Flame Nasturtium: How to Grow and Care for it Properly

Transform your garden into a fiery paradise with the captivating beauty of flame nasturtium (Tropaeolum Speciosum). Bursting with vibrant colors and a unique trailing habit, these stunning flowers are sure to add a touch of drama and charm to any outdoor space. But growing and caring for flame nasturtiums requires a bit of know-how to ensure they thrive and dazzle.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the essential tips and tricks to help you ignite your garden with the brilliance of flame nasturtiums. From choosing the perfect location to providing the right nutrients and support, we’ll walk you through each step of the process.

Selecting the Right Location and Soil for Flame Nasturtium

To ensure the success of your flame nasturtiums, selecting the right location and soil is crucial. These plants thrive in full sun to partial shade, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Additionally, flame nasturtiums prefer well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, consider adding organic matter such as compost or peat moss to improve its drainage and fertility. This will provide your flame nasturtiums with the ideal growing conditions they need to flourish and produce abundant blooms.

Flame Nasturtium

When it comes to soil preparation, start by clearing the area of any weeds or debris. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller to a depth of around 6 inches. Remove any large rocks or roots that may impede the growth of your flame nasturtiums. Once the soil is prepared, you can proceed with planting your seeds or seedlings.

Planting Flame Nasturtium Seeds or Seedlings

Flame nasturtiums can be grown from seeds or purchased as seedlings from a nursery. If you choose to start from seeds, it’s best to sow them directly into the garden after the last frost date in your area. The seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and spaced approximately 10 to 12 inches apart. If you’re planting multiple rows of flame nasturtiums, leave about 18 inches of space between each row to allow for proper air circulation and growth.

If you opt for seedlings, transplant them into your garden once the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling and place it in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Gently firm the soil around the seedling and water it thoroughly to help it establish in its new home. Remember to provide support for the trailing vines by adding a trellis or letting them cascade over a low wall or container.

Flame Nasturtium

Watering and Fertilizing Flame Nasturtium

Flame nasturtiums are drought-tolerant plants, but they still require regular watering to thrive and produce abundant blooms. Water your flame nasturtiums deeply once a week, providing enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. During hot and dry periods, you may need to increase the frequency of watering to prevent the plants from drying out.

In terms of fertilization, flame nasturtiums are not heavy feeders and do well in moderately fertile soil. Over-fertilization can result in excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production. A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer applied once a month during the growing season is sufficient to meet their nutritional needs. Alternatively, you can use organic fertilizers such as compost or well-rotted manure to provide a slow-release source of nutrients.

Pruning and Caring for Flame Nasturtium

Flame nasturtiums are known for their vigorous growth and can quickly take over a garden if left unchecked. Regular pruning is essential to maintain their shape, control their spread, and promote better air circulation, which helps prevent diseases. Pruning should be done throughout the growing season as needed.

To prune flame nasturtiums, simply pinch off any spent flowers or yellowing leaves. This will encourage the development of new blooms and prevent the plant from diverting energy into seed production. Additionally, remove any dead or damaged foliage to keep the plant looking tidy and healthy. If your flame nasturtiums are growing on a trellis or support structure, train the vines to climb and weave through the structure to create a beautiful display.

Tropaeolum Speciosum

Common Pests and Diseases of Flame Nasturtium

Flame nasturtiums are generally resistant to most pests and diseases, making them a relatively low-maintenance plant. However, they can occasionally be susceptible to aphids, slugs, and snails. To control these pests, you can use organic methods such as handpicking or applying a soapy water solution. Creating a barrier around the plants with crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth can also deter slugs and snails.

In terms of diseases, flame nasturtiums can be prone to powdery mildew, especially in humid conditions or when air circulation is poor. To prevent powdery mildew, ensure that your plants have adequate spacing and good airflow. If powdery mildew does appear, remove and dispose of the affected foliage and treat the plant with a fungicidal spray if necessary.

Harvesting and Using Flame Nasturtium Flowers and Leaves

Flame nasturtiums not only add beauty to your garden but also offer culinary and medicinal benefits. The flowers and leaves of flame nasturtiums are edible and can be used in a variety of ways. The flowers have a peppery flavor similar to watercress, making them a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and garnishes. The leaves can be used as a substitute for basil or mint in pesto and other recipes.

To harvest flame nasturtium flowers, simply pick them when they are fully open and vibrant in color. Avoid harvesting flowers that are wilted or past their prime. For the leaves, choose young and tender ones for the best flavor. Harvesting the leaves and flowers regularly will encourage new growth and prolong the flowering period of your flame nasturtiums.

Tropaeolum Speciosum


Flame nasturtiums are a stunning addition to any garden, with their vibrant colors and trailing habit. By selecting the right location and soil, planting with care, providing adequate water and fertilizer, and practicing regular pruning and maintenance, you can ensure the success of your flame nasturtiums. Keep an eye out for common pests and diseases, and harvest the flowers and leaves to enjoy their culinary and medicinal benefits. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to ignite your garden with the brilliance of flame nasturtiums and create a vibrant and captivating outdoor space that will leave your neighbors in awe. So, get ready to set your garden ablaze with beauty and let the flame nasturtiums take center stage.

Are you interested in adding a rare flower to your garden? Learn more about some beautiful rare flowers in our detailed guide. Also, you really need to learn more about the health benefits of Saffron (Crocus Sativus).

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