Sunday, September 5, 2010

September Nasties

The 'Spitfire' climbing nasturtiums have been growing in this pot since May. We enjoyed a few blooms early in the season, before the Chicago area experienced one of the hottest summers on record. I've read, and now seen first-hand that nasties aren't particularly fond of hot weather. Ours have continued to grow (slowly,) and produce new foliage to replace leaves that yellow and fall off. While they haven't bloomed much, they have cute round, bright green leaves.

In our area the average first frost happens mid-October, although for the last two years we haven't had frost until mid-November. With fall and cooler temperatures in the air, especially at night, we hope to see more blooms before frost does them in.

I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.


  1. Hi Linda, it's 42 here this morning and I don't dare check if it got below freezing here last night... but my nasties look very much done. Glad yours look nicer! And (oh crap) it's the first Sunday of the month, innit?

  2. Ah I only wish mine looked as nice! It's just been too hot and dry for them in my garden.

  3. The leaves are quite ornamental :-D I hope the plant will get to adapt to the hot temperature and flower soon.

  4. Wow Monica - that's chilly! We just returned from the Wedding of the Decade, and it was chilly at night in MO, but nowhere near freezing. No freeze here either - it was actually a bit warmer here than in MO I think. Sorry about your nasties!

    Time flies, huh!

    Not a great season heat-wise for nasties Dave! Sorry yours haven't done well.

    They do have pretty foliage Stephanie. I'm not sure they'll adapt to the heat, but fortunately it's cooler now. I hope they'll bloom more with the cooler temperatures - the few blooms we did have were really pretty.

  5. I think that they have really interesting leaves. They look so pretty with their trailing habits. This is the plant for children to grow...the seeds are so nice and plump for little hands. Balisha

  6. I agree Balisha - love the round leaves, and they're perfect for children to grow with those nice big seeds. Four-o-clocks are great seeds for little hands too. I used to love looking for the seeds when I was a kid.

  7. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Yes, the leaves are attractive, and so are the blooms, but not enough to take away from those ugly stems. Of course this is only my opinion. I'm holding off on my final evaluation of 'Spitfire' until the Grow Project is over.

  8. OK, it only got as low as 41... I was wondering whether you were posting from MO or whether you are back home. HEY! I'm coming to Chi in late Sept. and can bring you the native fall-blooming clematis. Will email details. <3

  9. Hard to argue with that TC! They do have very twiney stems. Ours looked very 'nasty' until they filled out with so many leaves we don't really see the stems (much ;) anymore.

    41 is still pretty chilly for this time of year Monica! No posting from MO - we got home Sunday afternoon. I did the post before we left (how's that for organization!) and scheduled it for Sunday morning.

    I'd love to try the clematis! Looking forward to your email - didn't know you were planning a visit to your adopted city!

  10. I didn't have good luck last year with my nasturtiums but this year they are growing like crazy. They seem to like the heat. they do get a lot of yellow leaves and maybe the heat causes that. the flowers are so pretty.

  11. Maybe the cooler weather now will bring you some blooms, Linda. Your nasties certainly look much better than mine, though, which didn't get planted until late and didn't like either the heat or the lack of rain.

  12. I love how you've used them to edge a border Teresa! Yours look beautiful.

    I hope so Rose! The foliage is cute, but if I'm giving space to nasties, I want blooms.

    I'm sorry your nasties were less-than-stellar.

  13. I don't know how our summer compares with others in terms of heat but we have had very little rain and that's had quite an impact! But we, here in the south of England, won't be expecting frosts as early as October!

    Nasturtiums are in my top list of flowers. Not only are the trumpets bright and cheerful, the leaves spectacular (especially in the rain) and can be hosts to lots of cabbage white (butterfy) caterpillars without being overwhelmed by them. They self-seed pretty easily too, which is a bonus.


  14. Dry summers sure do present gardening challenges Lucy! We had lots of rain earlier in the season, but August, and so far September, have been very dry.

    Our nasturtiums are finally blooming! I'm so excited I might have to another update. This has been a great season for butterflies here, including lots of cabbage butterflies! They don't seem too interested in the nasturtiums, but they sure have been enjoying the kale.

  15. Anonymous3:25 PM

    We've had a pretty bad summer, but my nasturtiums haven't seemed to mind it much. I just saw the update to this post and see you have blooms, congrats.

  16. It's been interesting seeing how the nasties are doing in different gardens MBT. Even in the same area, they seem to be happier in some gardens than others.

    I'm glad to see the blooms - been waiting for them all summer!


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