Alphabetical Plant Listing

Nasturtium: Plant Care and Growing Guide

Tropaeolum, Common Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Mexican Cress, Peruvian Cress, Garden Nasturtium


Among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in the garden, Nasturtium is a showy annual or perennial plant with flamboyant flowers and attractive parasol-like leaves. Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible and make an attractive addition to salads. They attract beneficial insects to the garden, making Nasturtium a wonderful companion plant for fruits and vegetables.

All you need to know about Nasturtium

  • Nasturtium belongs to the Tropaeolaceae family which includes about 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants that are native to South and Central America.
     
  • Tropaeolum majus (Common Nasturtium, Indian Cress) and Tropaeolum minus (Dwarf Nasturtium) are the most commonly cultivated species.
     
  • They are perennial in hardiness zones 9-11 and grown as annual plants elsewhere.
     
  • Depending on the variety, Nasturtiums can form a low bushy mound or trail and climb by twining stems. The bush types, from 12 in. tall (30 cm) and 2 ft. wide (60 cm), are great selections for beds and borders, rock gardens, edgings, ground covers, or in mass plantings. The climbing types, up to 6-10 ft. tall (180-300 cm), can quickly cover fences, banks, or stumps.
     
  • Nasturtium blooms from winter through spring in mild winter areas and from summer to fall in colder climates.
     
  • Nasturtium flowers are long-stalked, funnel-shaped, about 2-3 in. wide (5-7 cm), ranging in color from creamy white to orange, mahogany, red, and yellow. The blossoms may be single or double and have an unusual and refreshing fragrance. They stand out against the pretty foliage of rounded, parasol-like leaves.
     
  • Nasturtiums rank among the most common edible flowers. The delicate blossoms have a sweet, peppery taste similar to watercress. Leaves and unripe seed pods add a citrusy and peppery flavor to salads. Flower buds contain mustard oil and may be used for seasonings. The flowers add eye-catching beauty to the plate and can be used to garnish salads, platters, and savory dishes.
     
  • Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators are drawn to the flowers, making Nasturtium a valuable addition to the vegetable garden. Nasturtium is a good companion plant for beans, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, kale, melon, pumpkin, and radish.
     
  • In addition, Nasturtium can be used as a trap crop, trapping pests such as aphids and giving a more appealing and delicious meal than nearby vegetable crops.
     
  • Nasturtiums are unfussy plants. They perform best in full sun in poor, well-drained soils. Some afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer areas.
     
  • Nasturtiums thrive on neglect and few pest or diseases bother them. They are no favorite to deer.
     
  • Nasturtium self-seeds readily, keeping a presence in the garden. In warm climates, it blooms and seeds all year round and is considered invasive in many of those areas.
     
  • Nasturtium is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 11
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Hanging Baskets, Patio and Containers, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
Compare All Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums Great Plant Combination Ideas with Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums Guides with Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 11
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Hanging Baskets, Patio and Containers, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
Compare All Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums Great Plant Combination Ideas with Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums Guides with Tropaeolum - Nasturtiums

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