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Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ Grow Project

It’s the first Sunday of the month and that means it’s time for an update on my progress growing nasturtium ‘Spitfire,’ a “climbing” variety of the popular summer annual. Climbing isn’t quite the term I’d use though as I’m discovering that this particular variety requires help as it has no climbing, grasping or clinging capabilities of its own. It’s been a bothersome task keeping the little guy from falling and spilling out of its birthing pot, but I suppose if you’re one who wants a trailing specimen, this won’t be a problem. And since it’s still a bit risky weather-wise putting mine out in their permanent spots in the garden, keeping the thin dangly stems in some type of climbing order is a bit of a task right now.

As you can see from the photographs, the stems of ‘Spitfire’ curl and twirl, and unless you position them and then secure them to some type of structure, they fall over. When all danger of frost has passed (usually around Mom’s Day here) I’ll transplant mine to their permanent home at the base of a weed-tree tepee I’ll make. I still have some evaluating to do as I’m a little concerned about the job of keeping the stems tied as the flower grows. It’s something you should be aware of when you grow vining plants – method of travel – does the plant require ties or does it have its own method of clinging (i.e., prickles, sticky hairs or small follicles, or some such other method of self-propelling).

Regardless of the effort it takes to help ‘Spitfire’ find its way up the tepee, I’m almost positive it will have been well worth it once flowering starts. And just to see the trailing effect, I’m planning on allowing one or two to spill over in pots I’ll place on the back porch and around the yard, and some will be allowed to find their own way around the garden with nothing more than mulch to cushion their walk.

At this stage, I’m pleased with the ease of starting ‘Spitfire’ from seed and the progress they’ve made. I didn’t scar or soak seeds, I’ve not used any fertilizer (and don’t plan to), and all four of my seedlings are thriving and anxious to get outside.

Nasturtium 'Spitfire'
Stems of N. 'Spitfire' twist and twirl.
For climbing, you'll have to assist 'Spitfire' attach itself to a trellis or tepee.
For a climbing nasturtium, this variety requres a little help from gardeners.

“I’m growing Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”


By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

19 replies on “Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ Grow Project”

Looking forward to seeing the bloom!
I do like vines and am always looking for easy to grow ones with great flowers….wonder if the butterflies will like the bloom.

I bet the red color will attract hummers too Ms. Sherry. So far ‘Spitfire’ has been very easy to grow, it’s the climbing part that makes me wonder how they’ll do.

Hey TC, that flower you asked about is Centaurea montana. I call it a perennial cornflower. They should do well in your area. They don’t like my heat so they won’t be around long.

I had a climbing variety last year, and it found its way over to my gate and climbed right up. I planted some in front of the gate this year, I hope it climbs up on its own. Maybe it will do better in the places where I put it to spill out of things, based on your experiences.

The comments by others growing Spitfire suggests that once this variety is planted outside, it’s stiffens up some. I hope that’s the case gardenmom29. Sometimes the wind whips up a bit around here so plants need to have some vigor.

“Would have liked to see a climber.”

You’ll see more of these climbing nasturtiums once I have them outside in their permanent spots. My other climbers – clematis – are growing and climbing now.

yours are a little leggy, but not as much as mine. I expect the ones direct-sown outdoors will end up being stockier than the ones I started indoors.

You have a point Ms. Linda. Sometimes our indoor started plants are some leggy until they get themselves established outside in the garden. I’m really eager to see if mine sturdy themselves once they’re outside.

Your plants look nice! I put mine in a variety of places in the yard but it’s good to have a heads-up that the ones on the wooden fence will need help to go upwards. I set a few aside to trail out of planters as well.

Hi Ms. Diane, I’ll be anxious to see if yours “climb” the wooden fence on their own. I think they’ll look really nice as a trailing specimen, maybe in a hanging basket too.

Interesting. Should be gorgeous! I tend to help my morning glories along when they’re new, but mainly so they’ll grow where I want them instead of vining off into territory of their own choosing. 😉

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