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How to Grow Nasturtiums in Containers

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This is the definitive guide on how to grow nasturtiums in containers for your small balcony or patio garden. Nasturtium are great because they’re not only beautiful, they’re edible as well — plus they’re a great pest repellent!





Everything you need to know about how to grow nasturtium: plant nasturtium in a medium to large pot, leaving 15-30 cm (6″-12″) of space between them. Cover with 0.5-1 cm (1/4″-1/2″) of soil. Keep the soil moist, and seeds should sprout in 7-12 days in warm weather. If temperatures and soil are cool, expect germination to take longer than this.

To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.

Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide

Seeds can be planted indoors 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost date, or planted directly outdoors in early to late May when the soil has warmed up.




Keep nasturtiums well watered during hot, dry weather. Otherwise, water when the top 1″ of soil is dry to the touch.

Nasturtiums thrive in poor to average soil, so they do not need to be fertilized.


Where Can I Grow It?

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Grow nasturtium outdoors in a sunny location, or partially shady location if full sun is unavailable. Just keep in mind that nasturtium grown in a shady location will put on more leaf growth and produce fewer flowers than ones grown in full sun.

There are many different varieties, but you can get them in two basic growing patters: climbing or trailing nasturtium or bush nasturtium.


How to Grow Nasturtiums: Growing Tips

Both the leaves and the flowers of this plant are edible! Add some visual appeal to your salads by sprinkling some of these flowers over top.

Nasturtium are vigorous growers. This can be great as they will fill out their containers quickly, but may need to be trimmed back occasionally to keep them under control.

Pruning off dead flowers will encourage nasturtium to produce more flowers.


How to Grow Nasturtiums with Companion Plants

Nasturtium is one of the best all-around companion plants for the urban garden as it attracts many predatory insects and therefore helps to repel a lot of common garden pests. A sample of some of the pests nasturtiums help to repel include: cabbage worm, carrot fly, cucumber beetle, whitefly and squash bug.

Nasturtium actually attracts aphids to keep them away from your other plants. These edible flowers are beneficial to have growing alongside beans, squash, tomatoes, brassicas (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage), fruit trees, cucumbers and radishes.

Hi - I'm Brie! I’m a plant enthusiast here to help you keep your plants alive and thriving with beginner-friendly plant care advice and tutorials.

I’ve been growing all sorts of plants for years in my tiny apartment, both indoors and on small balconies & outdoor spaces. Let’s create your jungle!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Brie,
    Thanks for the how-to tutorial on Nasturtiums. I’m a gardening hobbyist and have been enjoying growing my own garden (mostly flowers) for quite a few years now. But to date I haven’t yet tried growing Nasturtium – until now. I saw some seeds in my local hardware store and decided to give them a try. And although my motivation is pretty high, so still is my uncertainty about growing this particular plants. This is a perfect moment to segue into asking some questions about growing these beauties.

    First…I’m an apartment dweller with a balcony that faces east. I get direct sun from about 9:30 to 10 in the morning up till around 12:30 or 1 in the afternoon. I’m located in CT and although our summers aren’t like they are in the south, we still get warm, humid spells – especially in late July and through August.

    I have started my seeds using an organic potting mixture that is more mulch-like in texture. I have NOT fertilized them aside from using a little SuperThrive during the initial watering leading up to germination. Now the plants are about 5 inches tall and still indoors in the same 10″ ceramic pots in which I started them (they will remain in these pots as it is my understanding that these plants don’t transplant well).

    So, now for my specific questions:
    1. Everything I’ve read about these says that I should NOT fertilize as this will cause more foliage and less blooms – but I’m wondering if this is true of the bloom-boosting fertilizer formulas as well?
    2. I’ve planted the “Alaska” mounding variety and the package in which the seeds came says that these don’t require much water either, yet my particular type of soil, being courser than regular potting soil, seems to not hold onto water very well – leading me to believe that I’ll need to keep a close eye on the moisture levels of the soil – so, should I keep this course, mulch-like soil moist (my pots are 10″ tall cylindrically shaped, decorative glazed ceramic pots with attached saucers and drainage holes).
    3. I’ve also read that Nasturtium tend to thrive in cooler climates – so does this mean that by late July or some time in August, when things heat up here in CT, these plants will be done for the season?

    Sorry for the lengthy tome – but I wanted to be sure to give you have all the pertinent facts as I’m sure you’ll need to take them into consideration when replying.

    Thanks for helping yet another person move closer to becoming more of a plant parent and less of a plant killer.

    Mark DiRollo

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