Tropaeolum majus (Garden Nasturtium)

Scientific Name

Tropaeolum majus L.

Common Names

Nasturtium, Common Nasturtium, Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Monks Cress


Cardamindum majus, Nasturtium indicum, Tropaeolum pinnatum, Tropaeolum quinquelobum, Trophaeum majus

Scientific Classification

Family: Tropaeolaceae
Genus: Tropaeolum


Color: Shades of red, yellow, and orange
Bloom Time: Summer and autumn


Tropaeolum majus is an annual climber that will scramble over the ground or up a support. The stems grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. Circular, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, wavy-edged leaves are supported, parasol-like, by a central stalk. The long-spurred flowers are in shades of red, yellow, and orange, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, and appear in summer and autumn.

Tropaeolum majus - Garden Nasturtium
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USDA hardiness zone 2a to 11b: from −50 °F (−45.6 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Nasturtiums grow well in almost any type of well-draining soil. They can tolerate dry conditions and low fertility without damage, but the best flowering occurs in slightly sandy but moist soil. Avoid planting Nasturtiums in areas with rich soil heavily amended with organic matter because they flower poorly in nutrient-rich locations. In mild summer areas, Nasturtiums prefer full sun. They need afternoon shade if your area experiences high summer temperatures. Nasturtiums only grow during frost-free weather.

Seeds provide an inexpensive and reliable way to produce Nasturtiums. Nasturtium seeds germinate readily when sown directly in the garden in early spring after frost danger has passed. Seeds require planting at a 0.5-inch (1.3 cm) depth to have incomplete darkness for sprouting. Space the seeds 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart. Keep the top 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of soil moist until the seeds germinate, which takes seven to 10 days when temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 18 degrees Celsius). If you prefer to use transplants, plant them at the same depth they were growing at in their nursery containers and space them 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Nasturtiums.


Native to the Andes, from Bolivia north to Colombia.


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