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Yellowing Nasturtiums -- Just Purchased

Hi everyone! I'm new to this site but not to gardening. I can't seem to figure out what's happening to my hanging basket of nasturtiums in the four days I've had it. I started to notice them yellowing two days into their new home.

My first thought was maybe I watered too much, but the soil on the top layer is quite dry. Perhaps it's too much sun? I have them in a very sunny apartment, near a south-facing window. It has been 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit the last two days, so factoring that in is making me more dizzy in making a diagnosis.

You can see in the pictures that the yellow-flowered plants are *yellowing* in the leaves! Seems to be in the middle of the plant, neither at the new-growth tail extremes or the top of the basket. The plant was purchased from a local greenhouse, with drip irrigation into the hanging basket. It was pretty humid in the greenhouse, while my home is quite dry.

Can anyone help? Am I doomed to kill this new plant? :shock: :oops:

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 9:26 pm
Location: Upstate, SC

Hi Penelope! Welcome to the forum!

My first thought is that they're being over watered. Then I read your post and saw that you said the top is dry. Hmmmm....

How is the drainage from the pot they're in? If it's not draining well, then when you poke your finger through it'll be soggy on the bottom, and dry on on top. Nasturtium have pretty extensive roots. They fill a pot really fast, especially if there are lots in one pot. So if the bottom of the soil is soggy, but top is dry, your plant will look very much like your pictures. You can remedy that by creating more drainage in the bottom of your container. They like a little bit of abuse! :wink:

If it's NOT soggy on the bottom, then you may not be watering them enough! They need about an inch per week.

They really don't like hot hot weather. I direct seed mine out in the garden. Here in SC, the temps get brutal. Mostly staying in the mid 90's, and the nasturtium DO NOT LIKE IT! I plant them out under the canopy of squash and zucchini plants. The squash plants get HUGE and offer shade during the brunt of the misery of our summers. The squash vine borers do their yearly damage and the weather starts cooling some by the time I have to pull the big canopy plants. That's when the nasturtium really start looking amazing. By fall they are big and lush and full of blooms and seeds! I give them away to my favorite local farm to table restaurant! They like the cool! They hate the hot, so heating them up like that isn't likely to make them very happy.

Most of your plant still looks good though, so it may just be the change in environment.


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I don't know but nasturtiums come up for me every year and they like cool dry weather. When it starts to get hot, they shrivel up and die. The seeds will lay dormant in the soil until it is time for them to sprout again.

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Thanks, Lindsay! I will check the bottom on the drainage. I had not thought of that -- though I really didn't water them all that much.

You may be right that they just won't enjoy the heat -- it really has been quite hot. Not soooo sunny where I have them until the afternoon, when it's more like semi-direct sun. For now I moved them away from the windows, but it can't be a permanent spot.

Hopefully if it is just a transition, the leaves that are dying will die and that will be it!

Greener Thumb
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Location: central Ohio

Are you keeping it indoors? Nasturtiums need lots of light. They don't do well indoors even under florescent lights. Outdoors they can handle some shade. If it was in the greenhouse it will need time to get used to being outside. The process is called hardening off and can take from a few days to a week.

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