Easy Way To Grow Gorgeous Nasturtiums in Hanging Baskets

Imagine a vibrant tapestry cascading from your porch, overflowing with cheerful blooms in fiery oranges, sunshine yellows, and blushing pinks. That’s the magic of nasturtiums in hanging baskets! These easy-to-grow beauties are perfect for adding a burst of color and life to any balcony, patio, or sunny nook. Let’s show you how to grow these dazzling jewels and transform your outdoor space into a showstopper.

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Planting Power: Setting the Stage for Success

Choosing the Perfect Basket

The first step is selecting a hanging basket that complements your aesthetic vision. Opt for a wire basket with a coco liner for optimal drainage. Wire baskets allow for better air circulation, preventing root rot. Coco liners retain moisture while promoting healthy root development. Size matters too! Choose a basket that’s proportional to your desired fullness. A 12-inch basket is perfect for a single nasturtium variety, while a larger 14-inch or 16-inch basket can accommodate a spectacular mix.

Picking the A-Team: Seed Selection

Nasturtiums come in a dazzling array of colors and flower shapes. Dwarf varieties like ‘Whirlybird Mix’ are ideal for hanging baskets as they cascade beautifully. Craving a bolder statement? Choose climbing varieties like ‘Skywatcher’ or ‘Empress of India’ for a breathtaking display.

Soil Sensations: Creating the Perfect Mix

Nasturtiums are not fussy feeders. A good quality potting mix will suffice. However, for optimal results, consider creating your own. Combine equal parts of sterilized potting soil, perlite (for drainage), and compost. This blend provides the essential nutrients for vibrant growth while ensuring proper drainage.

Seeding Success: From Tiny Seedlings to Blooming Beauties

Sowing the Seeds of Joy

Now comes the exciting part: planting! Here’s how to usher your nasturtiums into existence:

  1. Moisten the potting mix: Gently dampen the potting mix until evenly moist, but not soggy.
  2. Planting Power: Sow 2-3 seeds per planting hole, spaced about an inch apart. Nasturtium seeds are large enough for easy handling.
  3. Light Fantastic: Cover the seeds lightly with a thin layer of potting mix. Nasturtiums need light to germinate, so don’t bury them too deep.
  4. Warm Welcome: Place your basket in a warm location with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Consistent warmth promotes faster germination.
  5. Moisture Management: Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle for gentle watering until the seedlings emerge.

Seedling Symphony: Nurturing Your Tiny Sprouts

Within a week or two, you’ll be greeted with the sight of tiny green shoots pushing through the soil. Here’s how to care for them:

  • Thinning the Ranks: Once the seedlings reach about 2 inches tall, thin them out to leave only the strongest one per planting hole. Gently pinch off the weaker seedlings at the base.
  • Light Buffet: As your seedlings grow, continue providing them with at least 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.
  • Watering Wisdom: Water regularly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Climbing Companions (Optional):

For climbing varieties, consider adding a trellis or wire support structure within the basket. As the vines mature, gently guide them to climb the support for a more structured, cascading effect.

Blooming Bonanza: Witnessing the Magic Unfold

The Feeding Frenzy (Optional):

Nasturtiums are not heavy feeders, but a light feeding every few weeks during the flowering season can boost bloom production. Use a half-strength liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for flowering plants.

Deadheading Delights:

Regular deadheading encourages your nasturtiums to produce even more blooms. Simply pinch off spent flowers at the base of the stem. This not only keeps your basket looking tidy but also directs the plant’s energy towards producing new flowers.

A Feast for the Senses – and the Garden!

Nasturtiums are not just visually stunning; they’re also edible! The peppery leaves and vibrant flowers add a delightful touch to salads, sandwiches, and even cocktails. Don’t hesitate to experiment and add a touch of nasturtium magic to your culinary creations.

Potential Pests and Solutions:

While nasturtiums are relatively pest-resistant, aphids can occasionally become a nuisance. If you notice these tiny sap-sucking insects, a gentle spray of insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Troubleshooting Tips: Keeping Your Nasturtiums Thriving

Lackluster Blooms?

There are a few reasons why your nasturtiums might not be flowering abundantly. The most likely culprit is insufficient sunlight. Nasturtiums crave at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If your basket receives less than that, consider relocating it to a sunnier spot.

Another possibility is overfeeding. While occasional light feeding can be beneficial, too much fertilizer can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooms. If you suspect this might be the case, hold off on any further fertilizer applications and focus on watering practices.

Stretching for the Sun?

If your nasturtium vines are leggy and appear stretched out, it’s a sign they’re not receiving enough sunlight. Try relocating the basket to a sunnier location. Additionally, pinching off leggy growth can encourage bushier growth and more flowers.

Yellowing Leaves?

Yellowing leaves can indicate several issues. Overwatering is a common culprit. Ensure the top inch of soil dries slightly between waterings.

Alternatively, excessively hot and dry conditions can also cause yellowing leaves. If this is the case, consider providing some afternoon shade for your basket, especially during the hottest part of the day.

Nasturtium Magic Beyond the Basket

Nasturtiums as Companions:

Nasturtiums are not just beautiful; they’re also beneficial companions in the garden. Their strong scent helps deter some pests like aphids and whiteflies from targeting other plants nearby. Consider interplanting nasturtiums with tomatoes, peppers, and squash for added pest protection.

Nasturtiums for the Season:

Nasturtiums have a long blooming season, typically lasting from early summer until the first frost. To extend their blooming period, deadhead regularly and avoid letting the plants dry out completely. With proper care, you can enjoy these vibrant blooms well into fall.

Nasturtiums from Seed to Seed Saving:

Nasturtiums are self-seeding, meaning they readily drop their seeds throughout the season. If you allow these seeds to overwinter in the soil, you might be surprised to see new nasturtium volunteers cheerfully popping up the following spring!

Alternatively, you can harvest seeds from spent flowers at the end of the season. Allow the seedpods to dry completely on the vine before collecting them. Once dried, store the seeds in a cool, dark place for future planting endeavors.

The Final Flourish:

With a little planning and care, your hanging baskets overflowing with nasturtiums will become the envy of the neighborhood. These vibrant and easy-to-grow beauties bring a touch of sunshine and joy to any outdoor space. So, unleash your inner gardener and embark on the delightful journey of cultivating cascading jewels in your own hanging baskets!

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