Climbing Nasturtium: Tips For Growing Bloom Popping Vines

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Did you know that climbing nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) can grow up to an inch per day? These charming plants are not only beautiful but also edible! Their vibrant orange, yellow, and red flowers add a lively touch to any garden. In this article, you will find helpful tips and expert advice on growing climbing nasturtium in your own garden.

Climbing red nasturtium flowers growing up a rustic wooden fence.  The flowers are vividly red against the bright green of the roundish leaves.
Table of Contents

    Key Points: Climbing Nasturtium

    • Rapid Growth and Edibility: Climbing nasturtiums can grow up to an inch per day and are known for their edible, vibrant orange, yellow, and red flowers.
    • Planting and Climate Suitability: They are usually planted as annuals but can be short-lived perennials in mild climates (USDA zones 9-11). They bloom from late spring to early fall.
    • Soil and Sunlight Preferences: These plants thrive in well-draining, moderately fertile soil and prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
    • Watering and Maintenance: Regular watering is needed to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. They are low-maintenance and resistant to common pests and diseases.
    • Support and Training: Climbing nasturtiums require support structures like trellises for growth, and pruning should be balanced to encourage bushier growth without hindering flower production.
    • Planting Instructions: Steps include soaking seeds, choosing a sunny location, preparing soil, planting seeds, watering, thinning seedlings, providing support, and general maintenance.
    • Additional Information: The article also covers the edibility of the flowers, germination time of seeds, pest resistance, and seed saving for future planting.

    Growing Climbing Nasturtium: Soil, Sunlight, Watering, and Care

    Climbing nasturtiums are generally planted as annuals in areas with cold winters. However, in some mild climates, they can behave as short-lived perennials. In USDA hardiness zones 9-11, nasturtiums may survive the winter and return in the following growing season.

    The flowers bloom from late spring until late summer, sometimes well into early fall. 

    Thrives in well-draining soil with moderate fertility

    Climbing nasturtiums are plants that love to grow in soil that drains well. They don’t like their roots sitting in water for too long. So, choose a spot in your garden with loamy, well-draining soil. If the soil is too compact or heavy, you can amend the soil by adding some organic matter like compost or peat moss.

    Climbing Nastirums Prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

    These vibrant climbers thrive under the warm rays of the sun. They prefer full sunlight exposure for flowering and developing lush foliage. However, if you have a partial shade area in your garden, don’t worry! Climbing nasturtiums are adaptable and can handle some shade as well.

    Orange climbing nasturtiums growing on a wooden fence.

    Requires regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged

    Giving them regular watering is essential to keep young plants and your climbing nasturtium happy and healthy. Make sure the soil stays moist but not soggy. You don’t want to drown these beauties! Aim for about an inch of water per week and adjust according to weather conditions.

    Nasturtiums – Low-maintenance plant that is resistant to pests and diseases

    One of the great things about climbing nasturtiums is that they are low-maintenance plants. They’re pretty hardy and resistant to common pests and diseases that plague other plants in your garden. This means less time spent worrying about pest control or disease management!



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    Recommended Climbing Nasturtium Varieties

    Here are some popular and stunning climbing nasturtium varieties for you to consider for your trellised garden beds this summer:

    • Climbing Phoenix: striking orange-red flowers and dark foliage
    • Spitfire: bright red blossoms on compact vines
    • Moonlight: creamy yellow flowers that stand out against green foliage
    • Tall Climbing Mix: assortment of brilliant blooms in shades of red and yellow
    • Double Delight: These plants have semi-double blooms in shades of orange and yellow that look lovely planting in containers, baskets, and window boxes.

    These climbing or trailing plants are easy to grow and care for, making them an excellent option for container gardening. Just provide them a trellis or support structure to climb on and enjoy their vibrant blooms!

    Order seeds from reputable sellers like Veseys to ensure viable quality seeds.

    Climbing nasturtiums growing upward on a wooden trellis in a vegetable garden.

    Training Climbing Nasturtium: Pruning and Support Methods

    To promote healthy growth and abundant blooms in the summer garden, it is essential to train climbing nasturtiums by pruning and supporting these vibrant vines effectively.

    Pinch back the growing tips – Encourage bushier growth in climbing nasturtiums by regularly pinching back the growing tips. This technique helps stimulate lateral branching, resulting in a fuller and more compact plant. Use your fingers or pruners to remove the topmost part of the stems.

    Use trellises, fences, or arbors as support structures for Growing Climbing Nasturtium. Climbing nasturtiums require sturdy structures to climb upon. Install trellises, fences, or arbors near the base of the plants to provide them with vertical guidance. These structures help keep the vines upright and enhance their aesthetic appeal in your garden. We like adding a few climbing nasturtiums to our garden bed with bean trellises for a stunning look.

    Vertical gardening

    See our expert tips and recommendations for vertical gardening. Our guide will take you through all the types of trellis and vertical gardening structures you can utilize to maximize your garden space.

    Avoid excessive pruning -While pruning promotes bushier growth, it’s important not to go overboard. These plants bloom on new growth, so excessive pruning can hinder flower production. Be mindful of striking a balance between encouraging branching and allowing sufficient new growth for blossoms.

    Consider using biodegradable twine or plant ties for support– When securing climbing nasturtiums to their supports, consider using biodegradable twine or plant ties instead of plastic. These environmentally friendly alternatives will eventually break down naturally without causing harm to the environment.

    Nasturium flowers on fence in the garden.

    Step By Step Instructions for Planting Climbing Nasturtiums

    Here’s a concise step-by-step guide for planting climbing nasturtiums:

    1. Soak the seeds in water: Soak the seeds in water 24 hours before planting out to hasten the germination speed. The water helps soften the hard outer casing of the seed pod, making it easier for the seed to germinate. 
    2. Choose a sunny location: Select a spot with full sun to part shade, as nasturtiums thrive in these conditions. Plant out after the last frost in your region.
    3. Prepare the soil: Nasturtiums prefer well-drained soil. Loosen the soil and add compost for better drainage and fertility.
    4. Plant seeds: Poke seeds to a 1-inch depth and about 6-12 inches apart in the soil.
    5. Water well: Water the seeds or seedlings thoroughly after planting, and keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
    6. Thin seedlings: As the seeds sprout, remove any weaker or excess seedlings that impede spacing and airflow.
    7. Provide support: As the nasturtiums grow, they will need support to climb. Install trellises or other structures for them to climb on.
    8. Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    9. Maintain: Nasturtiums are relatively low-maintenance. Water when the soil feels dry and remove flowers when they are spent.

    Note: If you are planting nasturtium seedlings, plant out after all frost risks. Carefully and gently remove the seedling from the pot and place it in a pre-dug hole. Be sure to press the soil around the transplant and water it well.

    You can purchase seedlings at most greenhouses in the spring, but the purchase price is often higher than planting seeds. Nasturtium vines grow quickly and well from direct sowing, so we recommend it!

    Recap of Key Points on Growing Climbing Nasturtium

    Growing climbing nasturtium is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that adds beauty and color to any garden or balcony. So why not give it a try? Start planting those first seeds indoors, watch them climb toward the sky, and enjoy the stunning blooms that will brighten your outdoor space. Happy gardening!

    Learn More About Growing Nasturtiums


    Can I eat climbing nasturtium flowers?

    Yes! Climbing nasturtium flowers are not only beautiful but also edible. They have a slightly peppery and spicy taste similar to watercress, making them a delightful addition to salads or garnish for various dishes.

    How long does it take for climbing nasturtium seeds to germinate?

    On average, climbing nasturtium seeds take 7-10 days to germinate when sown directly into the soil. However, factors such as temperature and moisture levels can affect germination time.

    Are climbing nasturtiums prone to any pests or diseases?

    Climbing nasturtiums are typically resistant to pests and diseases, but aphids and caterpillars may occasionally be attracted to them. Regular inspections and appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or manually removing the pests, are recommended.

    Can I save seeds from my climbing nasturtium plants?

    Absolutely! Climbing nasturtiums produce seeds that can be saved for future planting. Allow the flowers to fade and form seedlings or pods before harvesting the seeds. Store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to sow them again next season.

    What is the Best Climbing Nasturtium?

    Defining the best of anything is always a challenge, given everyone has a different set of requirements for their gardens, but our preference for climbing nasturtium and what we consider the best is Climbing Phoenix. This nasturtium plant is known for its striking orange-red flowers and contrasting dark foliage; it’s a visually stunning choice.

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