How to Grow Tropaeolum Plants (Perennial)

Guide to Growing Flame flower

This section is dedicated to the perennial species of Tropaeolum; go here for information on Annual Tropaeolum.

There is a tremendous range in size in Tropaeolum plants, climbers reach up to 3 metres (10 feet), whereas non-climbing varieties may only get as high as 10 cm (4 inches).

Members of the perennial Tropaeolum plant genus include Nasturtium, Flame Flower, and Climbing Nasturtium.

These plants tend to have green or greyey lobed leaves, and bloom in the summer.

Tropaeolum flowers are usually red, orange, or yellow, and are trumpet shaped.

Flame flower
Flame flower by Peganum; creative commons.

Tropaeolum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Flame flower.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial, hardy perennial.
Family: Tropaeolaceae.
Height: Perennials: 4 to 100 inches (100 to 250 cm).
Native: Central and South America.
Growing Region: Perennials: zones 6 to 9.
Flower Details: Intense colours. Red, yellow, orange. Usually five petals. Trumpets. Frilled petals. Diameter 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm).
Foliage: Shield shape. Peltate. Palmate. Lobed.

Sow Outside:
Perennial: cover seeds. A couple of weeks before last frost. Spacing: 2 inches to 36 inches (5 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Best started outdoors. Transplants should be put out following the last frost.
Perennial: mix seeds in a growing medium; keep moist, place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three months. Germination time: one week to two years. Temperature 55°F (13°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight or afternoon shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5. Moist soil. Ordinary soil. Poor soil. Provide support. Provide trellis. Water during prolonged dry periods. Grow perennials in an area where their roots can be shaded but the plant can grow into the sunlight. Propagate: divide perennials.

How to Grow Tropaeolum plants such as Flame Flower in your Garden

If growing Flame Flower and other perennial Tropaeolum plants outdoors, then sow the seeds a couple of weeks before you expect the last frost. The seeds should be lightly covered once sown.

The spacing is dependent upon the Tropaeolum species, smaller plants should be grown about 15 cm apart (6 inches), while larger ones can be spaced at about 30 cm (12 inches).

Perennial Nasturtium like to grow in a sunny area of the garden. This location should have a moist acidic soil.

If starting off indoors, then sow the seeds at about the same time as you would outdoors.

Nasturtium germination time is a little unreliable, and may take up to two years. It is best to germinate at about 12 to 15 degrees centigrade (54 to 59°F).

Caring for Flame flower and other Tropaeolum

Perennial Tropaeolum plants, such as Climbing Nasturtium and Flame Flower, enjoy a moist soil, so keep well watered when it becomes dry.

Unfortunately, although perennial Tropaeolum plant species like to grow in the sun, their roots like it cool. Thus, it is important to keep the roots as protected from the sum as possible, so maintain a permanent mulch around the roots.

Common Questions

How many members does the Tropaeolum genus have?

The Tropaeolum genus, commonly known as Nasturtium, includes approximately 80 species.

Do members of Tropaeolum make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Tropaeolum species are appreciated for their vibrant flowers and round foliage. They make excellent bedding, border, or container plants.

Which Tropaeolum species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Tropaeolum majus (Garden Nasturtium) and Tropaeolum minus (Dwarf Nasturtium) are commonly grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Tropaeolum plant genus fragrant?

Some species of Tropaeolum, such as Tropaeolum majus, can have a light, spicy fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Tropaeolum?

Tropaeolum thrives in full sun with well-drained soil. It is ideal for bedding, borders, and containers.

Is Tropaeolum invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Tropaeolum is not known to be invasive in the USA. Always refer to local regulations for accurate information.

How do I remove Tropaeolum plants from my garden?

To remove Tropaeolum, uproot the entire plant including the root system to prevent regrowth.


The Tropaeolum plant genus, often referred to as the Nasturtium, belongs to the Tropaeolaceae family. Originating from South and Central America, it includes approximately 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants.

Tropaeolum prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It can be grown from seeds, which are usually sown in spring. Noted for their vibrant, edible flowers, these plants also have a peppery flavor and are often used in salads.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Perennial Nasturtium plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Cress and Butterfly Garden plants.