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5 Reason Why I Grow Nasturtiums In My Garden

Nasturtium, Edible plant, Urban Gardening
Today I found myself collecting seeds from my Nasturtiums all the while patting myself on the back for making the decision to grow this wonderful annual in my garden. As I was admiring the flowers I started thinking of the benefits of growing this plant and thought of a few but I'll share my top 5 reasons why I grow Nasturtiums in my garden.

1. Easy germination. Nasturtiums, or "Nasties" as I've become fond of calling them, are easy to germinate if you scarify them and soak them for 24 hours in warm water.

2. The large seeds that Nasturtiums produce are easy to sow, so easy that even a child can do it. This past spring I let my 2 year old nephew sow them for me in my garden. The seeds were big enough that he could pick them up and toss them in the general direction of where I wanted them to go, I'd follow behind him and cover them with a light dusting of soil. In your garden you may not even have to sow them yourself because they can self-sow and have even over-wintered here in Chicago.

3. The young leaves and flowers of Nasturtiums are edible. You can add fresh young leaves to your salads, sandwiches or cold soups for a peppery flavor. The flowers make good garnishes for soups, salads or press the flower petals into soft cheeses or butters to create a tasty spread.

4. Nasturtiums grow well in poor soils and once established they don't get supplemental watering in my garden. In rich soils or over-fertilized gardens they tend to create more foliage than flowers-so starve them if you want more blooms which will results in lost of seeds.

5. If you're a vegetable gardener or have an aphid problem in your garden grow Nasturtiums as a sacrificial crop. This annual attracts aphids and once they're spotted on a stem you can pinch it off and dispose of the aphids keeping them away from your more valuable plants or crops.

I could go probably go on but I promised only 5 reasons to grow this wonderful annual. If you haven't or don't grow Nasturtiums in your garden you really should. Seeds are easy to find in stores and they're very inexpensive and come in many colors. Even the"Dwarf Cherry Rose" that I dismissed earlier is starting to grow on me.


  1. Have to put these on my list for next year. Along with Flowering tobacco, Morning Glories and...

  2. All great reasons to grow one of my favorite flowers, but I would add one more.... Nasturtiums are great looking plants, both the foliage and the flowers!

  3. Nasturtiums are delightful to look at and enjoy, and hummingbirds love them too. I didn't plant any this year, but as we all know, with gardening "there's always next year!"

  4. Thanks for this post-I ws wondering why the ones I tried a couple years ago got one lousey bloom, since I diligently watered and fertilized with bat guano! I have just the spot for a plant that wants to be ignored!

  5. I planted seeds and bought nasturtium plants from the nursery this year, but was disappointed by not getting a single bloom. Perhaps I need to find a more "terrible" location for them.

    Thanks for the info.

  6. Re being good for children, I'd also say that they germinate and grow large quickly. The kids can see the changes and don't lose interest.

  7. Anonymous9:46 AM

    What a wonderful photo. We use 'nicer' words to descibe their use in the vegetable garden! We call it companion planting- although the purpose is exactly the same as sacrificial!

  8. Anonymous12:21 PM

    I love the look and brightness of nasturtiums but have to keep my distance. Unfortunately, they make me sneeze when the stems are broken (like if I'm trimming them).

  9. And here I was thinking that I wouldn't grow any next year. I think it's that I grew the wrong kind or something. They were pale, covered with black aphids most of the summer (I know, they're supposed to do that), and died off fairly early.

    Then some that I'd planted in a morning-only sunny spot made me change my mind. They're very dark red with golden centers. I'll have to look up which cultivar they are. They're lovely, and keepers. They just recently started blooming, so I hope I get enough seeds before frost!

  10. Anonymous7:03 PM

    It's been warm here in southern Ca., and I planted several Cherries Jubilee Nasturtium today. I didn't soak them. Five seeds are in a green house and then I scattered several in my front yard to see which if any would do well. Today is Sept. 30...and the weather channel says low 80 for 2 more weeks. My fingers are crossed.

  11. @Anonymous, Good luck with your nasturtiums.

  12. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Want another reason? I have read that nasturtuim seeds can be preserved with brine and vinegar and used as a caper substitute.



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