When sowing nasturtiums, you have the choice of growing in pots or sowing them directly outdoors. Which variant you should prefer depends on various factors.

Preculture in pots

Nasturtium is not frost resistant. Sometimes it is already damaged when the temperatures are just above zero degrees. If you want to start punctually with the first plants after the last night frosts in mid-May, you can start the pre-cultivation in the pot about three to four weeks before in the house.

Instructions: Sowing nasturtiums in a pot

  • Use pots with a diameter of about 8 to 10 cm
  • Fill pots with seed compost
  • Distribute three seeds per pot
  • Push the seeds 2 cm under the soil
  • pour on

When pre-culture, use pots and refrain from pricking out the plants. The plants do not like being damaged at the roots, which is why they should be transplanted as little as possible. As soon as the plants have developed well and there is no longer any danger of frost, you can go outdoors.

Before you plant the nasturtiums, harden off the plants. Place the pots outdoors in a shady spot during the day. Repeat this for about three to five days and gradually put more in the sun.

Note: If you generally want to cultivate the plant in a pot, for example on the balcony, place the young plants in large pots or troughs later. Per planted group of plants there should be at least 20 cm to the next plant or to the edge.

Sowing outdoors

You can sow the seeds outdoors after the first week of May at the earliest. To do this, prepare the soil by loosening it well. Incorporate organic fertilizers such as mature compost and horn shavings into the soil.

Instructions: No-till nasturtium

  • Planting distance from 30 to 40 cm
  • Horst seed with 2 to 3 grains
  • Press seeds 2 to 3 cm deep into the soil
  • Press the soil down well
  • pour on
Tip: To prevent dehydration and increase the temperature by 1 – 2°C, you can place a fleece over the nasturtium. This can speed up germination by a few days.

You can also put glasses over the spots for a few clumps. The jars act as mini greenhouses and can raise the temperature significantly. However, as soon as the first leaves appear, you should remove the glasses, as the glass can act like a magnifying glass.

As a rule, you do not have to worry about pests when sowing nasturtiums if you sow directly. Snails avoid even young plants. Only lice can later become a problem.


Regardless of whether you cultivate the nasturtium in a pot or in a bed, the right location is decisive for how well it develops and how quickly it flowers. For optimal growth it needs

  • Sun
  • nutrient-rich and always slightly moist substrate

Otherwise the nasturtium cannot develop well and it hardly forms flowers.

In the mixed culture , the nasturtium gets along very well with different types of cabbage. It is also suitable as an underplant for potatoes or beetroot. The plants get along less well with different types of leeks. Beans are also a bad partnership, as both species are susceptible to lice, making it easier to transmit the pests.

Prefer no-till

If you want an early flowering and harvest, you should prefer the nasturtium in pots in April. In principle, over the course of a season there are few noticeable differences between plants that have been brought forward and those that have been placed directly outdoors. However, there are several reasons why you should prefer no-till.

You can read what they are here:

  • Planting early specimens carries a risk of root damage
  • Consequence: slowdown in growth and delayed flowering
  • No-till quickly catches up with the natural temporal “blooming advantage” of early plants
  • often more luxuriant flowering when no-till
  • Plants sown directly in the bed are usually more robust

frequently asked Questions

The plants grow less luxuriantly in pots or tubs compared to outdoor cultivation. The reason for this is that the water supply is worse and the plants remain more compact.

At an average germination temperature of around 20°C, germination takes up to 14 days. As soon as the first real pair of leaves has formed in a pre-culture in pots, the plants can go outdoors if there is no longer any danger of frost.

Seeds are commercially available. In addition to the yellow-orange varieties, there are also double varieties that are offered as ornamental plants. If you have plants in your garden, you can harvest seeds from them. Remove ripe seeds from the pods in autumn. You can recognize ripe seed pods by their grey-green color and they give slightly under pressure.

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