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The orange, red, yellow, more rarely pink or black flowers of the nasturtium not only provide color in the garden or on the balcony, but also enrich salads, soups or desserts. In addition, Tropaeolum makes hardly any demands on care. In order for the climbing plant to grow well, however, the time of sowing is important. This guide provides the gardener with valuable tips on the date and procedure for planting out.


Unfortunately, the nasturtium is not frost hardy, which is why sowing outdoors is only possible from mid-May after the ice saints. It is therefore advisable to prefer young plants in March on the windowsill or in a greenhouse.


If you want to sow nasturtium yourself, you should definitely consider the later dimensions that the plant will take on. As a climbing plant, it forms long shoots that can grow up to several meters long. For this reason, a climbing aid is urgently needed. If you choose a balcony as your location, you can let the shoots entwine around the railing. Otherwise, the plant feels in good hands on a house wall.

Notice: If there is little space, we recommend short-growing varieties that are ideal for the bucket. In terms of flowering, they are in no way inferior to their climbing counterparts.

Cultivation in the pot

The gardener should choose a bright location for growing in pots. However, direct sunlight should be avoided. The tender roots are not yet able to compensate for the strong evaporation caused by the intense heat. A pane of glass is also recommended, which provides some heat and promotes germination. The optimum temperature is 15°C to 18°C.

Notice: The seeds of the nasturtium are surrounded by a hard shell. By soaking them in warm water or chamomile tea for about five hours before sowing, the gardener shortens the germination time.

The seeds of the climbing plant are comparatively large. The gardener can place them in the seed pots singly or in pairs. However, he should not sow more than two seeds.


  • Fill the growing pots with conventional seed soil or unfertilized coconut fibres
  • Drill holes in the ground about 3 cm wide and up to 2 cm deep
  • Sow the seeds 20 to 30 cm apart in the substrate
  • the plant is one of the dark germs, so cover it well with soil
  • Keep substrate constantly moist
  • Cover seed pots with clear plastic wrap
  • air daily to avoid mold
  • the first seedlings appear after 10 to 20 days

Notice: Since the nasturtium is not hardy, sowing has to be done every year. Although it is possible to hibernate in a frost-free, bright location, due to the climbing growth, the appropriate space is often not available.

Plant out nasturtiums

If no more night frosts are to be expected in May, the young plants can move into their permanent location outdoors. The gardener should wait for the ice saints to plant out. As already mentioned, sufficient space is relevant for the choice of location. The gardener should plant individual plants at least 30 to 50 cm apart. If, on the other hand, he decides to keep it in a bucket, he should put a maximum of two or three plants in one pot.

In addition, soil conditions play a major role in terms of development. The climbing plant prefers calcareous, sandy loamy soil. Conventional garden soil is just as suitable. Hardly any nutrients are still required. A colorful splendor of flowers develops on poor soil, while the plant also thrives on humus-rich soil, but mainly develops leaves. An important rule for fertilizer application can also be derived from this: too much fertilizer inhibits flower growth and, on the other hand, promotes foliage formation. A little organic compost in the spring is all you need.

Suitable plant partners for Tropaeolum

The sharp, spicy aroma of the nasturtium blossoms cannot be combined into an ideal composition on the plate. Already in the vegetable patch, the flowering plant harmonises with numerous types of vegetables:

  • beans
  • cucumbers
  • peas
  • radish
  • tomatoes

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