Nasturtiums enliven your garden and your salads with their brightly colored flowers and peppery leaves. Easy to grow, nasturtiums also have sweet-smelling and sweet-tasting petals, and even their seedpods can be used in cooking - as a substitute for capers. Learn how to add these versatile flowers to your garden with the tips below.
From a strictly visual standpoint, nasturtiums can complement many spots in your garden. Some nasturtiums grow as bushy plants. Others string out along climbing or trailing vines. Trailing nasturtiums also make excellent container plants. Their colorful blossoms can be yellow, orange, pink, red, white or bi-colored, allowing you to design a color palette for your garden space. The leaves are large and rounded, attractive in their own right.
Nasturtiums prefer full sun, but give them some shade from the afternoon sun if you live in a hotter climate.
Nasturtiums grow easily from seed and generally don't like being transplanted, which is why you may not find nasturtium plants at your local garden center. It's best to sow seeds directly into the ground or containers after the last frost in spring. Use a high quality potting mix such as Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix for container nasturtiums. For garden grown nasturtiums, amend your soil with nutrient enriched matter such as Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables before planting. Space the seeds according to the directions on your seed packets. The seeds are large, easy to plant and will sprout quickly - in about 7 to 10 days.
Nasturtiums require little feeding or attention. Be careful not to overwater (test the soil moisture level 2 to 3 inches below the surface before watering). Feed your nasturtiums occasionally with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Bloom Booster® Flower Food. Prune, or deadhead, wilted or misshapen flowers to encourage more growth. If you're growing nasturtiums in containers, you may find you need to prune them significantly during their growing season.