Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) bloom in the red, yellow and orange shades of the sun, brightening up the summer garden with their long-lasting summer flowers. These annual plants grow readily from seed but they don't transplant well, so they are usually direct sown after all spring frost danger has passed. The trailing varieties work especially well in hanging baskets because they cascade over the sides. You can start the baskets indoors four weeks before the last frost, then move them outdoors after the threat of frost passes.
1 Fill a hanging basket with potting soil to within 1 inch of the rim. Water the soil until moisture drips from the bottom of the basket. Allow the soil to soak up the water and drain completely for 30 minutes before planting the nasturtium seeds.
2 Sow the nasturtium seeds 1/2 inch deep. Space the seeds about 6 inches apart in all directions in the hanging basket. Cover the seeds completely because nasturtiums only germinate in darkness.
3 Hang the basket from a sturdy hook in a spot that receives six or more hours of daily sun. Water the soil lightly each day so the top 1 inch of soil remains moist until the nasturtiums germinate, which typically takes between seven and 10 days.
4 Feel the soil in the basket daily and water the seedlings when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry. Water early in the day so the leaves dry before evening, which minimizes fungal disease problems.
Items you will need
- Potting soil
- Pinch off the old flowers when they begin to wilt to encourage further bud production. Cut back the nasturtiums by about half their height at midseason if they begin to flower poorly or become weak and leggy.
- Nasturtiums don't need fertilizer to grow well. Fertilizing the plants results in lush foliage with few flowers. The low-maintenance plants also rarely suffer from pests or diseases.
- The leaves and flowers of the nasturtium plant are edible and have a peppery taste.
- Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images