Tropaeolum majus ‘Phoenix’
Phoenix is a very unique and special Nasturtium variety that showcases the rarely-seen split-petal flower form, which gives the appearance of a flame or a butterfly with its flaming-glowing red-orange split blooms. This is the only Nasturtium we have seen like this, which automatically earns it a bunch of extra points in our book. ‘Phoenix’ not only offers a new look for the Nasturtium family, it’s also one of the easiest and most profuse! The season begins in early summer and continues nonstop until frost in most areas.
All nasturtiums are self-seeding, easy to grow annuals. One can start seeds indoors or direct sow outdoors anytime after last frost up until mid-summer. Some choose to soak the seeds in water overnight before germinating, but we find this to be unnecessary as they are usually the first ones to pop even without soaking.
There is an old gardeners maxim: “Be nasty to Nasturtiums”. This is because they prefer to grow in poor, dry soils. Soil that is too rich leads to leaf and stem growth and less flowers… Nasturtiums will grow in part shade to full sun, but really prefer the cooler temperatures of the spring and fall seasons.
This ‘Phoenix’ variety is considered a trailing Nasturtium and can be trained to grow vertically or cascade down from hanging baskets and other containers. They can reach 6+ feet in length, or plants can also form into billowing 2 ft circular mounds of round, green leaves.
Nasturtiums are considered a ‘crossover plant’, as they’re equally as happy in the flower garden as they are in the vegetable plot. The young nasturtium leaves are rich in vitamin C and the flowers are always a treat served on a plate or chopped up in cream cheese to make for a fresh sandwich. The round leaves have a rather strong peppery flavor, perfect for spicing up a salad. We like to eat the flower fresh off the plant and get the syrup out of the back of the spur. And as much as we humans love them, rabbits surprisingly pass them over.
The flowers attract hummingbirds, and other pollinators. This low maintenance, carefree herb is sometimes used in gardens as a pest-attractant because spider mites and aphids will colonize these plants and perhaps leave your more expensive plants alone.
Phoenix flowers are edible and especially gorgeous scattered on salads or used as edible garnishes for savory dishes.
This is one of our favorite and easiest plants to grow, time and time again.
Part shade to full sun
Height: 2 ft
Zones: Perennial in zones 9-11. Annual in colder zones.