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What Are the Best Tips for Growing Nasturtiums?

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  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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Nasturtiums are among the easiest flowers to grow thanks to their quick germination and few needs. These flowers do not like a lot of fussing and do best when left almost completely alone after their basic needs have been met, such as appropriate amounts of water and sunlight. Growing nasturtiums requires a soil that is not too rich in nutrients, because too much fertilizer will give a gardener many green leaves but fewer bright-colored flowers. At the same time, growing nasturtiums requires the selection of the proper site, one that receives enough sunlight and drains well, because these flowers do not perform well when sitting in a constantly wet site.

Allowing the seeds to soak overnight in warm water will be helpful when growing nasturtiums. Soaking is not an absolute requirement because the seeds will grow without it, but doing so will help them sprout more quickly. The seeds are comparatively large and easy to handle, but they have a hard coating. A soak in water before planting will lead to easier germination and possibly better germination rates.

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Some gardeners become concerned when not all of their nasturtium seeds sprout, but this can sometimes be attributed to the seed’s hard coating. Like other types of seeds that do well with a pre-soak before planting, the nasturtium can instead be encouraged to sprout by nicking the seed coating with a small blade. Nasturtium seeds also dislike a lot of handling after they start to grow, meaning transplanting is sometimes hard on the new plants. Many gardeners recommend planting them straight into the ground or into containers, or starting them in peat pots.

Caring for nasturtiums requires giving them adequate room to grow, which is different depending on the type of nasturtium chosen. Climbing varieties do well along a fence and trailing from a hanging basket, while others, like dwarf nasturtiums, are smaller and need less space to spread out along a garden’s border. They also look appealing in window boxes and a variety of containers. Many types of this flower can be planted in a container, depending on the container’s size, with trailing nasturtiums and larger varieties needing more room. Giving nasturtiums enough sunlight and space for growth will reward a gardener with many bright and colorful flowers until frost.

Providing enough sunlight when growing nasturtiums is important as well. Without enough sun the plants will put forth lots of healthy green growth, but they will be stingy with the amount of flowers they produce. Water is essential. During the most extreme heat of the growing season, it is necessary to water these flowers frequently. At other times, normal weekly watering should be sufficient. Many gardeners grow nasturtiums because the flowers are edible, and if they are to be used in recipes it is imperative that gardeners not spray them with pesticides.

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