Tropaeolum peregrinum - the canary creeper - is a species of Tropaeolum native to western South America.
It is a climbing plant growing up to 2.5 m high by scrambling over other plants. The leaves are 2–5 cm in diameter, palmately lobed, the flowers are 2–4 cm wide with five frilled bright pale yellow petals - canary-coloured, hence the English name - often with red spots at the base of the petals.
It is widely grown as an ornamental plant in many parts of the world.
Sowing & planting
15 - 300
6 - 7
Identify my canary-creeper
The Tropaeolum genus groups together more than eighty-five species of herbaceous plants native to South America, from the south of Mexico to Patagonia. They're colloqually called "nasturtiums" and are known for attracting aphids!
Sow my canary-creeper
Starting at the end of April for mild climates — mid-May for more northern regions — choose a sunny space for your nasturtiums. Without sun, they won't flower well.
Ordinary garden soil is ideal for the majority of varieties — overly-rich soil will harm flowering! Additionally, avoid heavy or compact soils, which will hold in moisture, to the detriment of your nasturtiums.
You may sow dwarf varieties in planters, but climbing varieties prefer open soil or large planter boxes — their growth is stunning!
In open soil, sow 3 or 4 seeds in each seed hole, leaving a distance of 50 cm between climbing species, and 30 cm between dwarf varieties.
Nasturtium seeds are very hard! Soak them in a glass of water for a full night before sowing.
Thin out my canary-creeper
If you have planted seedlings, watch for emergence, which should take one to two weeks, and keep only the strongest shoot.
Dibble my canary-creeper
Install plants sown under shelter starting in May, without dividing, leaving 50 cm of space between climbing nasturtiums and 30 cm between dwarf plants.
Prune my canary-creeper
Water my canary-creeper
Nasturtiums like to have dry roots, except for the first few weeks after planting, and in times of severe drought.
Water the seedlings and the young plants with a fine mist to avoid uprooting them accidentally, and take care not to drown them. Once in open earth, nasturtiums will get by just fine on their own. Only water in case of a long, dry period.
Once your potted nasturtiums are well developed, they'll make the most out of a light watering every 10 days, either in the morning or at night.
Take care of my canary-creeper
Don't wear yourself out — no mulching, and no fertilizer! Nasturtiums flower best in mostly dry, barren soil, in the sun. Overly rich soil will cause them to produce leaves instead of flowers, and even a light layer of mulch will keep in too much moisture for their tastes.
Propagate my canary-creeper
In regions with mild climates — where it doesn't freeze! — your nasturtiums will reseed themselves on their own. Otherwise, let the flowers dry until they're ready to fall, then collect the seeds and allow them to dry for a few days more in the sun.
Check on my canary-creeper
Black aphids are the main enemy of nasturtiums — some actually use nasturtiums in their vegetable gardens to attract the bugs and thus spare the cultivated vegetables! To get rid of them, wash the foliage with a solution of 1 liter of rainwater (less chalky than tap water), black soap and a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate.
Remove my canary-creeper
Your nasturtiums will all fade before the frosts. After flowering, tear them out, to welcome new plants in the fall, gently pulling the plants that must come gently, including roots - or use a spade if they resist!