Nasturtium is a brightly colored, orangey reddish toned flower that is very easy to grow. There are two main types of nasturtiums, a trailing/ climbing type and a bush type. The trailing type is more commonly found in a window box where the bush type stays more compact and in one place. In both kinds the flowers grow to be about 1 to 10 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide depending on how they are pruned. Nasturtiums are a great companion plant as they attract pests and also can add a pop of color to your garden.
Nasturtiums are pretty adaptable plants and do not need fertilizer or even great quality soil to grow. They like well drained soil and full sun exposure. When planting indoors, start seeds 2 to 4 weeks before your last spring frost date. When planting outdoors, plant seeds 1 to 2 weeks after your last spring frost date. Soil temperatures should be between 55° and 65°F (12° and 18°C) and seeds should be planted 10-12 inches apart. Plants will begin to emerge about a week after planting. Pruning dead buds and flowers encourages more blooming.
In the garden, nasturtiums can be used to bring in pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. They are also often used as a trap crop, meaning they deter pests from other valuable crops. Once harvested, nasturtiums can be used as a garnish in salads as it has a peppery taste. When seed pods are pickled they have a taste and can be used similar to capers.
Nasturtium is a companion plant to many vegetables and squash including bean, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, kale, melon, pumpkin, and radish.