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Nasturtium, Empress Of India

Short Description

Victorian heirloom with edible flowers.

Full Description

Unique, deep blue-green leaves are the perfect background for the dazzling, long-spurred 2 1/2" scarlet blooms. Compact plants only 1 ft. high are superb for hanging baskets and mixed plantings in kitchen gardens. Large seeds are easy to sow directly in the ground. Blooms until frost. GARDEN HINTS: Use as companion plants for cabbage, cucumbers and herbs. Helps in repelling whitefly and cabbage caterpillars.
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Item#: 45989A
Order: 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)
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$3.95
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

10-12 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

8-10 inches

Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.

Beds, Borders, Container

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.

Annual

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow/Indoor Sow

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Annuals Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite annual plants in a garden setting. In this video- Zinnia, Angelonia, Marigold, Petunia, Celosia and Vinca.
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Nasturtium may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden after frost, or grown from potted plants.

Note: When sowing from seed, before sowing, gently rub the seed with a nail file to aid germination, as nasturtium has a hard seed coat.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost using a seed starting kit. It is best to use a large celled kit, or fiber pots as nasturtium roots are easily damaged when transplanting.
  • Sow seeds ½ inch deep in seed starting soil
  • Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden after the frost.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden

  • Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Sow seeds ½ inch deep 12 inches apart.
  • Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days.

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Select a location in full sun with moist, well drained organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Set level with the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.  Be careful to not disturb the roots as nasturtiums can resent being transplanting.
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker. 
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
  • Do not over fertilize as nasturtiums prefer a poor soil.
  • Climbing varieties will need some training and support on their upward journey.
  • Deadhead to keep plants flowering longer.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.  
  • Nasturtiums do best in areas with relatively cool summers, but usually, they can grow anywhere.
  • asturtiums cut for vases often root in water.
  • Nasturtiums are pretty annuals to use as edgings or at the front of a flower bed with other low-growing annuals and perennials. Allow plants to trail over walls or raised beds, and use them to add summertime color to rock gardens. They also look beautiful in containers and window boxes.
Sun
Full Sun
Height
10-12 inches
Spread
8-10 inches
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders, Container
Life Cycle
Annual
Sow Method
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Flowering
true
Bloom Duration
10
Nasturtium, Empress Of India is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 4.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow First time growing nasturtiums. I started seeds inside ( I know, best sown outside..), they seemed a little sickly, little did I know, so I started seed outside also. Once transplanted, they took off, and the seed sown outside didn't take long to catch up. Very vigorous, I'm very pleased. The color was very close to the pictures, and they tasted great in salad. I'll be planting these again.
Date published: 2015-08-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nasturtium, Empress Of India I was very disappointed in these The flowers were not as perfused as pictured and a fourth of the plants came up with light green leaves and orange flowers these I had to remove to stay with all red.Not happy.
Date published: 2015-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Empress of India These are beautiful as just as described--very deep maroon but smaller than other nasturtiums. I trained them up an ugly fence and they are look wonderful. Seeds came up easily and a few I planted last year came up as well. Very happy with purchase.
Date published: 2010-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected I planted these expecting to have blue-green foliage and scarlet blooms like the description said. Instead, I have yellow-green foliage and red-orange flowers. They don't go with the other flowers I planted in the hanging baskets. They are nice, healthy plants that grew easily from seed, but I won't be ordering them again.
Date published: 2009-06-18
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