Nasturtium, Featuring Canary Creeper! (700w rate)
Dec 07, 2023
Nasturtium, Featuring Canary Creeper! (700w rate)
December 07, 2023
Nobody likes peeping Toms, but if you’re a fan of nasturtium vines, you definitely want Canary Creeper hanging around outside your window. Bright yellow Tropaeolum peregrinum flowers stand apart from other nasturtium blooms with their frilly petals, making them look like songbirds coming in for a landing. Despite their fancier flowers, they also prefer the same poor soil and infrequent irrigation as others in their species, making them perfect candidates for covering fences, walls, or trellises in neglected corners of the garden.
Read on to learn more about this variety, and general nasturtium care.
The Nasturtium Family History
It’s difficult to pin down the specific backstory of Canary Creeper, but nasturtium plants (Tropaeolum) are native to the subtropical mountain forests of South and Central America. Indigenous cultures, particularly the Inca, used the plant to treat cuts, burns, and respiratory issues. The Spanish Conquistadors brought the plant back to Europe in the mid-1500s where it was first studied by Spanish physician, explorer, and entrepreneur Nicolás Monardes. Nasturtium is a nutrient-dense plant and is remarkably high in vitamin C. In Victorian times, nasturtium was used to prevent scurvy.
It earned its vernacular name because it shared watercress’ (Nasturtium officinalis) spicy flavor and odor. Fun fact: Nasturtium means “nose twister”!
Thomas Jefferson first cultivated nasturtium at Monticello in 1774, and he enjoyed experimenting with the plant’s edible characteristics. It wasn’t long before nasturtium became a sensation in colonial America, and it remains a garden favorite today.
Like other nasturtium varieties they need a little extra work to get them to germinate, but once you get them going they’re easy to care for. They actually thrive with a bit of neglect.
- Growing zone: Can overwinter as a tender perennial in USDA zones 7-11; grown as annuals elsewhere. They love locations with cool summers, so they’re great for coastal gardens
- Plant height x width: 12” tall when grown as groundcover; vines can grow as long as 12’
- Growth habit: Vining, sprawling
- Bloom period: May through September
- Flowers: Bright yellow, orchid-like frilled petals with orange spots near the throat
- Foliage: Bright green, round but deeply-lobed leaves
- Sunlight: Full sun
- Soil: Well-drained light to medium soil. Nasturtium doesn’t bloom well in rich substrate and in fact are excellent plants for sandy spots
- pH: 6.1-7.8
- Water: Medium. Prefers to dry out a little in between watering
- Seed preparation: Scarify the seeds by gently rubbing an Emory board across their surface, and then soaking them in warm water for 24 hours before planting
- Sowing indoors: We recommend starting nasturtium in small, individual pots. CowPots are ideal! Plant 1-3 seeds, and thin out to the hardiest plant after a week of growth. Keep soil moist until germination is complete
- Sowing outdoors: DIrect-sow after all danger of frost has passed
- Seed depth: ½”; seeds need darkness to germinate
- Seed spacing: 8”-12”
- Days to germination: 10 to 14 days at 70°F
Pests and diseases
Canary Creeper, like other nasturtiums, are fairly disease-resistant. While they can attract aphids and whiteflies, they also attract pollinators and insects that hunt down and consume pests.
Nasturtiums hold their own against deer, but bunnies do like the flowers and the leaves.
Care and Feeding
While deadheading nasturtium will keep the plant looking tidy and may encourage new blossoms, it really isn’t necessary. Skip the fertilizer, too; too many nutrients will curtail flowering. Weekly deep watering will keep them vibrant, but they don’t need consistent moisture to stay happy.
Nasturtium as a Companion Plant
Because nasturtiums attract beneficial insects, they’re popular as veggie garden border plants. They can draw aphids and other pests away from high-value plants, serving as “traps”. Trained on a trellis or a welded wire tunnel, nasturtium can provide shade for leafy vegetables. When used as a ground cover, they can help suppress weeds, reduce erosion, and help stabilize soil temperatures.
Things to Do With Nasturtium
Nasturtium, particularly Canary Creeper, is a multipurpose ornamental. They make excellent cut flowers, for starters, but if you really want to get creative you can:
Pickle the seeds to make your own spicy capers
Press the blossoms and leaves for craft projects
Candy them to use as garnishes for adult bevvies or pastry decorations
Add a little kick to salads by mixing in nasturtium flowers and leaves:
Where to Get Your Canary Creeper Nasturtium Seeds
Your best chance for successful germination comes from the freshest seeds, sourced from healthy natural genetics. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our Canary Creeper nasturtium seeds, or other Tropaeolum varieties!