Nasturtiums are pretty and colourful flowers that are easy to grow. This makes them a favourite with novice gardeners and children. As well as looking pretty, nasturtium flowers can also be eaten and can enliven a spring or summer salad with their brightness and peppery taste. There is a huge range of varieties in a huge array of different colours, meaning that these will fit into almost any colour-scheme garden as well as those with a more wild and organic design.

Growing nasturtiums:

Nasturtiums can be sown inside in pots or outside where they are to grow between March and May. They will flower from summer through to the autumn. Nasturtiums are very easy to grow from seed and are hassle free, especially if you are not in a rush and just direct sow as soon as the risk of frost has passed in your area.

If you want to get earlier blooms then you can start the seeds indoors though to prevent transplant shock it is best to grow them in biodegradable containers (toilet roll tubes work well) so you can just pop the whole thing into the garden. The large seeds are easy to handle and so are the perfect way to introduce children to gardening. Nasturtium seeds will germinate in a sunny spot in 10-12 days. Remember to harden off plants grown inside before planting them out.

Nasturtiums are fairly hardy but make sure that you water them well during dry weather. Pay attention to watering, especially with plants in pots or window boxes, which can dry out more quickly. Let the soil dry between waterings but not too much or for too long.

Nasturtiums will thrive even in relatively poor quality soil as long as they are watered regularly. Try to keep the area around them free of weeds to reduce competition.

Cutting off finished or faded flowers will encourage the plant to keep blooming for longer throughout the growing season.

Why grow nasturtiums in the garden?

Nasturtiums are good for ground cover in a flower bed or can look very cheerful planted in pots on a patio or in a window box. The fragrance is pleasant and this makes them a good choice also for cut flowers.

Nasturtium flowers and leaves can be eaten. They have a peppery and slightly sweet taste that can enliven a mixed salad. The leaves can be used exactly as you would use watercress. In addition, the green seed pots of the plant can be used as a substitute for capers.

In a vegetable garden, nasturtiums can be used as a trap crop for aphids and attracts predatory insects. It is a good companion plant for beans, squash, tomatoes, fruit trees, radishes, brassicas and cucumbers as it also repels a range of pests.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Tropaeolum majus