Nasturtium vines trail down walls, spill over window boxes and scramble over paths, with cheery edible orange flowers. Tip: sun and well-drained soil.
When to Plant
After last frost
Nasturtium: A Field Guide
Are nasturtiums the prettiest edible plant? Their fiesta colors and devil-may-care attitude toward hot temperatures tell us they hail from southern climes. But they translate well into any garden.
First brought back from Central and South America, Tropaeolum majus vines trail down walls, spill over the sides of window boxes, and scramble across garden paths. It’s possible to grow compact varieties in cream and pale yellow, but the glorious spectrum of orange, yellow, and crimson nasturtiums lifts the garden during the dog days of summer. Recommended varieties: N. ‘Alaska’, a yellow-and-orange climber with speckled leaves; ditto ‘Jewel of Africa’. For trailing, try ‘Tip Top Mahogany’, with tomato-soup-red flowers. ‘Empress of India’ is sultry, with dark red flowers, while elegant ‘Black Velvet’ is a deep brown and a wonderful complement to everything.