Growing nasturtiums in pots


For many years now, I have been growing various vegetables as a hobby in my spare time, which is what ultimately led me to studying horticulture. I find it fascinating to watch as plants grow from seed to fruit and to then finally be able to make use of the literal fruits of my labour.

Favourite fruit: Strawberries and cherries
Favourite vegetable: Potatoes, tomatoes and garlic

The aromatic nasturtium comes into its own not only in garden beds but also in planters. Even on the balcony there are many ways to grow nasturtiums in pots.

Potted nasturtium on a balcony
Nasturtiums are suitable for planting in balcony boxes [Photo: ANGHI/]

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum) are beautiful annuals that produce an abundance of brightly coloured flowers from June through to October. Nasturtiums are very easy to grow from seed and thrive in pots and hanging baskets. Read on to find out everything you need to know about growing nasturtiums in pots.

Which nasturtiums are suitable for pots and balconies?

When it comes to planting nasturtiums in pots or balcony boxes, the compact bushy varieties are most suitable. Both the garden nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and the dwarf nasturtium (Tropaeolum minus) are available in low and non-trailing varieties. Because there are so many varieties, you can even change out and rearrange the nasturtiums in your pots during the growing season.

Nevertheless, trailing nasturtium varieties can also be grown in pots and containers. These varieties look particularly spectacular in hanging baskets, where you can really enjoy the trailing stems and bursts of colour. Trailing nasturtiums are also a good choice if you would like your nasturtiums to climb along a railing or hang down from a balcony box; a climbing aid can also be added.

Salmon-coloured nasturtium flower
Nasturtiums come in a variety of colours [Photo: aniana/]

Nasturtium pot size and location

A pot with a capacity of 13 – 15 litres is sufficient for a nasturtium plant. The more substrate there is in the pot, the longer the soil will remain moist. Make sure the planter has drainage holes and add a layer of expanded clay to the bottom to allow excess water to drain away easily.

Nasturtiums love a sunny spot and the more sun there is, the more flowers the plants will produce. However, with increasing sunlight, watering needs to be increased as well. As lovely as the nasturtium’s large leaves are, they allow a lot of water to evaporate from the plant.

Nasturtium plant in direct sunlight
The large leaf surface leads to more transpiration on hot days [Photo: Albin Raj/]

Instructions: planting nasturtiums in pots

To plant nasturtiums in pots, you can either transplant young pre-cultivated plants or sow them directly in the planting container from mid-May onwards. Plant young plants out after the last frost if the location is unprotected. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to plant nasturtiums in a pot:

  • Use a 13 – 15 l planter with drainage holes
  • Put 2 – 3 cm of expanded clay in the bottom of the pot
  • Fill the pot with a well-draining, moderately nutritious potting compost
  • Plant the young plants at the same depth as before
  • Water thoroughly
  • Attach a climbing aid if necessary

Tip: Our Plantura Organic Flower Compost is excellent for growing nasturtiums. Its nutrient ratio is formulated to promote flower formation.

Organic Flower Compost, 40L
Organic Flower Compost, 40L
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  • Perfect for all flowering plants in garden beds & pots
  • For beautiful blossoms & healthy plant growth
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Nasturtium care in pots

Nasturtiums need some care and attention when planted in a pot or balcony box. On hot days in summer, it may be necessary to water the plant both in the morning and evening. Check the soil regularly and if the top layer is dry, water again.

Nasturtiums flower best in poor soil, so take care not to over-fertilise them. Signs of over-fertilisation are poor flower formation, leaf discolouration and possibly salt damage to the roots if mineral fertiliser was used. To avoid this, consider adding slow-release fertiliser granules, such as our Plantura Flower Food, to the substrate. This fertiliser releases its nutrients slowly and gently over several months. The phosphorus contained in our granulated flower fertiliser also promotes flower formation. A single application of the fertiliser when planting your nasturtiums is usually sufficient. If you prefer to use a liquid fertiliser, only use it once a month during the flowering period.

Nasturtium with a climbing aid
Make a climbing aid from wooden or bamboo sticks [Photo: Pakhomov Andrey/]

If you notice any damaged shoots on your nasturtium, simply cut them off. Deadhead flowers to extend the flowering season. Guide the stems of climbing nasturtiums along a railing or climbing aid to give them extra support.

Once your peppery plant has truly taken off, it is ready for harvest. Learn how to harvest nasturtium flowers and leaves as well as more about the different ways to use the plant parts in our other article.

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