Vibrant and handsome, fast grower and easy going, Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), is a popular annual plant that will both command attention in any landscape and reward you with weeks of blooms, from early summer until frost. Did you know that the flowers of Nasturniums have an unusual and refreshing fragrance?
- Vigorously growing from 1-10 ft. (30-300 cm), depending on their variety, Nasturtiums are easy to grow, low maintenance and grown as cool-season temperate plants.
- There are both climbing and dwarf bush types. The dwarf types, from 12 in. tall (30 cm) and 2 ft. wide (60 cm) are great selections for beds, borders, rock gardens, edgings, ground covers or as mass plantings. Climbing Nasturtiums, up to 6-8 ft. tall (180-240 cm) can quickly cover fences, banks, or stumps. Nasturtiums add a touch of old-fashioned charm in vegetable gardens, herb gardens, cottage gardens or as potted specimens. They are also a good choice to mix with spring-flowering bulbs, since they can effectively hide the unattractive bulb foliage that may be allowed to mature.
- Nasturtium flower buds, which contain mustard oil, may be used for seasonings while the peppery flavor of the unripe seed pods may also be used in salads.
- The showy flowers are long-stalked, funnel-shaped, about 2-3 in. wide (5-7 cm), and range in color from creamy white to orange, mahogany, red, and yellow. They may be single or double, proudly rising above rounded, parasol-like leaves.
- Performs best in full sun, in average, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Light shade is tolerated in hot summer areas. Best performance in cool summer areas. Nasturtiums do better in soil of moderate to low fertility. Rich, fertile soils are not recommended as they yield more foliage but reduce flowering.
- Few insects or diseases bother Nasturtiums. Butterflies love them while deer ignore them!
- Sow seeds outdoors after all danger of frost has passed or indoors 4-6 weeks prior to the last spring frost date.
- Avoid fertilization, which tends to increase foliage and decrease flowering. Nasturtium will self seed.
- The most popular Nasturtium varieties are:
Nasturtium 'Alaska Hybrids' - mixed with white spotted leaves, compact, 12-15 in. (30-37 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Cherry Rose Jewel’ - cherry rose, semi-double green compact, 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Double Gleam Hybrids’ - mix, semi-double, fragrant green semi-trailing, 12 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Empress of India’ - crimson purplish compact, 12 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium 'Gleam Hybrids’ - mix, double green semi-trailing, 2 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Hermine Grasshof’ - bright red, double green compact, 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Jewel of Africa’ - mix marbled vine, 8 ft. (240 cm)
Nasturtium 'Jewel Hybrids’ - mix, semi to double green compact, 12 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Moonlight’ - light yellow green vine, 6 ft. (180 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Park’s Fragrant Giants’ mix green trailing vine
Nasturtium ‘Peach Melba’ - yellow, red blotched green compact, 12 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Salmon Baby’ - salmon pink, fringed green compact, 12 in. (30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Strawberries and Cream’ - yellow, red blotched green compact, 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Strawberry Ice’ - gold, red blotched bluish compact, 9 in. (22 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Tip Top Hybrids’ - mix green compact, 8 in. (20 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Tom Thumb Hybrids’ - mix green compact, 8-10 in. (20 25 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Whirlybird Cream’ - creamy yellow, semi-double green compact, 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Nasturtium ‘Whirlybird Hybrids’ - mix, semi-double green compact, 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)