Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Nasturtium, Mastuerzo, Indian Cress
Tropaeolum majus

Family: Tropaeolaceae
Genus: Tropaeolum (tro-PEE-oh-lum) (Info)
Species: majus (MAY-jus) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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10 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nomosno On May 1, 2010, nomosno from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I think it is safe to say that this plant has naturalized on the Pacific strip of the Western US. It grows in untended areas all over San Diego, covering city-block size areas. I have seen large and established colonies of this plant as far north as San Francisco (which is certainly not Zone 10b). It can actually become a bit of a nuisance in gardens but it is easy to control and beautiful. It seems to adapt to different levels of sunshine by growing larger leaves in shady areas and smaller ones in full sun.

Positive donicaben On Aug 21, 2008, donicaben from Ogdensburg, NY wrote:

Probably best to direct sow these. I tried growing them indoors first and only got one to take off out of the ten I tried...but one is all I needed!

It's nearing the end of August and that one has trailed along the ground at least ten feet. It is growing like our butternut squash (and kind of resembles it on a smaller scale).

I have red flowers all over the vine. Since it's in my front yard I don't get to stare at it very often, but I wouldn't doubt that this flower probably attracts a bunch of hummers. I might try planting it in my backyard next year and see if my theory is correct. :-)

All in all, a great plant. I let my flowerbed get overrun with weeds (I have a couple of toddlers and no time!) and this one plant just flourished. It climbed around my house and onto my porch. Sure, it's a bit messy...but had I taken the time to trellis it I bet it would be even more pretty.

Positive kryistina On Jun 22, 2008, kryistina from Springfield, MO wrote:

These will flower madly in poor soil, need little watering, and have a slight peppery flavor added to salads. May also be floated on soups, or cooked down into any savory dish as a seasoning. The flowers are also a beautiful garnish with a few sprigs of parsley on the side of a steak platter.

Neutral rebecca101 On Jul 11, 2007, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I'm not really fond of nasturtiums, although I grow them every year because they are so darn easy! They are easy to germinate (direct sowing) and fast to grow from seed. They always look a bit of a mess in my garden though - flopping all about and with the flowers mostly hidden among the leaves. I'm not fond of the colors either. Harsh and flat. Not the most attractive garden plant, in my opinion. Maybe they need a more hot dry climate.

Positive Debndal On Jun 27, 2006, Debndal from Coppell, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great herb! In NCentralTX I plant in late February and cover if there is a freeze. They bloom almost continuously from April to mid June. I have them spilling over a retaining wall - I love the round leaves. I guess the heat in Texas is too much - I just pulled them up last week, but I replant every year. Have never had any seedlings from previous years come up.

Positive Galop On Mar 23, 2006, Galop from Washington, DC wrote:

At first I watered it regularly and got nothing. Then I left it on its, watering only about every 10 days. Flowers like crazy. I planted it in ordinary soil, not too fertilized. Kept blooming after all the other annuals had stopped. Very beautiful, and carefree. It's supposedly edible, but I'd rather look at them than eat 'em.

Neutral merlino On Jun 21, 2004, merlino from Tarquinia (VT)
Italy wrote:

How should I cook or use my Nasturtium in an edible way?
I know it is positively planted near beans in biological gardening.

Positive RichSwanner On Apr 19, 2004, RichSwanner from Citrus Heights, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

These were some of the most beautiful Nasturtiums I have ever seen. They were growing in Stinson Beach Ca. It doesn't freeze there, except for a freak, once in ten year's type of thing. They are most likely perennial, but I listed the bloom time from Spring to mid-winter, as they go dormant when it gets into the low thirties.They seem to not be annual,as they have grown to cover a vast amount of space.The leaves are up to six inches across and look almost like lily pads in size.

Neutral Anya29 On Jul 28, 2003, Anya29 from Sherbrooke
Canada wrote:

Hello - I started from seed a little late (June), and now have lots of foliage but not one flower, and I have about 5 plants.

Positive Lavanda On May 18, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is a heat-loving annual. Flowers are used as an ingredient in salads and other dishes.

To make "capers" from the seeds, one should pickle them in a vinaigrette/brine solution.

The seeds are extremely easy to harvest, and this is a good candidate for beginning gardeners from children to adults.

Positive PaulRobinson On May 18, 2003, PaulRobinson from Torrance, CA wrote:

The leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of all varieties of Nasturtium are edible They have a pleasant, "peppery" flavor when added raw to salads, etc. The seeds can be especially "hot", but with a unique flavor. Use judiciously. The lower end of the "funnel" shaped flower can be bitten off and a tiny drop of nectar sucked out, much as with honeysuckle flowers.

Naturtiums here n So. California grow easily, bloom luxuriantly, require almost no attendance, and can reseed invasively. The invasiveness is simple to control, however. Pruning or uprooting is quick and easy.

Positive lft On Apr 28, 2003, lft wrote:

Thanks for the great pictures of this plant. I'd like to know if all varieties of Nasturtium are edible.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 27, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Grow in low-fertility soil or few flowers will appear. Nasturtiums also make great houseplants. If you provide extra light, they will bloom indoors all winter.

Neutral Evert On Aug 8, 2001, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

This plant is edible and you can use the seedpods as capers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Benson, Arizona
Alameda, California
Fair Oaks, California
Fallbrook, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Cruz, California
Simi Valley, California
Denver, Colorado
Washington, District Of Columbia
Bartow, Florida
Frostproof, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Miami, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Brunswick, Georgia
Zachary, Louisiana
Belmar, New Jersey
Tuckerton, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ogdensburg, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Brookings, Oregon
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sumter, South Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
Norwich, Vermont
Spokane, Washington
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Delavan, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

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