This exotic and easy to grow Nasturtium has a deep crimson color and dark round leaves. Nasturtium are a beautiful must-have in the veggie garden, both in beds and containers, and are easy to directly sow. They require little care but are happiest when grown in the cooler months with ample moisture. Flowers and leaves are edible with a flavor similar to arugula.
Nasturtium Seeds, Empress of India
861 in stock
861 in stock
Seed pack contents: .25G sows about 15′ area
Botanical name: Tropaeolum majus
Planting by Zones
- Nasturtium is a cool-season crop in Zones 9 and 10. Plant nasturtium from winter to spring. Seasonal rains followed by regular watering will keep the plant blooming from early spring through late summer.
- Direct sow 2 weeks before the last frost or start indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost.
Planting Nasturtium Seeds
- In Zones 9 and 10, it best to direct seed in full sun.
- To direct sow, individually plant or broadcast seeds in debris-free, well-worked soil that has been deeply watered. Cover well with 1/2” of finely sifted soil; seeds require darkness for germination. Scarifying (scratching) the seed coat to allow water in will help the seed take on the water quicker and therefore germinate quicker. Nasturtium is not fussy and can be grown in poor, well-draining soil.
- If you are planting seeds in starter pots, plant seeds into thoroughly moist high-quality seed starting soil. Cover well with 1/2” of finely sifted soil; seeds require darkness for germination.
- Space plants 8-12” apart.
- Nasturtium is easy to grow! Climbing and trailing varieties will need climbing support or room on the ground for spreading out.
- Mulching heavily around your plants will help with weed suppression and moisture retention.
- Harvest regularly or deadhead flowers for more continuous blooms.
- All parts of nasturtium have culinary applications. Ornate flowers and foliage have a spicy, peppery flavor. Leaves may be harvested for salads, pesto, dips, or even used in place of grape leaves for dishes similar to Greek dolmades. Young green seeds may be harvested and pickled like capers.
- Harvest fully open flowers at any time of day.
Growing Nasturtium in Containers
- Nasturtium is a great plant to grow in a container. 3-5 plants are ideal for a hanging basket or container. Make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top layer of soil in the pot to keep the soil from drying out or heating up too much.
Southern California Pro-tips
- Nasturtium easily reseeds, acting as a perennial in Zones 9 and 10. Collect seeds for replanting or allow to self-sow.
- Mulch heavily around your plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
- Watch your plants carefully and rinse away any aphids you see.
- Nasturtium is one of the first flowers to welcome spring! In the garden, it can be used to attract pests away from veggie crops. Crops such as cucumber, squash, and tomato may benefit from nearby nasturtium. Butterflies and other pollinators love it too.
Additional Learning Resources
- New to starting crops from seeds? Please watch our Seed Starting Presentation to learn the basics!
- Learn about growing all our crops on our YouTube page!
- Having pest issues? Check out in-depth information for pests that can be an issue to nasturtium at the UC Integrated Pest Management site.
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