves and not be too woody.
  • Do not try to tear or break stem cutting from the plant; it will cause permanent damage on the plant.
  • Remove all the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting for roots to emerge.
  • Dip cutting in rooting hormones to boost growth of roots, if desired.
  • Plant the stem cutting in biodegradable pot. (Plant only one cutting per pot).
  • Place the pot in a protected area where it gets morning sunlight and everning shade.
  • Do not place the pot in direct sunlight, place it in indirect sunlight like near windowsill or doors.
  • Water regularly to keep soil mosit but do not over water, it does not like soggy soil.
  • The stem cutting will start producing roots in two to three weeks, you get to know when leaves come up.
  • Once the cutting grows a few inches and has some leaves on it.
  • You can transplant it with whole pot into the garden or in a large container, but without distrubing its roots.

How to Transplant

Nasturtium does not like to transplant. If you have an existing plant, try to propagate a new one with stem cuttings. Tossing them out and transplanting them to a new place may not work.

If you’re growing for the first time, start with a pot from where it can easily be transplanted without disturbing its root system. Use paper, peat, biodegradable pots.

When you want to transplant first, place the pot outdoors for one to two days to adapt them outdoors. When planting the whole pot in the garden bed. After transplanting water thoroughly. 

How to Care for Nasturtium 

Nasturtium

Nasturtiums do not need much care once they get established. As it is a fast-growing plant, you have to give them attention in the initial days. Below are growing conditions that you have to give nasturtium to keep it blooming.

Light

Nasturtiums produce bright color flowers and dark-green foliage, most of its varieties and cultivars prefer full sunlight where they bloom freely. However, in the hot or warm climate, they will appreciate some shade. 

Water

Nasturtiums become a bit drought tolerant, once they get established. Usually, they prefer moderate watering (Once a week) to keep their soil moist. They survive in some dry and humid conditions. But, watering them thoroughly once a week will keep their flowers happy.

Soil 

Unlike other colorful flower plants, nasturtium does not require rich, fertile soil. You can grow them in average or lean soil with good drainage. Plant them in loose soil with some organic matter like used tea bags for quick growth. 

Pruning

Just like any other plant Nasturtium also need trimming or pruning occasionally. Nasturtium varieties grow fastly, so you have to trim them to maintain their shape. 

Pinch off old or dry leaves and flowers to promote new growth. These dry parts of the plant might look dead but they keep sucking the plant’s juice, pruning them will redirect the increase to grow new leaves and flowers.  

Fertilizer

You do not need to fertilize nasturtium in any season. They can thrive in dry and average soil, adding fertilizer will increase the production of foliage and not flowers. Adding some organic matter when planting it will be enough.

Temperature and humidity

Nasturtium grows perennial in USDA hardiness zone 9 to 11. In the other zones, they grow as annual plants. You can plant them after the last frost week and enjoy blooming till frost arrives. Nasturtium can thrive in mild dry and humid conditions with average soil. In the frost season, they do not show any growth and go dormant until spring. 

Common Pests and Diseases

Nasturtium is sometimes used as a trap plant in the vegetable garden. It attracts aphids and saves other crops. If you are growing nasturtium for its blooms, aphids may infect the plant. You can identify aphids if the plant’s leaves become wilt and crinkled.

The presence of ants on the plant, also a sign of aphids. As aphids produce sweet fluid (honeydew) that attracts ants to feed on. A strong water blast from a hose is usually enough to get rid of aphids before applying other methods. 

Best Nasturtium varieties

There are many Nasturtium species present, below are some common nasturtium varieties that you can grow.

‘Alaska’ Series

These are bushy, dwarf species that produce vegetative foliage and orange blossom above the leaves. You grow these varieties in the cold climate, this is a hardy plant and stands strong in the frost. They bloom during the mid-spring to the early fall season.

‘Jewel’ Series

This series of plants are also bushy, dwarf, they produce double or semi-double flowers. The flowers are profuse but they grow under the foliage, which tends to lower its presence. 

‘Peach Melba’

Yellow Nasturtium

If you’re finding a variety to grow in a pot or container then peach melba is a good choice. These bushy dwarf plants produce bright semi-double yellow flowers with an orange splash in the center of the flower. The flowers are in the upward direction and can be seen from a distance.

‘Canary Creeper’

This is a perennial variety vine in the nasturtium genus, you can grow in trellis or walls. It produces five-petaled, yellow flowers that look like a bird’s wings. 

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