Nasturtiums, also known as Indian cress or flame flower, are annuals, native to Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru where they grow as perennials. They were discovered by the Spanish conquistadors and brought to Spain in the 16th century. The first nasturtiums brought to Europe were a variety, Tropaeolum minus, which produced a small yellow flower with a purple blotch. This nasturtium is now very rare.
- Packet of flower seeds
- Annual plant
- 3 g
- Germinates in 7-8 days
- Requires sun to partial shade
- Made in the USA
All nasturtiums should be given poor soil. If Nasturtium Flower Seeds are planted in rich soil, they will produce lush foliage and few flowers. They will grow and produce a profusion of blossoms in full sun or partial shade. If planted in dense shade, they will produce lush vines, but few or no flowers. They are very easy to grow from seed. Plant the seeds in the spring when the ground has warmed to between 60-70 degrees. Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep. The seeds will germinate in less than 10 days. Thin the seedlings to 6 inches. Throughout the summer, occasionally, prune the vines or they will become straggly. The plants need to be deadheaded regularly or they will stop blooming.
The more familiar nasturtiums, Tropaeolum majus, were introduced in the 1600's and gained almost instant popularity for their ability to hide almost anything with their climbing habit. Nasturtiums also quickly established themselves as a culinary delight. Their seeds, when cured in vinegar, could be used as capers and their peppery flavored leaves and flowers used in salads. The double varieties of nasturtium were developed in Italy in 1769. The dwarf varieties were developed in the late 19th century.
Nasturtiums were introduced into the United States by Bernard McMahon in 1806. As in Europe, they quickly gained popularity because their climbing habit could camouflage nearly everything. In his 1851 book, The Flower Garden, Joseph Breck describes the nasturtium in this way, "Tropaeolum, from tropaeum, a trophy. The leaf resembles a buckler, and the flower an empty helmet, of which trophies were formed...Tropaeolum majus. This is a well-known ornamental annual, of easy cultivation. It flowers best in a light soil. It looks well trained to a trellis, or over a wall. The flowers are rich orange, shaded with crimson and various colors; the variety with crimson or blood-colored flowers makes a fine contrast with the orange. The seeds are used as a substitute for capers, and the flowers sometimes eaten as salads."